A Guide to Vinho Verde | Portugal’s Favourite WineFebruary 17, 2020
Portugal is famous for a few things… The Algarve, Port Wine and Christiano Ronaldo. However we know Portugal for a specific type of wine, Vinho Verde!
Vinho Verde wine is readily available in the UK, however some people may shy away from it because they aren’t sure what it may taste like. After all, Vinho Verde’s direct translation is ‘Green Wine’. With this in mind, we thought that it would be a great idea to let you all know a little bit more about Portugal’s favourite wine. This is our guide to Vinho Verde.
WHAT/WHERE IS VINHO VERDE DOC?
Vinho Verde DOC is a demarcated region, made up of nine sub-regions in Northern Portugal. Sometimes people mistake Vinho Verde for being a grape, but this is not true. For wines that are produced in this area to be able to be called Vinho Verde, they have to comply with appellation laws.
As shown on the image above, Vinho Verde wine is produced in nine sub-regions, all with slightly different micro-climates, making their expressions of Vinho Verde unique to that area.
Vinho Verde is a blend of various grapes which produces very light and fresh white wines. Winemakers will add just under one bar of CO2 to the wine, which gives it a slight hint of fizz. Having said that, they Vinho Verde wines are still regarded as still wines and don’t qualify as semi-sparkling.
As mentioned, Vinho Verde’s direct translation is ‘Green Wine’, however, it actually means ‘Young Wine’. This is a style of wine that is meant to be drunk young. Vinho Verde isn’t really a wine that you’ll want to cellar for a long time.
FUN FACT: Originally, the wine was carbonated because winemakers would bottle it so quickly that the wine would finish fermenting in the bottle.
IS VINHO VERDE WHITE, RED OR ROSÉ?
Vinho Verde wine can be white, red and rosé but in the UK, we’ll see mainly white on the shelves in the shops.
WHAT DOES VINHO VERDE TASTE LIKE?
White Vinho Verde is light and very refreshing. This is due to the naturally high volumes of acidity. On the nose, expect fruity and floral aromas full of lime, grapefruit and white melon. The wine is low in alcohol, normally ranging between 8%-11% and is best enjoyed in the sun.
WHICH GRAPES ARE USED IN VINHO VERDE?
Chances are that you won’t have heard of the grapes as they are indigenous to Portugal and not well known.
WHITE GRAPES: Alvarinho, Arinto, Azal, Avesso, Loureiro, and Trajadura
Note: Alvarinho is known in Spain as Albarino. Also, there are more permitted white grapes to be used in Vinho Verde but these are the main recommended grapes.
RED GRAPES: Amaral, Azal Tinto, Borraçal, Brancelho, Espadeiro, Padeiro, Pedral, Rabo de Ovelha and Vinhão
Note: Again, there’s more permitted but these are the recommended red grapes.
BEST VINHO VERDE FOOD PAIRINGS
Seafood, all day, every day. The high acidity in Vinho Verde makes it a perfect pairing for Seafood. Luckily, if you’re in Northern Portugal or anywhere in Portugal for that matter, you don’t have to look far for great seafood. Bacalao (dried, salted cod), one of Portugal’s national dishes is perfect with Vinho Verde. The salt and the acidity go so well together, it’s unreal.
VINHO VERDE RECOMMENDATIONS
A fine modern Vinho Verde, with aromas of apple and grapefruit alongside herbal notes
Quinta da Lixa. Owned and operated by The Meireles family. They have been producing Vinho Verde since 1986 and now own vines in six different Quintas, amassing over 42 hectares.
This is £9.60 from Lightfoot Wines. Click here to see!
THANK YOU FOR READING OUR GUIDE TO VINHO VERDE WINE
We hope you enjoyed it and got a little bit inspired to try a new wine
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