How to read green wine labels – 03/05/2024 – Red or White

How to read green wine labels – 03/05/2024 – Red or White


One of the best pairings for Passion Friday bacalhoada, white verde wine is very popular at this time of year. Jeez! For! White green wine? Like this? Vinho verde does not refer to the color of the wine. It is the name of the Denomination of Controlled Origin (DOC), a demarcated region in the northwest of Portugal, on the border with Spain. There are white Vinho Verde, red Vinho Verde, rosé Vinho Verde and, silly, today there are even orange Vinho Verde. It’s the official name.

Even before the demarcation of the area in 1908, however, the region’s wines were already known as Vinhos Verdes, although it is not clear why. Some say it’s because they’re very fresh, others because the region has a lot of greenery. It rains a lot there and the vegetation is lush. Until a few decades ago, Vinho Verde wines were quite simple, rustic wines, with a little fizz, but today there are some quite elegant and sophisticated ones.

Still, green wine labels don’t have much standardization that helps consumers know what they’re getting. There is, for example, no single way to indicate whether wine has been aged in wood or not. There is no quality classification between them as there is in Burgundy or Bordeaux.

In addition to price, the main indications of quality come from the grape and the sub-region (and the prestige of the producer, of course, but only those who know a lot about wine can remember the names of several producers). autochthonous. The most famous grape in the region is, without a doubt, the white alvarinho. It is a grape that produces quite elegant and, in general, somewhat expensive wines. Among the white ones, I also really like the laurel, the reverse, the azal and the arinto.

Red Vinho Verde has less prestige than white. Of the red grapes, the best known is vinhão. Unlike Alvarinho, it produces generally more rustic wines, very acidic and tannic reds. It is common to make red wine sparkling wine. It goes wonderfully well with a feijoada. Better than a caipirinha. I recently discovered alvarelhão, which I loved. This, super delicate, yields clear, translucent wines, with good acidity and aromas of red fruits.

There are nine subregions. If the wine is an alvarinho, look for DOC Monção and Melgaço, where the climate is a little drier and warmer. In the case of laurel, the best sub-regions are Lima, Cavado and Ave. For the other side, Amarante and Baião. Amarante also produces good reds, as does Paiva. Apart from Monção and Melgaço, the sub-region is rarely mentioned on the label, but it often appears on the back label.

See below the example of Anselmo Mendes Alvarinho Muros Antigos 2022 (R$ 246.90, at Decanter):

1 – Signature of winemaker and producer Anselmo Mendes, known as Senhor Alvarinho for being the professional who explored the most and who best masters this white grape variety. This name is worth keeping.

2- Muros Antigos is a line from Anselmo Mendes Vinhos. The line has three different labels: this alvarinho, a laurel and a cut, which was called Muros Antigos Escolha.

3 – Alvarinho is the noblest grape variety in the demarcated region of Vinhos Verdes. This white grape yields very elegant wines, with aromas, good acidity and structure. It is the same grape as the Spanish albariño.

4 – Indicates the harvest. Vinhos verde are famous for their freshness. Therefore, in most cases, it is better to opt for young wines. However, there are green wines with good aging potential. Especially the alvarinhos. This one, according to the producer, has a storage potential of 10 years. Another tag of his, Anselmo Mendes is described as having 20-year-old guard potential. The tip is: if the wine is cheap, choose the most recent vintage possible. Avoid, for example, wines priced at R$40.00 in the supermarket from the 2019 vintage. If it’s expensive, you can buy older vintages.

5 – Monção and Melgaço are two villages in the Portuguese region of Minho. In its surroundings, there are the best terroir conditions for Alvarinho. Therefore, the controlled designation of origin (DOC) Vinho Verde Alvarinho Monção e Melgaço was created, which can only be used for wines produced with Alvarinho grapes produced in this sub-region. DOC Vinho Verde can be used for wines produced in the demarcated Vinho Verde region, which more or less coincides with the Minho region on the political map of Portugal. Additionally, there are a series of rules for these DOCs. However, there are still wines that use the Minho geographical indication (GI), which has less strict rules. Having the DOC is a sign of quality.

6 – Indicates the volume of the bottle.

7 -Anselmo Mendes, in addition to being the name of the owner, is the name of the winery.

8 – Alcoholic strength 12.5%

LINK PRESENT: Did you like this text? Subscribers can access five free accesses from any link per day. Just click the blue F below.


Source link