My spouse and I were perched on s in the corner of our favorite neighborhood restaurant a few years when I opted for a glass of rosé. With that glass of Vera Vinho Verde rosé, I became a fan (okay, super fan) of these highly drinkable rosés.
For a while, I stuck to tracking down only rosés from the Vihno Verde region of Portugal. These rosés tend to be a little less dry and more acidic than their French counterparts. With their lower alcohol, they pair well with many dishes. Rosés of Vinho Verde are typically made with a blend of Espadeiro, Padeiro , and Touriga Nacional red grapes.
It was on a visit to another restaurant that I tried a traditional white Vinho Verde and realized I was giving short shrift to these young, fun wines. I have since made amends and stocked up on a few bottles of Arca Nova Vinho Verde and slipped in a Casal Garcia rosé. Broadbent is another popular brand.
I had heard that Vinho Verde means green wine, but after a little online research I learned the word “verde” means young. And that makes sense, since these wines are released just three to six months after harvest.
For a little Portuguese wine trivia, winemaking has been happening in the Vinho Verde, located on the western coast of the Iberian peninsula, for more than 2,000 years, according to the website, Wines of Vinho Verde. Loureiro is the most commonly planted white grape in the region, and it is one of the main component in its white wines along with Alvarinhos.
But did I mention the bubbles? Vinho Verde wines have a touch of carbonation – not too much. These are wines that are easy to drink (year round), and quite easy on the wallet – many are less than $12 a bottle.
Beyond Vinho Verde, Portugal has many other excellent wines, and chances are you can find a less expensive Portuguese option of your favorite chardonnay, rioja or even cabernet. Just ask around the next time you’re in the wine shop or liquor store.
So as the weather heats up, stock up on Vinho Verdes wines and embrace this enjoyable taste of Portugal.
- Susan Geier