Wines everywhere in the world are mostly named after the grape varieties used to make them. This is not the case with Vinho Verde wines since it is named after the region it is formed in.
Vinho Verde is the DOC of Portugal, located in the North West, famous for its amazing wines. The term Vinho Verde means green wine but can be translated as a young wine.
The name young wine can be stated as true since the wine is released three to six months from the grapes’ harvesting. You will find these wines in reds, whites, and rosés, and they consumed very quickly after they are put in the bottle.
In Vinho Verde, you will find a slight fizz caused due to malolactic fermentation and the presence of carbon dioxide.
Even though this is determined to be the wine’s fault in winemaking, Vinho Verde’s winemakers keep this fizzy composition. Most customers love the fizzy nature, and in current times, winemakers add artificial carbonation to add a little sparkle.
Before knowing about the best Vinho Verde wines, let us investigate the different aspects of this winemaking and the wineries that produce some of the best wines in the world. It will help you better understand the wine value and assist you in choosing for any family function or get-together with your friends.
Table of Contents
- Grape Varieties in Vinho Verde Wines
- Top Vinho Verde Wine
- Final Verdict – Best Vinho Verde
Grape Varieties in Vinho Verde Wines
The wines produced in Vinho Verde are acidic, but the flavor is differentiated from the grapes used. The grapes used in making these wines are the steely Trajadura, mineral and creamy Avesso, subtly fragrant and fine mineral Alvarinho, floral Loureiro, and mineral Arinto, also called Pedernã.
Another type of grape known as Azal Branco is also used for producing these wines but is slowly declining in the region. This is also because ripening Azal Branco is not very easy. Moreover, the Azal Branco variety generally blends with aromatic grapes and does not withhold its characteristics.
Most of the grapes mentioned earlier are for white wines. Vinhão is a very famous variety in Minho that is used for producing red wine. The dark, acidic, and opaque red color of the grape helps in making red juice instantly. It is called Souzão in the Douro Valley and has wide plantations.
Each grape type is famous in different DOC sub-regions. There are a total of nine DOC sub-regions that are named after towns and rivers. These sub-regions are Monção e Melgaço, Amarante, Paiva, Baião, Cávado, Lima, Ave, Sousa and Basto.
Alvarinho is a very fine variety found in the Vinho Verde regions. This grape is used to make white wines that are full-bodied and have a subtle fragrance. You can find notes of lemon, lychee, jasmine, lemon balm, peach, passion fruits, orange zest, and orange blossom. The wines made from Alvarinho are rich in taste and have higher alcohol content.
Arinto is another variety that is quite versatile and grows in the Vinho Verde region. Here it is called Pedernã and is used to make more acidic wines with a refreshing, lively taste. You will find notes of lemon, apple, and lime in Arinto-based wines. Due to the acidic nature of Arinto, wineries use these for sparkling wines.
The term Loureiro means bay or laurel, and this grape varietal is widespread in the Vinho Verde region. You will find the aroma of laurel flowers, lime blossom, peachy fruits, apples, acacia, and orange blossom in Loureiro wines. The acidity in Loureiro wines is quite balanced that gives it a refreshing taste. Though this grape is used alone in current times, in earlier times, it was blended with Trajadura, Arinto, and Alvarinho.
Trajadura is another varietal that has originated from Vinho Verde. Trajadura is used to make wines that have more alcohol content and low acidic nature. The aroma of the wine is very gentle, and you will find slight notes of apple, ripe pear, apricot, peach, and orange blossom.
Avesso is also grown in Vinho Verde’s region; however, it is more found in the Douro region. The sub-region of Cinfães, Baião, and Resende provides the best soil condition for its development. Wines made from this variety are harmonious and aromatic, with a maximum of 11% alcohol content.
It is a red grape variety used for making red wines. It has quite a vast plantation in Vinho Verde and is also found in the Douro Valley. The coloring matter of the grape’s skin has a high concentration that provides immediate red juice. This makes the coloring capacity of the grape quite high.
Touriga Nacional is another variety of red grapes that are highly considered in Portugal. However, this red grape is used for making wines such as Nebbiolo, Pinot Noir, and Cabernet Sauvignon. This grape was originated in the Douro and Dão regions and is also found in some Vinho Verde wines.
Top Vinho Verde Wine
Below are some of the best red wines, white wines, and rosé wines from the Vinho Verde region.
Espiral Vinho Verde
Espiral is a white wine belonging to the Minho area in Portugal. This is a non-vintage wine with the aroma of citrus, green apple, tropical fruit, and bread dough. Mainly you will find more hints of lime and lemonade flavors and have a refreshing acidity. The finish of the wine is refreshing and crisp and leaves a touch of sweet candy on the lips.
The alcoholic content in this Minho wine is 9% and belongs to a very affordable range with amazing reviews. This is medium-dry wine produced from native grapes of the country. It is best to serve Espiral wine chilled and with dishes such as salads and fish. People can consume the wine as an aperitif and has carbonation to make it sparkle.
