Sunday, September 25, 2011

Vinhas Altas Vinho Verde (2010)

One of the latest trends in white wine is Vinho Verde, a white wine produced in Portugal.  Vinho Verdes are also a fairly difficult wine to blog about.  It takes a little time to get information about the wine, and even longer if I want to include something about the winemaker.  When I reviewed the Opala Vinho Verde (2009), I was able to get enough information to talk about the background about this wine, including the types of grapes used and the DOC established for the wine. 

Recently, when I was working on the latest installment of my Around the World in 80 Dishes Challenge, I was able to try another Vinho Verde.  The challenge was Mozambique, a former Portuguese colony.  As part of the challenge, I was making Camarao Mozambique.  One of the ingredients in that dish is 1/4 bottle of white wine and, given the origins of the recipe, Vinho Verde was the recommended wine.  So, I bought a bottle of the Vinhas Alta Vinho Verde (2010).

The Vinhas Alta Vinho Verde is very similar to the Opala Vinho Verde.  The wine pours very light and clear, with heavy carbonation.  As the picture shows, there were a lot of bubbles that danced up the sides of the glass.  The aromas of the wine include crisp apple, some pear and even a little grass.   

After taking in the aromatic elements of the wine, I could taste green apples, just after taking the initial bite.  Not just any green apples, but apples that had marinated in a wine like Moscato.  The Vinhas Alta Vinho Verde has that sugary sweetness that is very reminscent of dessert-style Moscato wines. This sweetness provided a little different character to the Vinhas Alta, separating it from the Opala.  

As for pairing, I paired this wine with the Camarao Mozambique, a spicy shrimp dish from Mozambique.  I had restrained myself a little in terms of the spice, which was a good thing because it allowed the wine to shine a little more.  Other than somewhat spicy dishes, this wine -- like most Vinho Verdes -- pair very well with seafood dishes, as well as chicken dishes that include citrus (like lemon juice or lime juice).  

This wine is good, although I think the Opala Vinho Verde a little more.  This wine is available at local grocery stores and wine stores.  It is a bargain value at about $8.99 a bottle.


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