Gazela Vinho Verde - prickly summer wine bargain

Summertime bargain wine alert! Most Vinho Verde retails for less than $8; I picked up Gazela’s version for $6. It’s one of the best cheap white wines out there (if you like lime, that is). 

Vinho Verde (pronounced VEEN-oh VAIR-day by Americans and VEEN-yo VAIRD by the Portuguese) comes from rainy Northwest Portugal. Vinho Verde is the name of the geographical region, not the grape, and translates to “green wine" -- green in the sense of being young and fresh (not the color). The grapes in the Gazela version of Vinho Verde are four indigenous Portuguese grapes you have probably never heard of (don’t believe me? It’s mostly Loureiro, with help from Pedernã, Trajadura and Azal). Enough background… it’s hot, let’s taste some chilled Vinho Verde! 

 

Color: Pale green-yellow with plenty of small bubbles (it’s not a sparkling wine like Champagne, but it’s purposefully slightly bubbly). 

Nose: This wine pops with tart and aromatic citrus fruits—lime and grapefruit—along with some underripe green apple, ocean air minerality, and a touch of white flowers. The smell is invigorating and refreshing. 

Palate: The lime and green apple are joined by a touch of peach. The ocean air minerality and fresh white flowers are subtle, but still there. The slight bubbles and medium-high acidity add a prickly element to this light-bodied wine. The taste doesn’t “wow” you, but you can’t stop yourself from pouring a second glass as soon as the first one goes down. 9% alcohol. 

Finesse/Depth: Simple and good. So good. 

Who will love this wine: If you like Mexican beer with lime, you will like this wine. Bring it to a summer picnic and it will disappear fast! Retails for $5-7. 

What do you think of Gazela Vinho Verde, any Vinho Verde, or this review? Let me know in the comments section below. 

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