Vinho Verde tasting at the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival

March 31, 2009 05:05:33
Posted By Wine With Karl

This was my last official tasting of the wine festival, and I would say it was a very interesting and tasty tasting! Our speaker was DJ Kerney a wine educator, caterer, chef, sommelier and more. DJ talked to us about Vinho Verde, “Green Wine” from the northwest corner of Portugal. These wines were all very refreshing, good acidity and fruit. If you like Sauvignon Blanc, but want something slightly different with a bit of bubble then try Vinho Verde.

The wines were tried on their own first, and then with some excellent appetizers, skillfully produced by Blair Rasmussen, the executive chef for the Vancouver Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Our wines were:
1. Vinho Verde Gatao N/V ($10.99 in BC)
2. Arca Nova Rose 2007
3. Arca Nova Loureiro 2007
4. Quinta de Simaens 2007
5. Quinta de Linhares Avesso 2007
6. Alvarinho Quinta do Regueiro 2007

Our appetizers were:
1. Sake Braised Japanese Eggplant Salad, with Crispy Garlic and Handmade Fresh Wasabi
2. Steamed Island Scallop with Portuguese Chorizo Piperade and Scallop Roe
3. Lemon Grass Chicken with Wild Prawn Sate and Thai Red Curry Sauce
4. Salt Cod “Bolinhos”, Roma Tomato and White Truffle Oil

The first wine was a non-vintage wine, but was quite refreshing and a great deal at $10.99. A great patio wine and one that went well with the eggplant, scallop and lemon grass chicken. The Vinho Verde Gatao had lemon, orange, yeast and some sweetness on the nose. Good acidity with more bright orange and lemon flavour.

The Arca Nova Rose is a “rose”. Most people think of white wine from this region but it also produces red and rose wines. This rose had citrus, strawberry and raspberry aromas. Good acid as well, with apple and citrus flavours.

Also from Arca was the Lureiro (Lureiro is a native grape variety. Portugal has LOTS of native grape varieties with hard to pronounce names). I enjoyed this one as it had a tangerine and lime aromas, which continued on the palate, and good acidity. No flabby wines anywhere in this lineup. This paired nicely with the lemon grass chicken and the eggplant.

The Quinta de Simaens was a blend of a few white grapes; arinto, avesso, and trajadura. Pale lemon green colour. Flowery, apple, and citrus aromas. Less acid than the others, but nicely smooth, with apple and citrus flavours. This wine paired best with the eggplant as the eggplant was very smooth and this wine was smooth. Similar with the Salt Cod Bolinhos.

The Quinta de Linhares Avesso had a light aroma, bright acidity with apple and flower flavours.

Our final wine was the Alvarinho Quinta do Regueiro. If you like sauvignon blanc, this one smells and tastes very similar. On the nose you get lots of gooseberry and lemon aroma. On the palate, good acid, some smoothness and oiliness. I thougt it went well with the scallop and the salt cod.

The nice thing about Vinho Verde not being too well known as you can buy them for all probably under $20 according to the people speaking at the event. Enjoy!

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