In Praise of Cheap White Wine

Posted by Keith Wallace

And now the time has come to praise cheap white wine. Or, to be accurate, green wine. I recently returned from a trip to Portugal, and much to my wife’s chagrin, there’s a new love in my life: Vinho Verde.

Vinho Verde wine bottle with grapes and leaves illustration.

It won’t replace her. But, of course, she has put up with far too much of my whining over the years to be gotten rid of that easily. Plus, she has a great palate, which has always topped my list of marriage-material criteria. But the green stuff was a revelation, and I don’t think it was just because I drank it in 70-degree-and-sunny weather while I was across the pond.

In Praise of Vinho Verde

Vinho Verde (pronounced VEEN-yo VEHR-duh) is wonderfully light-bodied, so fresh that it feels a bit effervescent, and low enough in alcohol that two people can drink a bottle at lunch with relative impunity.

These wines are the embodiment of unpretentiousness and the polar opposite, in virtually every respect, of most of the wines we tend to drink most often. Indeed, there is little to contemplate here: No real depth of flavor, not a great deal of nuance, and let’s be honest—nothing to make you pause and think, searching for elegant descriptors to describe the wine.

Cheap white wine and grapes illustration

Suns Out!

They are, rather, wines meant for conversation, for social settings, for lazy afternoons in the sun. As a result, they go down awfully easily, subtly lubricating the conversation, their bright acidity pairing beautifully with everything from Portuguese cheese on toast to freshly grilled sardines with sea salt and olive oil. Or drink them on their own: One waiter told me that the Portuguese drink Vinho Verde the way we drink cola.

As springtime threatens to make itself felt, do yourself a favor and buy half a case of Vinho Verde. There may still be snow on the ground, but it’s never too early for this wine. I like to think of it as wishful thinking in a bottle.

Pairing Vinho Verde with Spring Dishes

As the weather warms up, Vinho Verde is an excellent choice for pairing with spring dishes. Consider serving it with light salads, seafood, and grilled vegetables. The wine’s bright acidity and refreshing effervescence complement the fresh flavors of spring produce, making it a versatile option for seasonal meals.

2 thoughts on “In Praise of Cheap White Wine”

  1. The text was amazing… Thnks for that!
    It’s really nice to read your opinion about Vinho Verde.
    I sell portuguese quality wines as red, whites and Rosé, in Europe. The profile of Vinho Verde is quite simply unique. By dint of its diversity, determined by the singularity and particularity of grape varieties, production modes and sub-regions, Vinho Verde has a unique, inimitable spirit. It has an average alcoholic strength, is young, fruity and very light but let me tell you something about vinho verde rosé,i think is a stand out for their young aroma, reminiscent of red fruits, and a fresh, intense taste.
    The grapes are Touriga Nacional wich gives the unique caracter of this superb wine you must try it by your next visit to Portugal.“Suddenly rose is cool”.
    Cheers !!!

  2. I’m from Portugal and I can’t think of a better drink to have with a fresh grilled fish at lunch then a nice Vinho Verde bottle of wine!

    And at the price that the wine is currently sold in restaurants it is definitely a cheap luxury. :)


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