The other day I had occasion, at a Portuguese Wine Tasting, to re-taste the range of Vinho Verde Wines produced by Vinhos Norte, one of the producers partnering with us on our Portuguese Wine Tours.
In the whites, the Alvarinho grape predominates; a number of their wines are blended with Loureiro. The overall result is a light, refreshing wine with apply/citrusy aromas and flavours, making for a lovely summer drink. The acidity of the Loureiro will probably make the wine a good choice to accompany duck.
Two rosés from the same grapes also make for a pleasant summer afternoon drink. Strawberries on the nose from the Cruzeiro, and raspberries from the Tapada dos Monges Rosé.
Their prize-winning red, Tapada dos Monges (Tapada of the Monks) comes from Alvarinho grapes.
Their two sparklings, Mogo Branco and Mogo Tinto, compare favourably with many a Champagne. I feel it is a pity that the price is not a bit lower. After duty and transport, they need to retail at around the £15 a bottle mark in the UK. Whatever the quality of a newcomer, it is Champagne that has the history and reputation.
What always surprises me most in their selection is their red sparkling. I would not expect to like a red sparkling, but I do this. Perhaps because of its smoothness, I can also see it going well with food, particularly roast pork or roast veal.
All in all, I confirmed in my mind that including Vinhos Norte in our Portuguese Wine Tours was a good choice with some rather interesting and unusual offerings.