Show of hands for the Vinho Verde fans in the room! You know what I’m talking about: those tall, skinny, green bottles in the wine section that caught my eye for years, but I passed right over them. Mainly because I had no idea what Vinho Verde was, and I was skeptical of finding quality wine at such a low price point.
I was finally introduced to this slightly effervescent “green wine” about three years ago as I was looking for a light and refreshing sparkling wine.
My husband recommended his favorite bottle because he didn’t want to shell out the big bucks to satisfy my champagne taste. And thankfully, I was very happily surprised. So much so that it has now become a beverage I look forward to sipping as the days get hotter and the nights get longer.
When I’m entertaining guests over the summer, I make sure there’s always a bottle in my fridge — it’s a crowd-pleaser that won’t break the bank. And as I’ve become an unofficial Vinho Verde ambassador, I’ve realized there are a few standard questions from those who are unfamiliar with the wine.
What exactly is Vinho Verde, and is it actually green wine?
Vinho Verde is a Portuguese wine that does, in fact, translate to “green wine”, but the wine itself is not green. Some people think that “green” refers to the young age of the grapes, which could be true, but there are great aged bottles in Portugal, so that thought is debated. It’s most commonly agreed that Vinho Verde has been given its name because of the rich green color of the region it comes from.
Growing wine has been part of the Portuguese culture for centuries – they produce red, white, and rosé with the majority being still! The bottles of Vinho Verde that you’ll see in America, though, will all be slightly effervescent and will either be white or rosé.
What does Vinho Verde taste like, and what pairs well with it?
I’m no sommelier, but I have drunk a lot of Vinho Verde. If I had to use two words to describe the taste, I would say “crisp” and “fruity”. It is a light wine that is refreshing and easy to drink, with prominent tropical and floral notes. Think: lemon and melons.
It’s a lighter wine that’s high in acidity, so it pairs well with light foods that have some sort of rich sauce, coating, or side. I would recommend any kind of seafood, fish tacos, a big chicken salad, and brunch foods.
What is the price point, and what bottles would you recommend?
One of the very best things about this wine is its price point. With most bottles being anywhere from $5-$14, it’s a steal. And, in my opinion, makes it the perfect wine to share with friends!
I’ve listed the bottles I’ve had and loved, but there are a lot of amazing ones out there. So grab a bottle, invite some friends over, and pair with Camille’s favorite fish tacos!