As the weather starts to warm, we can’t help but think about the beach, outdoor festivals and backyard BBQs.
And this year, the perfect wine for all that alfresco fun may just be a Vinho Verde. Not only is it light and refreshing, but some wines have this wonderful effervescent is thirst-quenching and practically energizing.
Even better, they are low in alcohol so you can drink them all day and still tk
And while these wines have gotten a bad rap in the past for being cheap and sweet, there is a “tranquil revolution happening,” says Manuel Pinheiro, president of the Vinho Verde Commission. Today the wines are being made with more richness and complexity, without ever touching wood barrels.
So this is a wine worth learning more about. Here are five more things you need to know about Vinho Verde.
1. Vinho Verde is a region.
Located in the northwest part of Portugal, near Spain, the region is one-fifth of the country. And because it faces the Atlantic Ocean, it gets a lot of rain and is very lush, says Pinheiro. There are 45 indigenous grapes in the Vinho Verde region, but basically nine are used in the wines — six white grapes and three red ones. (Yes, there are red wines from the Vinho Verde.)
2. It’s a young — not green — wine.
While “verde” translates to “green” in Portugal, the “green” refers to the wine being young, it is not meant to reference the color. Although some of the wines do have that straw, pale green hue.
3. There are two main grapes used in the wines.
“About 85% to 90% of the wines are made with the Alvarinho and Loureiro [white] grapes,” say Pinheiro.
Wine from the Loureiro is floral and light — the perfect wine to drink by the pool.
The Alvarinho, is the Portuguese spelling of the Albariño grape from Spain. So it’s the same grape. You’ll get more fruit aromas here — like grapefruit and pineapple and it is a bit more full-bodied so it can handle a fish dish or any of your Thai takeout.
4. The blends have that fabulous fizz.
Many of the wines from the region are blends, must be drunk young and have that refreshing effervescent that is added during the bottling process. The wines tend to be a bit sweeter but they pair perfectly with barefoot stroll in the park.
5. The single varietals can age.
Who knew? A single varietal Loureiro can last a good three years, whereas a good Alvarinho can age for ten, says Pinheiro. “And the older Alvarinho develop beautiful aromas that come out later.”
So start trying these wines. There are tons of them and MANY are under $10. And it’s time to start drinking out on the deck.
Tracy Byrnes, former FOX Business Network anchor and host of “Wine with Me” for Foxnews.com, is editor-in-chief and chief contributor of The Sip.