Few wines signify summer quite like Vinho Verde. These fresh, young wines are fun, easy to drink and the perfect libation for spending the day in the sun. They’re also incredibly affordable. Some of the best Vinho Verde’s you can find are under $10 a bottle, and while you could spend more, you don’t need to. These are simple wines that serve their purpose perfectly, lubricating a playful summer evening.
Made in Portugal, Vinho Verde literally means “green wine” in Portuguese and its name fits the way it is supposed to be consumed, in its youth when the wine is fresh and lively. While it’s not carbonated, due to their youth Vinho Verde’s can have a slight effervescent quality that accentuates the wine’s refreshing acidity. Drinking a glass of Vinho Verde can often taste like the most delicious lemonade you’ve ever had.
The region the wine comes from is the largest in Portugal, and the landscape where it grows is lush and green, located right near the Atlantic ocean. Those oceanic breezes help to create the bright fruit that’s used to make this refreshing wine, and it’s the ideal personification of the place it’s made, the perfect wine for the beach.
It is also one of the most picturesque wine regions in the world, thanks to the trellising system the winemakers use to snake the vines along the hills. Some of the vines even climb up telephone poles, allowing winemakers to take advantage of every square inch of farmable land to grow these refreshing grapes.
Vinho Verde is traditionally made from a blend of grapes most wine drinkers have never heard of apart from the most famous grape Alvarinho, known as Albariño is Spain. But wines that utilize the Alvarinho grape in the blend, which is considered to be of higher quality, carry a higher price tag, which you don’t really need to spend for this wine. So don’t worry that you’ve ever heard of the grape names before, and just trust that the wine is refreshing and delicious.
An added bonus of Vinho Verde is that the wine is extremely low in alcohol, normally at around only 8%, making it the perfect libation for a pool party or picnic in the park. It’s refreshing with just enough alcohol to liven up the party, but not too much that the booze combined with the sun will leave you passed out on the blanket instead of enjoying a game of frisbee or capture the flag with friends.