Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Going green

When I am in a hurry at the liquor store (especially if it's at one with an unreliable selection), I have a habit of choosing whatever's cheap and stylish-looking. Most of the time my selections end up being disappointing (I can't wait to graduate to the $20-$40 bottle range! ha!) but every now and again I find something that sticks with me. You just never know.

The other day grabbed a bottle of Gazela Vinho Verde, if for no other reason than it was $8 and I liked the clear label. I stuck it in the fridge on Saturday, when it was kinda balmy outside, and then popped it open tonight, when it was 30 degrees out.

I'd never had a vinho verde before. Nor had I ever really heard of one or understood what they were. So when I began pouring a glass, I was kind of surprised at how pale and fizzy it was. It's practically sparkling. Which is fine, I guess, just unexpected. So I started looking for more info to see just what it was I was about to ingest. As far as I could tell, vinho verde seemed like a diluted white with some bubbles piped in. Its nose was timid — seriously, take a big whiff and you'll get the slightest hint of apple peels and melon, but mostly air — and its taste was mostly uncomplicated and unremarkable.

In other words, this wine bored the pants off me.

But, as I read, its particular eccentricities began to make more sense.

Vinho verde comes largely from northwest Portugal, and is made from grapes that climb trees, fences, and poles. It's meant to be light and sparkly, and its alcohol content is significantly lower than many other wines' (Gazela boasts about 9 percent). It is, apparently, a celebration wine meant to be served super cold during hot weather. It's entirely likely that my boredom with this wine stems from the fact that it's freezing in here and I'm not celebrating anything.

I can see sharing this wine at a picnic under a huge shade tree, with people digging into a giant salad bowl and cutting their sweet little fillets of salmon. It's cheap enough that you can bring plenty of it, and — thanks to the low alcohol content — you'll need plenty.

So, my initial reaction to this wine is still "Why should I care?" Maybe this summer I'll pick another bottle up and have a couple of glasses while sitting outside in the sun.

2 Comments:

Blogger Collin C. said...

Wait until June-August to enjoy Vinho Verde...In the sprinkler. Then you will swear by it!

We discovered the joys of VV in one of our many dog day afternoon sprinkler sessions & it is now our official sprinkler wine. We love it.

The only problem (maybe we have the problem?) is that with the low alcohol it takes a while for everyone to shed thier swim-suits.

It is also good on picnics.

1/21/2007 4:32 PM  
Blogger palm tree said...

Ha ha ha, there's not enough alcohol in any wine to make me shed my swim suit. I would pass out drunk, clutching my halter top to my chest.

2/10/2007 7:48 PM  

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