ONE of my secret passions is Portuguese red wine but when you take it to a friend's house, they inevitably give you that ‘three for a tenner’ look. I think Portugal is one of those wine countries where we enjoy the wines in location but rarely want to buy them back home; think Cyprus or Turkey for other prime examples.

Part of the problem is that Portugal is known for its port which we all love and Vinho Verde which too many people love. Vinho Verde is one of those crimes against wine drinkers like Blush Zinfandel that I wish could be un-invented, the wine world's version of Sarin gas if you like. The clue to my dislike is in the name which, of course, means green or under ripe or, in simpler terms, rushed to the market with no other redeeming qualities.

All that's a shame because the red wines from Portugal tend to range from good to awesome and many of their non-Vinho Verde whites are of equal quality.

The country has an incredible range of its own indigenous varieties but my favourite wines tend to include Touriga National, the big lad from Port wine fame, tinta roriz and Castelao.

Expect vibrant flavours, tobacco and long fruity finishes. Give them a go next time you're shopping and you might be in for a pleasant surprise.

LB7 Lisboa Red

Slightly closed on the nose but just enough hints of brooding red grapes to entice you into what is a fabulous array of autumn fruits on the palate. There is a lovely hint of cedar wood on the finish which you often get in the very best clarets.

Majestic £8.99 or £6.99 mix six

Cintila Red

A fabulous nose of youthful red berries with carry through to the palate. It’s dangerously easy to enjoy and probably should come with an addictive warning. The very definition of glugable

Pop Wines, Glasgow £8.50