Drink this: Fâmega Vinho Verde

The owner of Woodland Wine Merchants in Nashville, Tennessee first introduced me to one of my two favorite Vinho Verdes, the Fâmega. Made from a mélange of Portuguese white wines, Fâmega is slightly fizzy with aromas of lemon aioli and green pear. Keep in mind that Vinho Verdes shouldn’t cost anymore than $7-$9. Serve this one extra cold and enjoy its spirited citrus character throughout this insanely torrid summer.

Portuguese pride starts with Vinho Verde

The pride of Portuguese winemaking may gravitate around world-renowned vintage ports but for simple, everyday consumption that pride really starts with Vinho Verde. Translated as “green wine” Vinho Verde is just that, young in age, green in maturation and quite often not even vintage dated. Historically one of the cheaper whites wines that can be found from Europe, Vinho Verde has often been narrowly perceived as tart-like wine with little fruit. There are definitely reasons why labels like this one have survived. However, judging from the recent crop of Vinho Verdes that are coming our way, there is sufficient evidence to prove that that stereotype is just too simple-minded.

n Casal Garcia Vinho Verde by Aveleda ($8.55): Casal Garcia does for Vinho Verde what the “High Life” does for beer. Specifically, it’s a crisp, un-muddled white that is slightly effervescent. If Miller High Life is the “Champagne of Beers,” then Casal Garcia is the thirst-quenching version of Vinho Verdes. The light, bubbly feeling of Casal Garcia bounces on the tongue, stays true to its straightforward, focused nature and finishes with soft green apple notes.

Casal Garcia by Aveleda is so clean, clear and refreshing that it’s void of some typical mineral notes. A low alcohol of only 10 percent makes this white Portuguese wine an easy pushover, and its beautiful light blue bottle is a perfect centerpiece for an outdoor summer dinner under your favorite apple tree.

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