Portugal's culture has influences from its neighbour Spain, near-neighbour France and its former colony of Brazil. It is a country known for its distinctive style in architecture, cinema, literature, music and sports. Possibly one of the most diverse features of Portugal is its cuisine and beverage tradition.
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Portugal produces many types of wines. Alentejo wine is from the region of the same name in southern Portugal. It is a white grape wine with a fruity flavour. Bairrada wine is produced in Regiao Demarcada da Bairrada. Containing both red and white grapes, it is commonly found in Portuguese restaurants in the U.S. Colares sand wine, which gets its name from the sandy soil its grapes are grown in near Lisbon, is made in both red and white. Moscatel wine is a fortified, sweet Portuguese wine, while Vinho Verde is a non-aged wine produced in northwest Portugal.
Port wine is Portugal's No. 1 exported wine. It comes in both red and white varieties and is one of the most popular port wines in the world. Portuguese port wine is a fortified wine that is commonly served as a dessert wine. Officially, only wines from the northern region of the Douro Valley can be sold as port, or porto, wines. There are four types of port wines: vintage, tawny, ruby and white.
Portuguese beers are typically lighter than beers from other countries. The most popular Portuguese beers include Sagres, Sagres Preta, Super Bock and Cristal. Sagres and Sagres Preta are brewed by Central de Cervejas. Sagres has a sharp, hoppy flavour with malt undertones and Sagres Preta is a darker version of Sagres. Super Bock and Cristal are both brewed by Unicer-União Cervejeira. Super Bock has a sweet, fruity flavour, while Cristal has a crisp, clean flavour.
Portugal produces a handful of liquors and liqueurs. Medronho and Aguardente de Figo are produced in the southern region of Algarve. Medronho is a local moonshine made from strawberries, and Aguardente de Figo is made from figs. Other popular varieties are Ginja, a cherry liqueur, and Amarguinha, an almond liqueur.
Portugal is known for its love of coffee beverages. Bica is a traditional espresso shot in Portugal. Cafe Pingado is a dripped coffee served in a beaker. Cafe Longo is simply a taller version of cafe pingado. Galao is a cafe longo served with foamed or steamed milk in a 1:3 ratio. Garoto, which contains mostly milk, is a popular children's beverage. The coffee in garoto is run through the espresso machine twice to dilute the flavour.
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