These two countries make some of the world’s most drinkable and affordable whites. Once you get the names down, the varietals are fun to drink and say— albariño, verdejo, vinho verde. Each wine has a distinct style and appeal, and all are as different from one another as chardonnay from sauvignon blanc or pinot gris. Hopefully, they all will fit into your ever-growing repertoire.
This month's selections are available at WineStyles, 3840 Grand Way, St. Louis Park, 612-929-9463
Pavão Vinho Verde 2004 (Agrela, Portugal), $8.99
This wine has a pale green tint, a little apple on the nose, and a slight minerality on the finish. It’s a bit effervescent, but it’s supposed to be. It is also low in alcohol and great on its own or paired with light cheeses.
Marqués de Irún Verdejo 2003 (Rueda, Spain), $11.99
Light yellow tint with a crisp green- apple nose, this wine is fresh and a great replacement if you are a pinot grigio drinker looking for a change without a big investment. Drink it with fruit or cheese.
Condes de Albarei Albariño 2003 (Salnes Valley, Spain), $19.99
Wow! This wine is delicious—rich, complex, and ready for your favorite seafood entrée. It compares to the sauvignon blancs of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fume, but with a lot more peach and apricot fruit. It has a full mouth-feel and is as good a white as you will find at this price.
Montsarra Cava Brut (Penèdes, Spain), $14.99
Cava means “sparkling from Spain.” This wine is made in the traditional, or Champagne, method and lives up to its much more expensive neighbor to the north. It has a yeasty nose and lots of dancing bubbles on the tongue. This wine is fun, sexy, and good.
Bill Coy runs Vintage U, which organizes wine tastings, classes, and events for corporate groups, wine enthusiasts, and the general public. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.