: Despite its diminutive dimensions this wonderfully atmospheric wine bar manages to cram more than 200 different bottles of wines onto its shelves, all of them Portuguese. Rui Rossa and his team are passionate about wine, and their enthusiasm is clearly evident in the hospitality shown towards customers. Served by the glass, the origins of each wine and the grape varieties used are explained in an upbeat and informative manner. In fact they positively sing the tasting notes! If you're unsure about what to try, mention a region, a date and whether you prefer sweet or dry, red or white and they'll do the rest. A tasty ensemble of optional hams, cheeses, jams and other traditional delicacies help soak up the flavours. "You can travel through Portugal without leaving your seat," says Rui, explaining the concept behind the bar. Depending on your tastes, you'll be offered anything from a Granja Amareleja, a fruity red from the Alentejo region, to an earthy Sidónio de Sousa, a Bairrada red that Rui describes as "Portugal's Bordeaux." Embellishing the list is a fine selection of port and Madeira wines, Moscatel, late harvest and espumante (sparkling wine). The oldest wine in stock is the Madeira from 1883: a close second is the 1851 port. Expect to pay around 200 euros a pop to imbibe these magnificent drinks.
Bairro Alto/Principe Real's Best Bars
: Rui and his knowledgeable staff have made this cosy and intimate wine bar one of the most frequented in Bairro Alto. The wine list is very impressive – 200-plus bottles representing wineries from the length and breadth of Portugal, with some truly rare and intriguing labels among them. BA's sommelier's encyclopaedic knowledge of the country's best reds and whites and everything in between is formidable and her delivery a real pleasure to listen to. Complimenting the cellar is a menu of petiscos, delicious tapas-style finger food that represents the very best of Portuguese traditional gastronomy, delights that include cured hams and spicy sausages, sharp tangy cheeses, smooth sweet jams and freshly baked bread.