Do you ever think Vinho Verde could age? The answer is Yes. In July 2023, I joined the in-depth Masterclass and paired vertical tasting to explore the wines of the DO Vinho Verde region in Portugal. This vertical tasting demonstrated the formidable aging capacities of the white Vinho Verde wines through 10 cuvees with vintages ranging from 2016 up to 2022. Vinho Verde Ambassador Jeff Harding hosted it. Jeff is the beverage director at Waverly Inn and a maestro for many of us in the New York Wine Scene!
As a foodie, I have enjoyed a few years now the balancing act by pairing an entire meal with contrasting flavors or by balancing acidity. Still, some of the Vinho Verde Ageable Whites that we tried during the Masterclass had a crisp but elegant freshness with many layers of character and complexity, or what I have called white tannins. I considered showcasing these aged wines for Thanksgiving with Turkey or my alternative pescetarian option with salmon and cranberry sauce.
Vinho Verde Ageable Whites
During the tasting, we enjoyed different vintages from 2016 to 2022.
- 2021 A&D Wines, Singular
- 2021 Quinta das Arcas, Alvarinho Reserva
- 2020 Quinta da Raza, Avesso Alvarinho
- 2019 Adega Ponte de Lima, Loureiro Reserva
- 2019 Quinta da Lixa, Alvarinho Reserva
- 2018 Via Latina, Grande Reserva
- 2017 Valados De Melgaço, Alvarinho Reserva
- 2017 A&D Quinta do Espinhosos
- 2016 Quinta da Lixa Colinas do Avesso
- 2021 João Portugal Ramos
- 2021 Barão do Hospital
- 2021 Adega Ponte de Lima, Solos de Xisto
- 2021 Barão do Hospital
- 2022 Quinta das Arcas Arca Nova
- 2022 Lindeza, Loureiro-Alvarinho Premium
- 2022 Lindeza, Alvarinho Reserva
- 2022 Vercoope, Via Latina
The tasting was accompanied by delicious savory bites. I was surprised to find out that the 2018 Via Latina, Grande Reserva, was recommended to pair with lamb. This will definitely delight the family members who enjoy lamb during Easter or Thanksgiving. However, since I don’t eat meat, I found the 2019 Adega Ponte de Lima, Loureiro Reserva, to be my favorite pairing. I enjoyed it with a side of tater tots, creme fraiche, trout roe, and chives. The Loureiro Reserva and the creme fraiche provided a delightful experience on the palate. It elevated one of the most common savory treats in America, making it a fine dining bite with an elegant wine and condiments that were a delight to the palate.
We can also savor them while pairing them with Latin cuisines or any other flavorful cuisine. Being a foodie for Mexican dishes, I couldn’t help thinking that some of these ageable Vinho Verde Whites will pair exceptionally with Cochinita pibil or Tlayudas from Oaxaca.
We can learn to appreciate the fresh and crisp taste of Vinho Verde white wines; as they age, they become deep and multilayered. I used to think that Vinho Verde was only fizzy, crisp, and fresh. However, I understand that everyone’s taste buds are different, and some prefer a more robust, bolder white wine. Both styles have a place in a meal, but the Vinho Verde Ageable Whites can even surprise the most demanding palates.