There is almost no other wine that just screams SUMMERTIME as Vinho Verde! It is a lovely light white wine that comes from Portugal. It is just delicious on it’s own, as an apertivo, or with nice light tapas dishes!
So what and where is Vinho Verde you ask? Well it’s not only a style of wine, but it is also a region of Northern Portugal. It is to the west of the Douro region where Port is made and to the south of the Rías Baixas region of Spain, separated by the Minho River. The entire region covers over 2,700 square miles, roughly 8% of the country’s land surface!! The weather is similar to the American Pacific Northwest with temperatures ranging between 46°F in winter and 68°F in the summer months; the average mean temperature is 58°F. Annual rainfall is particularly high just over 47 inches with most of the rain occurring in the winter and spring months.
Ok, so what makes up that bottle of that Vinho Verde?? Well, white Vinhos Verdes are often blends of different grapes, but bottlings from single grape varieties such as Alvarinho and Loureiro can be found. Stylistically the whites display apple/pear and citrus flavors and range from 9 to 12% in alcohol content. The wines are well-known for their fresh, vibrant quality and youthful fruit. Most of the wines are intended to be enjoyed within a year to 18 months of release. Some of the wines offer a delightful hint of spritz. So if this doesn’t scream SUMMERTIME! Then I don’t know what does.
And this bottle is one of my favorite. Super lean, tight, crisp and delicious. It is produced from the vines that surround the family house at Quinta da Aveleda. It is a blend of two of the most popular white grapes, loureiro (80 percent) and alvarinho. The Estate Aveleda can trace their roots back to 1870 when started by Manuel Pedro Guedes. The estate was winning awards as far back at the international competitions of Berlin in 1888 and Paris 1889. Today the Guedes family has gone through many generations, and now the Fourth Generation is made up of six siblings running the Estate. They are presently the largest exporter of Vinho Verde in all of Portugal.
This bottle has hints of apples and pears, which come together harmoniously in the mouth, with a persistent fresh feel. It is very dry on the palate, refreshing and crisp with a mineral aftertaste.
As mentioned earlier, its ideal as an aperitif or shrimp toast, or any seafood dish featuring lemon.