Vinho Verde: Get it While it’s Hot

Something about August makes summer’s days feel numbered, though here in California the hot weather often lasts all through October. The combination of the back-to-school buzz and department stores’ jump-start on fall fashions gives you the sense that summer is already a thing of the past. And while I’m a big fan of autumn’s allure, there’s also much to be said for enjoying the radiance and candor of a summer day. And what better way to complement the delicious spirit of waning summer than with a picnic and a cold bottle of Vinho Verde?

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Vinho Verde is Portugese for “green wine,” but there is nothing wet behind the ears about this varietal, which has been grown in the Minho region of Northwest Portugal for centuries. Vinho Verde is Portugal’s largest DOC, and the nearby Douro region is home to the oldest appellation system in the world, established nearly 200 years before that of France.

Vinho Verde gets its name from the practice of harvesting its grape varietals slightly before they are mature. It is also meant to be drunk when it’s young. The flavors of Vinho Verde are unique, influenced by the native varietals that are used to make it, such as Alvarinho (also known as Albarino when it is grown in Spain), Azal Branco, Loureiro, and Trajadura.

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