Wine of the Week #3 – Espiral Vinho Verde (Portugal)

With temperatures on the rise, and summer looking to stick around for a while, I thought it appropriate to feature a wine that is definitely summer-ish.  So today’s victim is a white wine from Portugal called Vinho Verde

Espiral Vinho Verde

Portugal > Minho Province

Purchased From: Trader Joe’s ($6)

Vinho VerdeMy Take:

If Champagne and Sauvignon Blanc were to have a love child, Vihno Verde would be it.  It’s dry, super-acidic, fizzy, and delicious!  It’s also pretty straightforward – lots of green apple and lemon flavors with a finish that is slightly bitter.  Some describe it as semi-sweet, but I disagree.  It’s pretty tart.

Backstory:

One of the more unusual things about Vihno Verde is the way it is produced.  Grown in the northwest corner of Portugal, the wine is a blend of as many as seven grapes.  Unlike the large, sprawling, neatly trellised vineyards we all know and love, Vinho Verde growers allow their vines to grow up the sides of trees, fences, and even telephone poles – anything high off the ground.  There are over 30,000 Vihno Verde growers in Portugal, most of whom primarily grow vegetables and other forms of produce.  They sell their small batches of grapes, almost as an afterthought, to large producers who bottle and sell the wines.

Vihno Verde is meant to be drunk almost immediately after bottling – within  a year – in fact the name Vihno Verde, mistakenly translated to “green wine” by many, actually means “young wine.”  Fortunately, Trader Joe’s moves mountains of the stuff so you’ll never have to worry that it’s been on the shelf too long.

Food:

This wine is incredibly flexible – it goes great with your summer BBQ, spices up your fish or chicken, and feels right at home with salad and fresh veggies from the garden.

Technical Stuff:

Blend of up to seven grapes: Alvarinho, Arinto, Avesso, Azal, Loureiro, Trajadura.  Alcohol: 9%

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