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Vinho Verde

Vinho Verde is Portugal's largest DOC region by far, up in the northwest corner of the country around Oporto. The sheer volumes produced and exported have made Vinho Verde one of Portugal's better-known wines internationally. At least, it is the Vinho Verde white version that is popular; many consumers are unaware that just over half of all Vinho Verdes are red, probably because the Portuguese keep nearly all of it to themselves.

The name means "green wine", but that doesn't refer to the greenish tinge in many of the whites, but to the fact that the wine, both red and white, is released young for quick consumption. Its youth means that there is usually a slight petilance (residual carbon dioxide), even a positive sparkle, in many bottles (indeed some are deliberately carbonated before bottling), as well as generous dollops of raw, palate-scouring acidity.

Most wines are blends of various local grapes, and each sub-region has its own particular specialities, Loureiro and Trajadura for example being especially favoured in the central part of the DOC. But Alvarinho is the best known white grape also used in Spain known as ‘Albarino’ this grape makes some of the best Vinho Verdes.

The whites have a simple, bracing, lemony charm that can be appealing enough at the height of summer. Sensitive taste buds may shun the reds, however, which are astringently dry as well as slightly fizzy, not a combination familiar from any other European wine (which is why they hardly ever leave the region). But if you want to try something different then Vinho Verde Red (Tinto) is one to go for.

LoveYourTable.com offers some of the best Vinho Verde Wine Selection online for you to enjoy.

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