Man, I have made my find of the summer! With heat like we have had those last weeks, there is nothing like a well chilled down white wine. Even better if the people who make it know what heat means. And in vinho verde country, that is Northern Portugal, they sure do…I am even willing to forgo my riesling snobbishness for this.
I first came across vinho verde (literally green wine) through my good friend Nair, who comes from the beautiful town of Porto, and whose father happens to own a winery along the Douro river. Whenever he came to visit, he would bring bottles over bottles of vinho verde and his house red. All bottles unlabeled. He also brought gallons of olive oil that they produce, so Nair also distributed that among us, because she is a great friend! (And we threatened her if she did not give us some…)
Vinho verde is to be drunk young, and it usually is still a bit fizzy. It is dry, but remains fruity, usually lower in alcohol content which makes it easy to enjoy in the heat. Those memories made us pick a bottle from Trader Joe’s display two weeks ago. At $4.49 there is not much one can do wrong we thought. And nothing wrong with it there was!
We have made several runs to TJ’s in the last weeks to stock up because we are constantly running out of it. I think it is just what summer should taste like: In the glass you get a light colored, depending on the bottle more or less fizzy wine. The nose is full of fresh apple and pear and some fresh grass. When you try it, it is a dry wine, but not too dry. The fruitiness is amazing, but the acidity gives you that refreshing race over your tongue. At 9% ABV there is also nothing to worry about.
Simply put: It is delicious. And at that price, it is a steal! So, better pick some up while the heat lasts, and TJ’s supplies do as well…I for one am sure that I will make a couple more runs in the not too distant future….
If you’re not in Trader Joe’s country, go and pick up some other vinho verde. Chances are that it won’t be too expensive, fruity and fresh, and just be the right thing on a hot summer’s day! Just make sure you drink it well, well chilled.