Portugal's Douro wine-producing region, named for the river that runs through it, is best known for its ports, those fortified wines we love to sip after dinner or on the terrace with friends. It also produces nonfortified wines, and those are in resurgence after lolling for some time in the shade of their better-known cousins.
One of those red wines is Prazo de Roriz, named for the vineyard where the grapes — a blend of a handful of varieties from tinta barroca to touriga nacional — are grown. The 2011 vintage is available locally at some big-box wine stores for about $16.
Coffee and cherries dominate the nose, establishing immediately this table wine's straightforward, uncomplicated style. Cherries are apparent on the tongue, too, but the coffee has morphed into a more richly nuanced mocha abetted by plum and a whiff of leather. The wine finishes medium long with a burst of cherries and black pepper right at the end.
We like this wine right now but it likely will develop more character if given two or three years in the bottle. (It was aged in French oak at the winery.) Enjoy it with informal fare from prime rib finished on the grill to smoked chicken or pork.
By Colette and John Bancroft. She is the Times' book editor, and he is a freelance writer specializing in food, wine and travel.