Spring has sprung around here, or more like summer really. Due to El Niño we’ve had an unusually mild winter and really hot spring, making it feel like we missed the gentle transition we’re used to. Naturally with this hot weather I’ve moved away from big bold red wines and have started thinking about drinking lighter whites.
One of my favourite crisp wines is Vinho Verde from northern Portugal. A couple years ago on a trip to the mountains we stopped in Calgary and I took the opportunity to visit the Kensington Wine Market. A very knowledgeable staff recommended to me the good valued Vinho Verde as a simple refreshing wine. We drank it that evening and I was impressed by its freshness and thirst quenching character. Since then I’ve taken any opportunity possible to try more. Today’s wine is not as good as that first one I tried but it is still very refreshing while being good valued to boot.
Look: This wine is a bright translucent straw colour with green hues , light in colour and pretty much has no legs whatsoever.
Smell: The aromas in this Vinho Verde are so lightweight you’d initially think it is bland but there is some delicate citrus aromas of meyer lemon and peel with some tree fruits like peaches. Along with the fruit there is a yeastyness, chalky minerality, and slight white flowers. Overall it is very subtle.
Taste: This delicateness continues once you taste this wine as it is light bodied with very racy acidity, quite tart and dry. There is some subtle bubbliness making it very refreshing. It has flavours of lime and tart green apple along with an herbally meyer lemon again. The finish is short but has an elderflower character and ever so slight sweetness at the end.
Conclusion: This Vinho Verde is definitely not as good as the one I had years ago but it is certainly refreshing to drink. Chilled properly it would be perfect for a hot summer day’s picnic. Vinho Verde’s are not known for being complex but I feel there could have been a bit more to this one and so I keep it at a 7.0+/10 because it is average. That being said, at $13.75 it far surpasses other cheap wines in the same price range. It would go well with seafood, could stand up to a green salad with vinaigrette, simple sushi, or even a big bowl of buttered popcorn. I will absolutely be keeping my eye out for more Vinho Verde in the future.
- Alvarinho, Trajadura
- Vinho Verde, Minho, Portugal
- Non-vintage – 11% ABV
- Adega de Moncão
- $13.75 at Chateau Wine & Spirits (Lacombe)
- Real cork