Vinho Verde is both a region and style of wine.
- “Vinho Verde” is the name of the wine region in northern Portugal from which the wine style of the same name comes. “Verde” means "green," but in this case the term refers to the young style of this wine. It is bottled within 3-6 months of harvest and is meant to be consumed young. The youthfulness of the wine is evident by a slight petillance (bubble), caused by dissolved carbon dioxide, and its low alcohol levels, generally under 12%. The grapes are picked on the earlier end of harvest while the sugars are still somewhat low and the acidity is still very high.
- Vinho Verde can be made from white or red grapes and can be made as a red, white, or rose style wine. White versions are most commonly made from Alvarinho (called Albarino in Spain) or Loureiro. Red and Rose versions are most commonly made from Vinhao and Padeiro.
- Vinho Verde is located in northern Portugal, along the Minho and Duoro rivers. The area receives a high amount of rain and has an abundance of green vegetation, which some believe contributes to the region’s name. Because of the moisture, vines are commonly trained on pergolas where the vine grows along the top and the grapes hang down underneath the structure. This provides airflow around the grape clusters to guard against mold and rot.
- Vinho Verdes are very affordable, commonly priced under $15 and many available under $10.
- Because of its youthful style, Vinho Verdes are high in acid which makes them great food pairing wines, especially with seafood and vegetable-based dishes.