Who isn’t looking for a fresh and lively white wine that’s easy to drink no matter the occasion and regardless of the season? And if the price is in the $10 range, even better.
The 2020 Vinho Verde from Muralhas de Monção checks all those boxes and more. I popped open a bottle the other night, enjoyed its ever-so-slight effervescence, and then was pleasantly surprised at how it evolved over the following couple of days.
The Vinho Verde region — the name refers to the youthful “green” wine — is in Portugal’s northwest corner. One of the top subregions, Monção and Melgaço, lies just across the Minho River from Rias Baixas in Spain, and the two areas, though separated by a border, produce similar wines from many of the same grapes.
In the Muralhas Vinho Verde, those grapes are Alvarinho and Loureiro. They combine nicely here, showing how Vinho Verde is becoming more substantial, with higher alcohol (12.5 percent), than the refreshing but simple wines it has always been known for.
Green apple, stone fruit, grapefruit, and floral notes pop on the palate along with the region’s typical light spritz, which is produced by an injection of carbon dioxide. Interestingly, a couple of days later, the effervescence had worn off and the tastes were more vivid. With its light, non-oaked style, it is reminiscent of Muscadet from France in texture and mouthfeel.
With its unbeatable price tag, this is a great wine to have on hand for easy drinking on its own and with a range of simply prepared foods, including broiled fish, sushi, spaghetti with clam sauce, and even fried chicken. The wine is produced by one of the biggest cooperatives in Vinho Verde, Adega de Monção.