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SIMPLE, LIGHT AND REFRESHING, VINHO VERDE ISINTIMATELY LINKED TO EASTER

02 April 2015
SIMPLE, LIGHT AND REFRESHING, VINHO VERDE ISINTIMATELY LINKED TO EASTER SIMPLE, LIGHT AND REFRESHING, VINHO VERDE ISINTIMATELY LINKED TO EASTER

One cannot even begin to talk about the famous Portuguese vinho verde without first undoing a possible misconception: there are white wines, red wines and rosé wines and the names are not related to the color of the liquid. "Vinho Verde - green wine- is a Denomination of a Controlled Origin (DOC) in the north of Portugal, on the border with Spain," says Manuel Luz, sommelier of the Fogo de Chão network and professor at SENAC.

This means that only wines produced in the Portuguese region of Minho can be called verde, even if other labels have been produced with the same grapes. "On the Spanish side of the border, in Galicia, lots of grapes known as albariño are used, which is the same as alvarinho in Portuguese territory," he explains.

"In general, it is a light wine, quite fruity, quite citric, with the highest acidity, very tasty and refreshing", describes Lucas Cordeiro, sommelier of Wine !. "Relatively affordable, it is the second best-selling type in Portugal, behind only those produced in the Alentejo," he states. White wines are by far the preferred, followed by rosé wines - red wines are less popular.

According to Manuel, with the exception of places with a strong Portuguese influence, such as Rio de Janeiro and Recife, in Brazil, vinho verde is drunk almost exclusively at Easter. "It is very much related to an affective memory, it is a sort of rescue of cod, wine and the ancestors’ customs, as the celebration is one of the great parties of the gastronomic calendar," he believes.

Due to the characteristic lightness, vinho verde should, in principle, accompany equally light dishes. "A salad or a codfish with a lot of potatoes," says Lucas, but there are those who prefer to harmonize by contrast, like Manuel. "Cod is a strong dish, so it's good to have something refreshing to drink," he explains.

Verde is just the name

There are two versions besides the official one for the name vinho verde. "The official version is that the Minho region is the greenest part of the country, where there used to be vines planted on trees, a technique known as a hanging vine," says Lucas.

The unofficial versions are based on the fact that verde is the opposite of mature. "There are those who say that it is called that because it is a wine to be drunk immediately, and up to a maximum of three or four years.

There are also those who believe that the name refers to the ripening of the grapes, which was not very good in the past."

 

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