If you aren't already a fan of this northwestern Portuguese wine, you should be. Vinho Verde is light & refreshing with citrus and nice acidity, sometimes with a hint of fizziness due to malolactic fermentation.
Like Riesling, you can drink it as an aperitif, with just one course or through an entire meal. It leaves the palate refreshed and usually does so with a lower alcohol content. It's no big bold red wine, but it's never meant to be. Vinho Verde stands firmly on its own, a coastal wine for coastal food, and my friends and neighbors have become accustomed to seeing it served at every wine gathering I host, alongside other wines that may change from season to season or moment to moment.
Here are my tasting notes:
Tapada do Marquês 2013; 10% ABV, List $13. A blend of Loureiro, Alharinho and Trajadura grapes, a floral and fruity nose is matched on the palate with lime, passion fruit, and apricot with tart acidity. A dry, lemony finish makes this wine ideal for pairing with seafood; I'd love to try it with my favorite grilled flounder recipe.
Quinto de Curvos Avesso 2013, 13% ABV, List $13/bottle. Delicate floral notes expand across the palate and evolve into a creamy, warming mixture of tropical fruit with hints from apple, pear, & white peach stone fruit. A hint of residual sugar, a note of granite and a funky back palate will allow this vinho verde a plethora of food pairing options.
Quinta de Santa Maria Arinto 2013. 12.5% ABV, List $15/bottle. 100% Arinto grapes make this delicate and crisp wine a joy to drink with a blossom and citrus nose, powerful lemon-lime initial palate, nice minerality, with a long finish. Leaving a tart, crisp aftertaste on the tongue, this wine had me asking for more. A delightful single varietal, I'd love to serve this with a sunny brunch outdoors.
Quinta do Tamariz Loureiro Escolhua 2013. %11ABV, List $15/bottle. Fruit forward with lots of pineapple and white peach, moves from refreshing to mature to majestic in the mouth with a crisp finish. Made from 100% loureiro grapes by winemaker Mara Francisca. This wine could pair beautifully with fish or chicken recipe made with herbs, cream, or vegetables.
Each of these four showed different nuances and strengths and could easily be a part of your wine repertoire. With low street prices they offer a lot of bang for the proverbial buck, so please advise if you find a great bargain on these in your neighborhood!
à votre santé!