By the way, this isn’t the first time inexpensive wine from Portugal has gained a foothold in the US. Back in the 60's and 70's, Mateus rose' was quite popular, the drink of choice for a lot of college students and young professionals. Vinho Verde is not nearly as well known;many casual wine drinkers have never heard of it.
Despite its low profile, Vinho Verde is relatively easy to find, especially Casal Garcia. Wine from other producers such as Alvarinho and La Famega are also readily available. Some experts single out specific wineries as the best producers, but honestly, I’ve never tried a bottle I didn’t like.
My amour for Vinho Verde is so great that I introduce it to everyone I know, especially white wine drinkers. The Portuguese also make a red Vinho but it is rarely exported. Admittedly, the tartness of the wine, so appealing to many of us in the ABC club, is too tangy for some. Its light lemony taste is very different from the rounded smooth flavor Chardonnay lovers favor.
If there ever was a wine without pretense, this is it. Vinho Verde is meant to be drunk young. Don’t hold on to it. Buy what’s on the shelf and drink it right away. In fact, you want to avoid bottles older than a year or so because you risk getting wine that’s gone flat.
Skeptics say it is urban myth that a summer fling can turn into lasting love, but they’re wrong. Since I began my affair with Vinho Verde, we’ve settled into a comfortable relationship. There’s nothing better to accompany light seafood dishes of shrimp, and clams. The clean citrus taste cuts right through the spice of Thai foods or the fat in fried chicken. Well chilled, Vinho Verde is also a perfect picnic wine, just right for cold poached chicken or salads. Of course, you don’t need food to enjoy it; it’s tasty enough on its own.
No question about it. I’m a one-wine woman during the summer season. I’ve got a lot of Vinho Verde sipping to do before Labor Day marks the unofficial beginning of fall. Until then, you can find me in a romantic mood sitting on a beach blanket holding on to summer, one glass at a time.