Tag Archives: Vinho Verde

A healthy wine for healthful resolutions

Now that we’re a few weeks into the new year, you may be in one of two groups: You’ve done a great job of sticking to your resolutions, or you’ve already thrown them out the window.

We hope the former applies to you, and not the latter — especially if you resolved to drink better wine this year — but if you find yourself already abandoning your pledge to eat healthier and drink less, our wine recommendation and Ann Vogel’s healthy recipes for the new year will hopefully get you back on track.

Vogel suggests two dishes that are loaded with veggies and colorful super foods — and recipes that can be easily tweaked to keep them interesting time and time again. They are fresh and quick to make.

The wine we’re recommending for this dish is also fresh, easy to find and it might fit into a third resolution category — it’s affordable.

Vinho Verde is one of our favorite wines for salad. It’s a light, bright, low-cal white wine with a little spritz that makes it especially refreshing. It’s alcohol percentage is fairly low at around 11 percent, but it is more tangy than sweet, unlike most wines with alcohol at this level.

Translated the wine means green, although the term refers to the wine’s youthfulness rather than its color or taste. Though technically Vinho Verde can be a red wine, it is typically made from the white grapes Albarino, Loureiro, and Trajadura.

Vinho Verde comes from the Minho region of northwestern Portugal, a denominação de origem controlada. Vines are grown in a lush countryside from along the coast and into the foothills. These mountain-grown vines produce fuller bodied wines.

The wine’s flavor profile is filled with tart citrus and green apple flavors.

So as you head into 2013, consider this typically budget-friendly, low-alcohol white wine that is a heathy drink and a great pair to Vogel’s stir-fry with shrimp and veggies and her tasty greens with fresh Mandarin oranges, almonds and ginger-soy vinaigrette.

Consider this favorite: José Maria da Fonseca Vinho Verde for around $8.

A wine recommendation for Israeli Couscous

Ann Vogel’s Israeli Couscous Autumn Salad has many flavors to pair with: sweet, tangy, nutty, acid, honey, apples, cranberries and grains.

When looking for a wine that would work with everything going on in this dish, we decided a wine from the Mediterranean region — with its crisp and refreshing notes and just the hint of sparkle — would be a match made in heaven for your mouth.

On a recent trip to the local grocery store — and after returning from Long Beach to dig up some razor clams — Mary spied a familiar bottle that she hadn’t had in some time. The wine was the perfect match for the razor clams.

It’s not a full sparkling wine, but it has a tingly effervescence that cleanses the palate when eating fried foods.

The wine was a luscious Vinho Verde from the DOC region of Northwestern Portugal. This white wine’s main grape is Alvarinho, but up to six other grapes are also used to make the wine, including Avesso, Azal, Pedernã, Loureiro and Trajadura.

This wine is always drunk young — within a year of release. It is crisp and refreshing like a slightly tart autumn apple. It’s a light to medium bodied wine with a low alcohol content, around 9.5 percent.

For Vogel’s couscous, we recommend a Fâmega Vinho Verde. It has citrus, bright apple and fresh pear flavor that’s pleasant and mellow and has flowery aromas. In finishes with delicious notes of mineral and citrus peel.

This wine should be served very cold, around 40 to 45 degrees. It can be found at Fred Meyer for $8.

Weekly wine defined: Green

Mary writes:

Today’s wine term is green.

There are several wines associated with the word green. “Vinho Verde” is Portuguese for green wine that hails from the Minho region to the north. Green also describes biodynamic or organic wines.

But the green we want to talk about is used as a tasting descriptor. Green flavors could be: green pepper, or other vegetal characters. These characteristics tend to occur more in reds than whites, only because whites generally have more sweetness to mask those vegetal flavors.

Under ripe grapes can be blamed for making a wine taste green. So can young vines or a soggy area in the vineyard. These all can contribute to the green vegetal character.

And, as a result, the wine lacks richness and the balance we so often seek in wine is not found.

What wine goes with fish tacos?

In today’s paper you may have noticed the back of the sports section where columnist Ann Vogel gave a couple recipes for fish tacos.

We decided to give you a couple of wine options to go with those recipes. Our column ran at the bottom of the page, but in case you don’t get the Kitsap Sun’s print edition, we’ve also provided the wine pairing suggestions below.

Look to Argentina, Portugal wines to pair with fish tacos

Balmy warm breezes, a sunny beach hut covered with palm fronds and something cold to drink.

That’s the image conjured up when we think about where fish tacos may have originated.

When pairing fish tacos with wine, the first “sunny wine” that comes to our mind is torrontes — a white varietal found in Spain and Argentina. It’s similar to a sauvignon blanc, but with less oak. (And less oak is best when a spicy salsa is involved).

We recommend Argentinian winery Bodega Norton’s Torrontes, a tasty and affordable wine that is easily found at any grocery store.

The other white wine that would be a great match for Ann Vogel’s fish taco recipe is vinho verde. A Portuguese wine with a direct translation of “Wine Green”. (Or as we Americans say: “Green Wine”).

The green refers more to the fact that it is a young wine, rather than an underripe or organic wine. Vinho verde has a subtle spritz, low alcohol content and is not dry. We recommend Terra Antiga Winery’s vinho verde.

A good torrontes or vinho verde can be found at the grocery store from $7 to $9.

If you’re looking to go lighter on the alcohol, consider a white wine spritzer. The “spritz” is refreshing and the wine would give flavor with just a hint of alcohol.


Brynn and Mary