Octave Vinho Verde for St. Patty’s Wine Geeks

I do love a good black and tan on St. Patrick’s Day!  But really, what’s a wine geek to do on this beer-drinker’s holiday??

Drink green wine, of course!

That would be Vinho Verde (literally, green wine) to which I am referring.  It comes from the coolest and wettest part of Portugal, the northwestern corner.  This area is very lush and green, but the “green” actually refers to the youthfulness of these wines.

The wines are released just 3 – 6 months after harvest and are known for their bright fruit, low alcohol and refreshing spritz.

Loureiro is the grape variety commonly used for these Vinho Verde wines, but Alvarinho, the same as Albarino in Spain, is the better quality grape variety that is used as well.

So after downing my Harp and Guinness, followed by a wipe of the chin and a good beer belch, I was happy to move on to my wine and regain my sense of refinement.  Better than finding a four-leafed clover, I was lucky enough to find the Octave Vinho Verde on my shelf.

The color is pale yellow with obvious carbonation.  The nose is filled with minerality and melon.  On the palate it is so lovely and light with more mineral character, followed by sweet peach, fresh herbs, and lemon.  The slight spritz keeps the wine lively and leads to a clean, fresh finish. 

Oh yes, with a wine this light and quaffable, I was able to keep up with my beer guzzling friends, gulp for gulp!

The nice acidity of the Vinho Verde makes it extremely food friendly too.  We successfully paired it with prosciutto-wrapped asparagus, that most-difficult to match vegetable.  The wine’s herbal minerality was a nice combination with the vegetal character of the asparagus, while the slight sweetness was great with the salty prosciutto.

Green wine, green asparagus, a green pinch-proof shirt… it was a lucky St. Patrick’s Day celebration for this wine drinker!


About the author: Sue Navratil

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