A brief intro to Vinho Verde
Easy to drink, fresh, and affordable, the Vinho verde is one of the most iconic wines you can try in Portugal. It’s considered the perfect refreshment after a long day visiting Portugal, and a wine with plenty of secrets to uncover. In short, you can’t visit Portugal without trying the Vinho verde.
Just one of the ways you can enjoy it is by ordering an ice-cold bottle of Vinho Verde on a terrasse, especially in Lisbon or Porto. Why? Well first off, you’ll be enjoying an authentic taste of the Portuguese way of life. Secondly, the fresh wine and leaning back in your chair will be the ideal release after a day of tourism and adventure. No matter the weather, when your work or walk is done, the hour of the Vinho Verde begins.
What makes Vinho Verde special?
The Vinho Verde has its unique characteristics. It is typically light-bodied, low in alcohol, and exhibits a slight effervescence with some wines sparkling and others not. Although it’s important to note that Vinho Verde wines can not be referred to as sparkling wines.
Renowned for its zest and acidity, it has a refreshing and crisp quality, and it often displays notes of citrus, green apple, peach, and floral aromas. Some variations showcase mineral or herbal undertones. Vinho Verde is known for its fresh, crisp, and light character, making it a refreshing choice, particularly during warm weather.
Where does Vinho Verde come from?
Although primarily produced in the Minho region of northwest Portugal, Vinho Verde belonged originally to the district of Monçao in the extreme northeast of Portugal. The Minho region is located between the Douro River, to the south, and the Minho River, which serves as the border between Portugal and Spain, to the north. With its lush green landscapes, cool climate, and abundant rainfall, the Minho region has favorable conditions for growing the grapes used in Vinho Verde production.
Which grapes are used to make Vinho verde?
In terms of grapes varieties, the Vinho Verde is pretty versatile. It can be made from a blend of indigenous grape varieties. Some of the leading white grape varieties used in its production include Alvarinho, Loureiro, Arinto (also known as Pedernã), Trajadura, and Avesso.
Despite its proximity to the Douro Valley, the Vinho Verde does not share any grapes with the white wines of the most iconic vineyards of Portugal. The uniqueness of the Vinho Verde grapes contribute to the wine’s vibrant acidity, aromatic profile, and distinct flavors.
When is Vinho Verde best to drink?
There’s really no need to wait long at all to try this drink, the Vinho Verde is commonly enjoyed as a young wine, and is meant to be consumed within a year or two of its release. Its lively and vibrant nature makes it an excellent choice for casual occasions, outdoor gatherings, or as an aperitif. The wine’s low alcohol content and softer character make it particularly appealing during the summer months.
If you want the best Verde wine experience, ask our local guides if they’ve got any Vinho Verde coming in from the sub-region of Monção or Melgaço. The wines from these areas are particularly renowned for their production of Alvarinho, a high-quality grape variety that is often used in the production of premium Vinho Verde wines.