Casa De Vilacetinho Loureiro
Casa De Vilacetinho is made from both Loureiro and Avesso grapes. This Portuguese country Loureiro white wine has 11.5% alcoholic content and has a slightly acidic and fruit hint. You will find a pleasant floral style with tropical fruit and some more citrus notes. Furthermore, the wine also has a mixture of honey, pineapple, and peach.
The wine gives a pleasant feel to your mouth and leaves a refreshing acidic flavor. There are also end notes of grapefruit and honeyed pineapple, which stay in your mouth for a long time. It is best to serve Casa De Vilacetinho at 10 degrees Celcius. You can pair this wine with most snacks and appetizers. This wine has some amazing reviews.
Quinta de Linhares Avesso
Quinta de Linhares is made from 100% Avesso produced in the Portuguese region of Vinho Verde. There is about 5.8g/L residual sugar present in the wine, and it is full-bodied. This is one of the most recommended wines from the Avesso variety. Like the grape’s characteristic, the wine has a high alcoholic content of 13% and low acidity.
Quinta de Linhares is from the Agri-Roncao Vinicola winery and produced by Antonio Sousa winemaker. There are pleasant hints of apple and pear in the wine with grapefruit doses. The Quinta de Linhares wine has amazing depth and mouthful flavor, which gives you a refreshing feeling.
Vale dos Ares Alvarinho
Vale dos Ares Alvarinho is produced from Alvarinho, one of Portugal’s most famous grape varieties. The wine gets its name from the Vale dos Ares winery, where it is produced. You will find this wine in the Monção e Melgaço region of Portugal. This is a Northern Portugal-style white wine.
It offers hints of apricot, passion fruit, and pineapple in the wine. It is best to pair the Vale dos Ares Alvarinho with white meats, salads, grilled fish, seafood, or any Asian cuisine. This single varietal wine is one of the most exclusive wines in Portugal.
Estreia Vinho Verde Rosé
Till now, we have mentioned some of the best white wines of Portugal. However, the Estreia Vinho Verde Rosé is one of the best Rosé wines in the Minho area. The Estreia Vinho Verde wine is a blend of three different grape types. It is made from 10% Espadeiro, 30% Borraçal and 60% Vinhão. There is more portion of Vinhão used in this blend.
The alcoholic content in this wine is 9.5%, and the price of this Vinho Verde wine is affordable. It offers slight hints of strawberries, raspberry, sour cherry, and gooseberry in the wine. The taste of Estreia Vinho Verde is very light and refreshing with slightly more acidity. It is due to this acidity that it is not overwhelmed by sweetness. You can consume this wine with Italian cuisine, salads, desserts, and Oriental cuisine.
Anjos de Portugal Rosé
Anjos de Portugal is another Rosé wine from Portugal produced in the Quinta da Lixa winery. This wine is a blend of two different grape types, one of which is quite famous for producing red wine like Pinot Noir. This is the Touriga Nacional grape variety, which is used along with the Espadeiro.
The alcoholic content in this wine is 10.5% and is found at an affordable price range. You will get hints of citrus blossom, grapefruit, lime, strawberry, and lemon in this wine. Furthermore, there are also slight notes of red currant, watermelon, cherry, and some other red fruits in this wine.
Arca Nova Vinho Verde Rosé
The next addition to the collection of Vinho Verde Rosé wine is Arca Nova Vinho Verde. This is a single variety of wine made from Espadeiro. It contains 8 grams of residual sugar in every liter. The Arca Nova Vinho Verde comes at a very low price but is quite a good quality wine.
The wine is manufactured in the Arca Nova winery and contains 11.5% alcoholic content. This is one the best Portuguese rosé wines. There is a balanced acidity in this wine that refreshes your taste buds. You will find notes and aromas of lime, strawberry, and raspberry, which will remind you of summer.
Monte Baixo Vinho Verde Red
Monte Baixo has a white wine version, but here we have listed the red wine. Wineries blend three types of grapes to make this wine, which is Vinhão, Espadeiro, and Borraçal. It has an alcohol content of 10.5% with an acidic taste. It is better to serve this wine at 16 to 18 degrees Celsius.
The striking red color of the wine is mostly extracted from the red juice of the Vinhão’s skin. You will find balanced hints of red fruits along with a subtle astringency. You can serve this wine with black fruit jelly or subtly caramelized red meat. Moreover, this wine also pairs well with Portuguese cheese.
Final Verdict – Best Vinho Verde
Finding the best Vinho Verde is, without a doubt, a great experience. You can buy any bottle of this wine filled with richness, and it will not disappoint you. People have the choice to look for reds, whites, and rosés.
There are so many wines to look for and bring to the next party that you have with your friends and family. It is better to check everything about a wine before you purchase it. Make sure that it has good reviews and falls under the price border you have set for yourself.
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