Somewhat of a fan favorite amongst Trader Joe’s wine enthusiasts (such as Reverse Wine Snob), Trader Joe’s has stocked Porta 6 Vinho Tinto in its stores through handfuls of vintages, and its busy and colorful illustration may be familiar in a mere glance.
Made of a 50% blend of aragonez (the Portuguese word for tempranillo), castelao (40%), and touriga nacional (10%) grapes, the red blend hails from a wine region in Lisbon, Portugal, known for its numerous subregions and varied styles of production (including sweet wines like brandy).
For just $5.99, the most recent vintage of Porta 6 (2021) boasts its dominant grape’s tobacco-scented edge with a little jammy, red fruit notes brought in by the castelao. Deep in color and medium-bodied overall, Porto 6 is best paired with red, possibly stewed meats with plenty of sauce to soak up the boldness of the wine itself. Much friendlier on the palette after about forty minutes to breathe, this Portuguese value wine smells cedarish on the nose but tastes of condensed red berries with a little bit of forest bramble.
Not a quaffable, anytime wine, we’d save Porta 6 for a dinner party where several heavy items dominate the table space, and red wine drinkers are mostly present.