- During the warmest days of the season I like wines that are super crisp and refreshing. Some with lighter citrus flavor profiles and maybe some sparkling effervescence. Two from Portugal that fit this description are our Casa Santos Lima Monte Das Promessas branco and Cape Roca Fisherman Vino Verdi.Promessas is a traditional summer wine made of Arinto & eVital grapes grown in the Lisbon area, close to the Atlantic coast. It is made entirely with the ‘free run’ juice that comes before any pressing begins, just from the weight of some grapes on top of the others in the tank. This is the freshest juice of all since there is minimal impact of seeds and stems, or skin influences (tannins) on the wine. The wine has fresh lemon and pear aromas and an attractive light fizzy effervescence. Alcohol is relatively low…under 10% and acidity (crispness) very high. It is not a sweet wine, but has some sugar content as the fermentation was stopped before all the grape sugars were converted to alcohol. The acidity balances the sweetness, and combine with the fresh flavors and effervescence to make this a wine that is easy to like and fun to drink, very refreshing and smooth. The Fisherman Vinho Verde is a DOC wine (which means it is authentic and compliant with local requirements) from a northwest region of Portugal. Vinho Verde (Green Wine) is a location, and wine style name (comparable to how “Champagne” designates where the wine comes from and that it is a sparkling wine). So it doesn’t mean the wine has to be a specific color, but only wine from this area, made in this style can have the Vinho Verde name on the label. This wine is made with a blend of the indigenous Loureiro and Arinto grapes. The flavor profile is similar to the Promessas, refreshing citrus and stone fruit with a slight fizz, crisp acidity that balances the little residual sweetness. A retail wine seller of mine says that these wines has become the new ‘gin & tonic’ alternative for many of his customers…perfect for warmer weather when you want refreshment. I’m happy with any wine being consumed as a preferred alternative to a cocktail…Enjoy these wines on their own, with Chinese or Asian take-out foods, most seafoods and other lighter ‘warm weather’ meal selections. You will likely find both these wines with prices around $11.Click here to see a map of Portugal’s wine regions.
Please email to let me know what you think! Thanks for reading.
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