Portugal has centuries of winemaking history. As it was once a commercial powerhouse, it was also the source of some of the most renowned wines in history. The country has had downfalls, but slowly but surely, it’s gaining its well-deserved place amongst the finest sources of quality wine. Port is Portugal’s most prominent wine style. It’s a classic. Douro dry reds are doing well too; they’re now considered some of the best in their category rivaling old and new world examples. There’s one other wine style in the country that deserves our attention, especially for its humble, pure nature: Vinho Verde.
Vinho Verde : a young wine
North-western Portugal is an evergreen paradise with lots of rain and Atlantic humidity. The rivers that flow from the steep mountains to the ocean also help this fertile, leafy land prosper. This is home to Vinho Verde. The name literally means green wine. Yes, the white wine has hints of green and the nose reveals herbal undertones, but it’s the wine’s youth the reason for its colorful name.
Honoring local tradition, growers train the vines in pergolas to make the best of the limited space and to protect the grapes from the ground’s humidity. The most common grapes are Arinto, Loureiro and the noble Albarinho. Blended, they create a subtle, fresh, crisp style that goes well with the seafood of the region.
Vinho Verde is cheap and is always a great value. Modest alcoholic strength and mouthwatering acidity make it an easy sipper. The nose offers green apple aromas, white flowers, and herbs. The palate often with a hint of effervescence is delightful.
The next time you’re looking for a casual white for a warm day, remember Vinho Verde. Add it to your rotation and keep a bottle in the fridge. Few wines have such a noble character; a reminder that simple is beautiful too. And you can try to buy it on the internet!
PS : Yes, we heard you “green wine doesn’t exist…”, and guest what… yes it does not exist! The image is a trick 😉