09 November 2011

Vinho Verde, Mas Não Verde

Because it's not easy being green, the folks at Vinho Verde Wines US sent along a white and a rosé from the northern wine region of Portugal famous for young, fresh wines. I'm always excited to try something off the beaten path, but I also got to add a few grapes to the life list with these wines.

Once again, Vinho Verde isn't really green, but most people just think about the slightly verdant, fizzy, low alcohol wine with a good dose of sweetness. It's a fun party wine and a great way to introduce people to wine in general. But the region also produces regular whites and reds and, new to me, a rosé.

2010 Casa de Vila Verde Branco
Vinho Verde
Blend of Arinto, Trajadura, Avesso, Loureiro, Azal Branco
$10, 11.5% abv.
Dark apple aromas and flavors with a bit of overripe peach. Tart and acidic but with a smooth finish. Just a touch of sweetness. Enjoyed with chicken and pasta, but should be great for a wide range of poultry dishes.

2010 Great Sense Vinho Verde Rosado
Vinho Verde
60% Touriga Nacional, 40% Espadeiro
$6, 10.5% abv.
Just barely fizzy, and bone dry. Ripe strawberry aromas and flavors, with mellow mouthfeel followed by a sharp tang on the finish. I was concerned that a six dollar pink wine was going to be sweet and rough, but I'm surprised at how much I enjoyed this with a little crusty bread and brie on a sunny afternoon. Excellent picnic wine.

Note: These wines were received as samples.

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