20 November 2013

November Wines of Vinho Verde

Over the years, I've recommended Vinho Verde for Thanksgiving, and in those cases I was talking about the green, slightly sweet, low alcohol wines most often associated with that region of Portugal. Yet over the years I've had the opportunity to try a lot of different wines from Vinho Verde, and while both of these have a little fizz on them, they are otherwise serious, delicious, and food-friendly bottles that would still certainly be welcome on the Thanksgiving table.

NV Quinta da Lixa Aromas das Castas
Vinho Verde
Alvahrino, Trajadura
$13, 12.5% abv

Bone dry, light aromas of apple blossoms and touch of lemony acidity on the palate. Gentle fizz and a delicate, mineral-driven finish. If ever a wine screamed out for roast turkey with gravy, it would be this one.

2012 Quinta das Arcas Conde Villar Rosé
Vinho Verde
100% Esapadeiro
$10, 11.5% abv.

Again, a slight fizz that mostly disappears as the wine rests in the glass. There is an alluring tart apricot skin aroma but with a gentle light fruit body. Once again, this is a dry rosé, and one with a light raspberry finish that keeps you coming back for more. In the eternal struggle of ham vs. turkey for Thanksgiving, this is the one that is going to appeal more to the ham lovers. I count myself in that group, and have been known to smuggle in jars of Dijon mustard to family gatherings. Nothing quite like a roast ham with brown sugar glaze and a healthy dollop of mustard.

Note: These wines were provided as samples for review.

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