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Random act of kindness

Val Aug 18, 2006 10:53 PM

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. r
    RCC RE: Val Aug 18, 2006 11:05 PM

    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. carswell RE: Val Aug 18, 2006 11:09 PM


      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. rworange RE: Val Aug 19, 2006 02:45 AM

        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
          carswell RE: rworange Aug 19, 2006 02:49 AM

          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
            fauchon RE: rworange Aug 19, 2006 01:03 PM

            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 pétillant, pure pleasure...

          2. Carb Lover RE: Val Aug 19, 2006 07:49 AM

            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
              Val RE: Carb Lover Aug 19, 2006 12:55 PM

              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
                kenito799 RE: Val Aug 19, 2006 01:37 PM

                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
                  Val RE: kenito799 Aug 19, 2006 02:16 PM

                  Okay, very chilled then. Thanks!

            2. jacquelinec RE: Val Aug 19, 2006 08:03 AM

              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!

              1. jacquelinec RE: Val Aug 19, 2006 08:20 AM

                ps - posted a blog linking to this thread. thank you for sharing the story.

                1. r
                  rootlesscosmo RE: Val Aug 19, 2006 09:07 PM

                  When I was in Portugal in 1977 people told me a lot of Vinho Verde was home made, even in Lisbon--sort of the way Italian-Americans used to make home made red wine here during Prohibition. In some Lisbon neighborhoods on warm Saturday or Sunday afternoons you'd see families and friends having a "sardinhada" on the sidewalk in front of their apartment houses, sardines grilling on a small hibachi and unlabeled bottles of low-alcohol, slightly fizzy Vinho Verde. The local equivalent of a backyard barbecue.

                  1. b
                    beef RE: Val Aug 20, 2006 04:10 AM

                    If you eat at a Portuguese restuarant and order VV without looking at a wine list, you will usually see the waiter's eyes light up, as if you asked for chicken feet in a dim sum emporium.

                    1. d
                      dinwiddie RE: Val Aug 21, 2006 12:27 PM

                      We honeymooned in Portugal and drank vino verde almost every day. It was cheap. And very refreshing. When I wanted to splurge, I spent my money on vintage Port. When I wanted something with a meal, I ordered VV.

                      1. v
                        Val RE: Val Aug 22, 2006 11:22 AM

                        Well, we had the shrimp on Sunday with the VV...it was everything that you all described...crisp, very lightly bubbly and this particular one was a tiny bit sweet...but enjoyable with the shrimp. I'll be interested to explore some of the other labels mentioned here if available in my area...thanks to all for responses. As spanishtable said, not a life-changing wine but it has its place, happily so.

                        1. t
                          Twi_prime RE: Val Aug 22, 2006 11:49 AM

                          !! A produce stand in Florida? Now I'm really homesick.

                          I am vino ignaro (i.e. I don't know nothin' about no wines) but I love your story! :D

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Twi_prime
                            Val RE: Twi_prime Aug 22, 2006 10:47 PM

                            Yes, a produce stand, one of the last ones in Naples, sadly...we've lost numerous stands to all the development here and it's a crime.

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