Last weekend I had the fortune of visiting my good friend Sam who is now living in Lisbon. The trip from Porto to Lisbon is very easy (3 1/2 hours by bus) and affordable too (15 euros one way!) I am happy to know that I have a friend there and glad to have had the opportunity to finally visit a city that's been on my mind for quite some time now.
In my bag I brought, one change of clothes, my laptop, my notebook, the lonely planet's guide to Portugal, and 3 bottles of vinho verde that I wanted to try with Sam. One thing I left behind was my tasting glass, although I did consider bringing it, I figured I could probably find something decent in Lisbon. Boy was I wrong. Feel free to laugh at the size of the glasses we ended up using for our tasting. Sure you can drink wine out of anything, but you can't properly taste wine out of just anything and certainly the bigger the glass, the better. Anyhow, we did our best with the tasting and once that was done, did a number on the bottles despite the small glasses.
Vinho verde number 1:
The fun part about doing wine tastings with friends is that you get to conceal what you know about the wine (i.e. how much it costs) and hear a totally unbiased opinion about each one. This is especially nice when comparing less expensive wines to more expensive wines.
Tamacana is your typical vinho verde. Light, spritzy, metalic, acidic, it is very easy to drink and according to Sam, was the best of the three... he ended up finishing the bottle that night.
Vinho verde number 2:
O tal vinho da Lixa
Both Sam and I agreed that though this one carried the spritz that we like in a vinho verde, it was quite metallic and didn't have the balance of citrus that would have made it more palatable. Certainly not our favorite; the bottle went back in the fridge.
Vinho verde number 3:
Quinta de Gomariz
I bought this one at the recommendation of the wine shop owner when I asked for a high quality vinho verde. My idea was to have something to compare my 1.75 euro bottle to (the Tamacana); sometimes it's hard to tell how good or bad something is without a reference.
This wine has won several awards which are proudly displayed on the bottle. I also give it a gold. (Though the Tamacana still comes in at a close second place.)
The aroma is flowery and fruity. I smell distinct notes of melon.
For a vinho verde it seems full to me, but still light and smooth compared to any other white. And, as I hoped, it's got the spritz!
For Sam, the Quinta de Gomariz was too fruity and he preferred to stick with vinho verde number 1. For me, it was perfect... and bottle for bottle we went.