Glamorous, gothic and cinematically beautiful, Lisbon captivates all who visit her with a heady blend of ancient ruins, cobbled paths, vibrant neighbourhoods and the famous seven hills, packed with history, beauty and rich colours. The city is a gourmand's dream, with a dynamic dining scene all of its own, heavily featuring dishes such as fresh seafood, sumptuous Alentejan beef steaks, and the famous local bacalhau à Brás. And naturally, where the finest food is found, wine must follow. Whether you prefer to dine in one of Lisbon's eight Michelin-starred restaurants or to sample the finest street food in the city's gourmet markets, Lisbon wine is an essential partner to your experience.
The Lisboetas and tourists alike benefit from a lack of open-container laws in the city, meaning that parties often spill onto the cobbled streets to the sounds of live fado music. By day, Bairro Alto tends to have a sleepy, relaxed feel, but at night the quiet lanes turn wild with a mix of chic wine bars, LGBT bars, and traditional fado clubs. You'll certainly find excellent wine bars along the Santa Apolonia to Santos waterfront, but some of the most enticing wine locations are to be found slightly away from the main nightlife spots.
Discerning wine tasters tend to agree that Portugal produces some greatly underrated wines and that there are some wonderful hidden gems to discover in the quest to broaden one's palate. Here are some of our favourite hotspots to discover that perfect bottle of rich, warm red, a sparkling rose or a crisp white, surrounded by the inspiring views and heady atmosphere of beautiful Lisbon.
Located in Bairro Alto, this diminutive little spot, with its sixteenth-century original cistern, offers character, peace and the expertise of the dedicated owners who are passionate about bringing Portuguese wines to their customers. Pair your chosen bottle with fresh tapas or petiscos and enjoy intimate conversations without the need to shout.
Discover a heady blend of Peruvian cuisine, culture and fine Portuguese wines, many of which have been produced organically or using heritage methods. Cerviche, made with the freshest fish, is just one of the dishes of the day, and many of the regulars pair it with Peruvian pisco, either straight or served with local port for a Pisco Portonic.
"Lisbon wine is an essential partner to your experience"
Run lovingly by the Goiardos family, this pioneering bar brings natural wines to intrigued guests via its bar and wine store in Campolide. Step inside this Aladdin's Cave to find hundreds of bottles from Portuguese and European wineries, many of which the family visit themselves. The menu changes daily, with around 15 options to offer a huge array of flavours and taste experiences. Nibble on cured meats and cheese, and experience a wine event where expert sommeliers share the magic and mystery of artisan wines with other fascinated guests.
Step inside this evocative little stone building to discover an extensive wine cellar located in a historic aqueduct. This venue was one of the first in the city to offer wines by the glass and it now has more than 300 labels on offer, including a wealth of Portuguese producers from some of the less well-known regions, including the Algarve.
As well as a map dotted with must-visit wine bars in Lisbon itself, there are some wonderful tours that pick you up from your hotel and whisk you away to incredible vineyards in the mountains. Prepare to be indulged, informed and tantalised with these first-hand vineyard experiences, as family owners delight you with their stories of bringing grape to table through their expert and often natural wine-making methods. Some particularly special vineyards well worth a visit from your Lisbon hotel include Adega de Colares, Adega Mãe, Quinta do Gradil - one of the oldest vineyard estates in the region, and Quinta Dos Loridos, which is also home to Buddha Eden; Europe's largest Oriental Garden and a place of breathtaking beauty and serenity.
A family break to sunny Lisbon. Make it an Easter to remember.