SPONSORED Prepare to meet your perfect quaff for the steamiest of summer days: Vinho Verde. Named for its youthfulness, the name literally means green wine. Vinho Verde itself is not the grape varietal, but the DOC region on the northwest coast of Portugal. Rarely vintage dated, the wines of Vinho Verde are meant to be drank right away, as fresh as possible (with even a bottled on date). Technically, Vinho Verde can be red or rosé; my focus here is on the white varieties made from their regional white grapes used, namely Lureiro, Arinto, Trajadura, Avesso, and/or Azal. But, Vinho Verde is quickly becoming my summer wine of choice because it actually refreshes you! These wines aren’t made to be hyper-complex; they are effortlessly drinkable; and you can just sip and enjoy. They are light, dry, and have a gentle effervescence. The fizz comes from being bottled so young. It has a freshness that is almost like you’re sitting near the ocean.
Now, it get’s even better. The price typically lands these wines on the bottom shelf. Gazela Vinho Verde has lip-smacking tartness, green apple and lime zest, and a whopping price tag of $4.79. If you aren’t willing to try a bottle of wine for less than the price of a giant burrito, discontinue reading, call a trusted peer, and have them explain the value of a dollar to you. The Vinho Verde de rigueur at my home right now is Famega, with its apple-lemon tang, faint floral notes, and minerality that lingers on the palate. At a mere $5.99, it leaves me more cash for expanding my sundress collection. I love drinking it with an arugula salad sprinkled with local Donnay Chevre and a lemon dressing. Both of these wines have screw caps—a bonus for picnics and bringing along to parties. They would also be a lovely match for oysters, grilled white fish, or deck nibbles like crab cakes or bruschetta. This weekend, try serving it as an aperitif with a wedge of citrus. Keep the wine flowing all summer. Vinho Verde makes it easy to do just that! Cheers! - Lindsey Coleman