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Wine Advisor Express:
What's green about Vinho Verde?

Slightly defying logic, the Portuguese "Vinho Verde" ("green wine," pronounced "Veen-yo Vair-day") isn't green in color but golden. The name implies youth, not color, and freshness is so much a part of its character that it's prudent to choose the youngest you can find. I would not consider buying one any older than the 1999 featured today.

Vinho Verde comes from the Costa Verde ("Green Coast") on Portugal's northwest shoulder, bordering Spain and the Atlantic. It's made from a variety of grapes, but those made from Alvarinho - like this one - are generally considered the best.

Portal do Fidalgo 1999 Alvarinho Vinho Verde ($10.99)
Clear light gold in color, this wine offers complex aromas of ripe white tropical fruit, figs and dates and a hint of banana. Crisp and dry in flavor, not as noticeably prickly as some Vinho Verdes, its cleansing acidic tartness makes it as natural a partner as a squirt of lemon with seafood and fish. U.S. importer: Admiral Wine Merchants, Irvington, N.J. (May 17, 2001)

FOOD MATCH: Wines made from the Alvarinho grape (which their Spanish neighbors call Albarino) are made to go with seafood, and this one was a perfect match with shrimp scampi-style, pan-grilled with olive oil and lemon.

Express Notes:
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Friday, May 18, 2001
Copyright 2001 by Robin Garr. All rights reserved.

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