Summer time and the living is easy, especially when quaffing Vinho Verde, the light and refreshing white wine from the northwest corner of Portugal. Facing the Atlantic Ocean, the Vinho Verde region is a cool and rainy area (47 inches of rainfall annually) that is home to some 50,000 acres of vineyards; it is Portugal's largest wine producing region, accounting for 15 per cent of the country's wine production. Low in alcohol and bearing a faint resemblance to mineral water, it's also quite inexpensive.
This week's wine bargain of the week Aveleda, which dates its viticultural holdings back to 1870, is the perfect representative of the Vinho Verde style. Made from a traditional blend of indigenous grapes, Loureiro, Trajadura and Arinto, Aveleda Vinho Verde is the quintessential expression of Vinho Verde.
Pale yellow in color with aromas of lemon-lime, yellow apple and pear along with a sense of minerality, it's fresh and zesty in the mouth. The flavors are of apple, lime, and mineral plus a bit of peach and nectarine skin. Those lively fresh fruit flavors come alive in the mouth, aided by a little bit sweetness (residual sugar) to give it a more well rounded mouth feel.
A good choice for hanging out on the patio or by the pool on a warm day, as well as a great party starter and an excellent palate cleanser. Not necessarily a wine to ponder, just "drink, don't think" and enjoy.
Wine bargain of the week: Aveleda Vinho Verde 2013, $5.99.
Previous wine bargain of the week: Reserve de la Saurine Blanc 2011.