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Aug 18, 2006 10:53 PM

Random act of kindness

On my way home tonight, I stopped at a local produce stand/store that also happens to sell some nice wines. I chose my bottle of Chianti along with some produce and herbs and noticed a woman putting 4 bottles of a Portuguese "green" wine in her cart and proceeded to the checkout and was in front of me on line. I gently asked, "May I ask you about this wine?" She told me it was very light and clean, no bite to it at all, etc...(the label is Pavao)..I said "Okay, thanks, I'll try it sometime." Well, as soon as she finished paying for her order, she turned around and handed me one of the bottles and said "My gift to you...enjoy!" She would not take "no" for an answer! So nice (we're talking about $7.99 here) but still, I was taken aback...I then insisted on paying for the next person in line ... heh, he only bought some produce that amounted to $3.95 & everyone was laughing by now...but my main point is "Wow...wasn't that so nice of her?" and the minor point is: Do any of you know about Vino Verde? Is is so light you don't know you're drinking wine? I'm mostly a red wine drinker but I do stray over to Sauv Blancs every now and then, especially during the Florida summers. Thanks!

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  1. So, did you get her number?

    Seriously, VINHO verde is a Portuguese wine made from various grapes in the North-east of Portugal. IMHO, the whites make good accompaniment fo fish and shellfish dishes. Also. makes a pretty good and refreshing aperitif, especially during the summer.

    1. Sweet!

      Vinho Verde comes from the cool and rainy north of Portugal. The "verde" refers to its verdant freshness, not its colour (about half of production is red, though we rarely see anything but white on this side of the pond). Alcohol levels are relatively low, acid levels relatively high. Much of it is slightly spritzy (in the old days the CO2 came from malolactic fermentation; these days it's often injected). In Portugal the wine is usually bone dry; wines for export are often made off-dry to balance their intrinsic sharpness and avoid shocking non-native palates. As a rule, VV is a great thirst quencher. It also makes a killer match with grilled squid.

      1. I got into Vinho Verde about a year ago when I was learning about Portuguese food

        I haven't seen Pavao. The most common brand in Northern California are Aveleda and Casal Garcia. I prefer Aveleda which has the bonus of being less expensive. It is the wine I see sold in the few local Portuguese restaurants.

        I was looking at a Chinese website today and they had a Vinho Verde on their wine list. This just seems to me it would be great to eat with lots of Chinese food, especially with the slight fizz to cut through any oil. I plan to try this out soon.

        With Vinho verde it is best to drink it as fresh (or green) as possible. There are some that are aged but the only one that I tried and liked was a better bottle of Aveleda. Vihno verde is very accessible price-wise with few bottles over $10.

        I like the local Portuguese aproach to wine. It is just something to enjoy with a meal and not stress over ... lots of table and jug wine.

        2 Replies
        1. re: rworange

          Vinho Verde is one of my fallbacks for east Asian food, including sushi. Low alcohol, high acid, slight sweetness, spritz and sour citrusy flavours make it as good a candidate as any for a refreshing, passe-partout accompaniment.

          1. re: rworange

            We enjoyed a bottle just last night! A great summer wine, so good with fish/shellfish...also goes well with Indian food...We had it with shrimp tikka mazala & it was perfect. Of all the brands we've tried, our favorite is Gazela...light & slightly p├ętillant, pure pleasure...

          2. Great story! Have you tasted the wine yet?

            Coincidentally, I was looking up recipes for white sangria today and several recommended vinho verde for its bright, fruity qualities.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Carb Lover

              No, I've not tasted it yet...last night, I wanted Chianti. I'll open this next time I make seafood, probably tomorrow, if I can find some good shrimp or scallops on sale. Does this wine need to be just slightly chilled before serving?

              1. re: Val

                Yes, VV is one of the few whites that really is best very chilled, even just out of the fridge.

                I see that you are in FL and therefore without access to Trader Joe's, but if you are ever at TJ they have been selling a VV from Espiral that is delicious and only $3.99! It's flavor is closest to Aveleda, which I prefer to Gazela. I think of VV as an alternative to beer outside in the sun.

                1. re: kenito799

                  Okay, very chilled then. Thanks!

            2. I love this story! What a great day. I've always been moved by seemingly small acts that mean so much more in the final calculation. Vinho Verde is a great summer wine, picnic wine. It's pretty dry, generally but has good enough fruit that you're not drinking it and thinking, 'water'. In a way, it represents my Portugese friends' outlook, sort of 'enjoy, don't make life harder than it is...' as RWOrange said above...we have so much to learn from other cultures!