Vinho verde, a perfect summer wine
|Refreshing, light, and bubbly -- could you ask for more from a summer wine?|
"Vinho verde" literally means "green wine" -- but not because of its color. "It refers to the fact that it's drunk young, and not meant to be aged," says Terrence French, wine consultant for Surdyk's Liquor. You don't want to cellar this kind, according to French.
The effervescence is supposed to come from the still-active yeast (because of how young it is), but the presence of yeast makes the wine cloudy, which doesn't fly with foreign markets, says French. So, most vinho verdes available in the U.S. are clear and have carbon dioxide pumped into them to ensure the fizziness they're known for. "It feels like cheating, but it makes a wine more palatable to a foreign audience," says French.
Ready to relish the remaining days of summer? Here are four bottles worth pouring:
- Casa de Vila Verde
Slightly fizzy and a little more serious than other vinho verdes, with strong albarino leanings. $9.99 at Surdyk's Liquor.
Very light in color and body, it's dry but still fruity. $6.49 on special at Surdyk's Liquor; $7.99 regularly.
Almost interchangeable with Famega, it's also a supremely drinkable bottle with light, fruity flavors and that signature bubbly quality. $4.99 on special at Surdyk's Liquor; $5.99 regularly.
Light and dry with lots of citrusy notes. $7.99 at Chet's Wine & Brewsky