2013, Vale Do Homem, Vinho Verde DOC, Portugal
The Wine of the Week by Annette Tomei
Though the literal translation of Vinho Verde (pronounced ‘vino verd’) is green wine, the reference is to young wines that can be white, red, or rosé – all are recommended for drinking within their first year. The Vinho Verde DOC was designated in 1908. It is located in northwestern Portugal along the Atlantic coast and extending inland along the Douro River. Its cool, wet climate provides challenging conditions for ripening grapes; hence the characteristic high acidity and very low alcohol content of the average wine from this region.
Many Vinho Verde wines have a touch of effervescence, a slight prickle on the palate. This is attributed to malolactic fermentation taking place in the bottle. Though this may be considered a fault in other wines, it is happily accepted, even desirable, in Vinho Verde wines.
The primary white wine grapes of this region include Loureiro, Avesso, Trajadura, and Arinto (aka Pedernã). The Vale Do Homem 2013 is a blend of Loureiro, a variety known for its floral attributes, and Arinto for its minerally nature. The grapes of Quintas do Homem are grown in accordance with Integrated Production methods that regulate environmental and economic sustainability practices.
Floral aromas are spiced with lime zest and white pepper. This is a mouthwateringly acidic wine with refreshing stone fruit flavors and an astringent minerally finish. At 11.5% ABV, it is light to medium body and is a wonderful wine to pair with oysters and other shellfish. It will also go well with simple seafood preparations; or better yet, as the temperatures drop, a steaming bowl of miso ramen.
Annette is the founder of VinEducation, where she is a food and beverage educator and consultant. She is also a professional chef who frequently contributes delicious recipes to EatSomethingSexy.com.
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