Wine: Just barely of age

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Even an introduction to Spanish should give you enough background to roughly translate "vinho verde" ("green wine").

Vinho verde - both the words and the wine-making style - is actually not Spanish, but Portuguese; the meaning of this unique phrase isn't about the color green, but the "young" or "new" meaning of the word.

And that's for reasons you can tell by just a sip of the 2013 Vidigal vinho verde ($10 at Wine on High), as a rush of fresh, light flavors wash over your tongue.

Vinho verde might be white, or it might be rose or red, but regardless, it's designed to be consumed within a year. This is a seriously light, refreshing wine, something I really should have been drinking all summer long.

No aging in oak barrels here. These grapes (exact varietals aren't disclosed) are aged in stainless-steel barrels before being added to the bottle, along with a little artificial carbonation that gives each sip a slightly tongue-tingling flavor. Beyond that, it tastes of lemon-lime-type citrus fruits - if not for a slightly alcoholic bite, you might mistake it for a sip of Sprite. (Just kidding! But not that much…)

What goes well with this Portuguese staple? Some Portuguese food staples - fish of any type, clams, a light soup or a hearty paella. And although I didn't give it a try, it seems like a wine that would work in a wine cocktail or as a spritzer.

But my best suggestion for enjoying: find a silent moment, take a sip, close your eyes and remember the feeling of the windows down and sun warming your skin. This wine will take you there.