06 March 2013

Late Winter Vinho Verde

While I often crave the light and sparkly Vinho Verde in the hot Memphis summer, I enjoy it in the colder months as well. It's a fun wine to bring to family Thanksgiving, and during a cold March afternoon Julia and I got to sample these with various appetizers and sushi. The latter was a new pairing for me, but it worked out well. Nothing too terribly fancy, but the grocery store carries a lot of nigiri rolls and sashimi that are fun to nibble while watching TV.

Vinho Verde lightly sparkling wines are the ultimate in casual wine consumption. Low prices, low alcohol, low fizz, and delicate flavors. You can pair them with just about anything, and it doesn't hurt to keep a few bottles around for that guest that swears he or she "doesn't like the taste of wine". With Vinho Verde, there's none of the waiting around for a special occasion like with Champagne, it's more about trying to find any argument not to just open it up and enjoy it with a grilled cheese sandwich.

NV Broadbent Vinho Verde
Vinho Verde, Portugal
Loureiro, Trajadura and Pedernã
$9, 9% abv.

Dry and surprisingly earthy with aromas of citrus peel and peach. Small bubbles and a clean, fruity finish. This one needs to be served with ham or salmon or something else savory to enhance the earthiness and balance out the medium acidity.

2011 Lagosta Vinho Verde
Vinho Verde, Portugal
20% Arinto, 30% Trajadura, 30% Loureiro, 20% Azal
$7, 9% abv.

Lightly bubbly with crisp acidity and touches of apple and lemon, though still dry. It is pleasant and uncomplicated and refreshing, which after a long day at work is sometimes the perfect glass of wine.

Note: These wines were received as samples.

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