On Tuesday night I enjoyed a dinner at O Caçula, a restaurant that had caught my eye a few days back. To go with my heaping plate of ratatouille and polenta a la parmesana, I orded a... vinho verde. Duh. Thank goodness it was a new one!
Campo da Vinha certainly met all my expectations of a good vinho verde. Effervescent, acidic, fresh, light - look at those bubbles go! A vinho verde like this is not to be confused with a champagne-style sparkling wine. Just a little fizzy - a nice spritz.
I was under the impression that this fizz was an important characteristic of vinho verdes. Turns out more and more producers are making vinho verdes that have no fizz at all! I have to admit, that's kind of a disappointment to me, but I've made it my goal to dive right in and try the gamut.
Today in the wine shop I discovered that this might be more interesting and varied than I thought. I had seen rosé vinho verdes but today I discovered that a few producers make a tinto (red) variety of vinho verde! I'll put that on the to-do list, try to find a good one and maybe include it in my next tasting.
The "verde" (green) in vinho verde therefore, probably does not refer to the light green tinge in the white varieties of the wine, as I've heard discussed, but rather to the age of the wine - always bottled young... or "green" and usually consumed within the year.