You may be surprised to learn that Portugal actually ranks 1st in the world, in per capita wine consumption. Best known for Port, Portugal is also home to Vinho Verde — “green wine” — it’s not actually green. This refers to the wine’s vibrant youthfulness, as well as the lush countryside in which it is grown, Northern Portugal (cool and rainy, influenced by the Atlantic).
Vinho Verde wines are made from a blend of the Loureiro grape (sometimes called the Riesling of Portugal) and indigenous grapes, such as Trajadura and Pedernã. Visually, it is bright, and almost clear, with a citrusy, slightly floral nose. Crisp lemon-lime tingles your tongue with a slight spritz, ending with a subtle melon finish.
This is a light-bodied uncomplicated, yet vibrant wine, easily paired with seafood and lighter fare. It can also hold up to spicy food. It is typically non-vintage and meant to be drunk young. We love its lively acidity, low sugar, at about 0.2 grams residual sugar (RS) per glass (1.2g/L), and low alcohol typically between 9-11%.
It can be found at most supermarkets, as well as most online wine shops and retails around $9.99.
Fun Fact: Some Vinho Verdes are produced without effervescence. You can tell these by the Burgundy (wider bottomed) shape, as opposed to the typical slender tapered bottle.