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Vino Verde

What are the three best vino verdes from Portugal that are available in the US? We are partial to Casal Garcia (by Avelada) , but the Portuguese seem to think it is a low grade wine.
Answer From Expert Roger Bohmrich MW

Interesting question because, a couple of years ago, I represented the U.S. as a judge of the "Best Vinho Verde" competition held in Portugal. I had the opportunity to tour the area and meet with numerous winemakers who received all of us warmly. What I learned did not match the preconception of Vinho Verde, which is in fact a delimited region with many varieties and numerous wine types. The world knows this name as a very basic and inexpensive white wine. Casal Garcia is a very successful and widely sold label at this level produced by Aveleda. It is well made and remarkably good at a very low price. There is another side to Vinho Verde: many lovely whites based either entirely on Alvarinho or Loureiro, sometimes blended with other varieties. These cutting-edge wines sell for more than the basics, of course, but also tend to be terrific values. Look for special bottlings from Aveleda, Soalheiro (really terrific), Anselmo Mendes, and Aphros. Hopefully, more trend-setting labels such as these will eventually be available in the U.S. as there are many others worth discovering!

About Our Expert

Roger has enjoyed a lengthy career in the wine trade as an importer and retailer, and at present he is an educator, speaker and consultant. He set up and managed Millesima USA, a New York merchant affiliated with a leading European company. Previously, he served as senior executive of importers Frederick Wildman & Sons. In recent years, Roger has judged wine competitions in Argentina, Turkey, Portugal, China and the U.S. Roger is one of America's first Masters of Wine.

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