The Tasting Panel magazine

JULY 2012

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Page 107 of 132

"Green" AVELEDA'S VINHO VERDE STRIKES A CHORD WITH CONTEMPORARY TASTES by Randy Caparoso O Drinking PORTUGAL ne of the amazing things about the wine business is that if you hang around long enough, you eventually see things—like the meek inheriting the market and lambs lying next to lions. A decade or two ago, who would imagine a wine like Vinho Verde—Portugal's mild (barely 10% alcohol), tender, lightly pétillant "green wine"—making serious waves in top retail wine stores and restaurants across the U.S.? Yet "it's happening," accord- ing to Franz Meis, GM of the sleek, locavorist Local Kitchen & Wine Merchant in San Francisco's tony SOMA district. "Vinho Verde is our number-one-selling wine," says Meis, "precisely because it isn't a heavy handed, oaky or overly fruity wine, like California Chardonnay. We may emphasize local ingredients, but the last thing people want these days are wines that give you a headache or fi ght with the food. "At Local Kitchen we serve a lot of seafood and pasta, with a little bit of spiciness, and very little red meat. Vinho Verde is the perfect fi t because it is light, very user- friendly. We tell our guests it's from Portugal, but just that fact seems to excite them. Plus, it's reasonably priced [$6 a glass at Local Kitchen]. You can't beat it!" Vineyards of varieties used for Vinho Verde at Aveleda. july 2012 / the tasting panel / 107 PHOTO: RANDY CAPAROSO

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