Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Portuguese Wine: Vinho Verde

Vinho Verde is the region, not a grape or a style of wine. It's in the northwest corner of Portugal. It's as if you’re saying, "I think I’ll have a Burgundy," except you’re having a white wine made somewhere else,  from grapes you've probably never heard before. The grape varieties used in making white Vinho Verde are usually Loureiro, Arinto, Trajadura, Avesso, and Azal. They also make red and rose in the region, and all are youthful wines intended to be consumed soon after bottling. In fact, Vinho Verde means, "green wine." It’s not a color reference, but a suggestion that the wine is quite youthful.

Aveleda Vinho Verde 2015

Owned by the Guedes family, the Aveleda winery has been in business since the 1870s. The business is being run by fourth-generation winemakers now, with the 5th generation waiting in the wings for their turn at the helm.

We ceremoniously unscrewed the cap on this one during a picnic at the Hollywood Bowl. It was perfect for the occasion, crisp, light and refreshing. The wine sells online in the $10 range, sometimes well below that. There is a low alcohol content of 9.5% abv, typical in the style.

It features a great, lemony nose with a palate that is refreshing and citrus driven. Minerals lead the way right through the sip into the finish.

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