Woman on Wine
with Amy Reiley
You know what I want to drink in summer? Something cool, refreshing, possibly fizzy, that makes me want to say, “Ahhh.” I want it to leave no lasting impression. I don’t want to feel its weight on my tongue or enjoy lingering notes of toast and vanilla. America and other parts of the New World tend to make whites in styles I’d call my “winter whites.” (And yes, I drink white after Labor Day.) They’re lovely and luscious, often oily or creamy and many linger long. That’s not what I want.
When I think of wines for summer, I often reach for a wine from Austria, perhaps something Spanish, maybe Swiss, Italian or French. But I had an ephiphany at a recent tasting. I realized that there’s one nation with a rich winemaking history that I largely ignore: Portugal. And, in fact, most whites from Portugal perfectly fit the profile of my wines for summer. Here’s a little taste to whet your appetite:
2015 Aphros “Ten” Vinho Verde
Based on the wine’s zing of acidity, I was surprised to learn that the grapes come from a notably humid region. This is, simply put, a lovely, ready-to-drink wine. It has an interesting saline quality around the edges. (You know how your tongue sort of gets a salty feeling around the edges when you eat a salted caramel? It’s like that.) There’s a bright citrus note like sweet tangerine.
This is another lovely, easy-drinking and biodynamic wine from Aphros. (The winery is committed to biodynamic production for all their wines.) This wine is more generous with fruit and flower notes, like wildflowers, citrus blossoms and candied kumquats.
2015 Quinta de Saes Encruzado Reserva
There is surprising richness to this wine, yet it still manages to fit the criteria of my summer drinking profile. There are interesting green notes and a fantastic minerality as well as a fruity note of Meyer lemon juice.
2015 Quinta das Bageiras Colheita
If you like something a little different, this is your summer wine. It’s inexpensive, easy to drink and a little oddball. The nose offers indulgent floral/fruit blossom notes but the flavor is all crisp, fresh, youthful. I was told by the distributor that the wine ages well but who would want to wait?!
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