Today is St. Patrick’s Day, and while many of you will indulge in an ice cold beer tinted green by McCormick’s food coloring, I’ll be drinking green wine. And by green wine I mean Vinho Verde, a light, low alcohol, slightly fizzy white from Portugal whose name literally translates as “green wine.” But, it’s not green. Not in terms of its color, anyway. The green in this case refers to the wine’s youthfulness. Vinho Verde is not the kind of wine you lay down in your cellar and fret over how many years you should wait until its perfectly aged and ready to drink. Happily for the impatient among us (that’s me!), it is best when it’s super fresh and meant to be drunk immediately after you purchase it.
Given its name, Vinho Verde is the perfect St. Patrick’s Day beverage choice for those, like me, who would rather forgo the Guinness or green Bud Light, but there are also a whole slew of reasons to consider reaching for the VV well after the holiday has ended. Here are my top 5:
1. A good green wine can be had for very little green. There are lots of great Vinho Verdes to be had in the $7 to $11 range.
2. Vinho Verde’s alcohol level usually hovers around 10%, meaning you don’t have to worry about getting buzzed on a single glassful.
3. Although it’s not fully sparkling like Champagne, Vinho Verde does have a small amount of fizz. This spritz makes the wine feel exceptionally fresh and lively. Not to mention, it’s just plain fun.
4. It’s the perfect picnic wine — light, fresh, great with finger foods, and easy to love.
5. Vinho Verde’s flavor profile — crisp green apple and crunchy pear with a twist of lime — makes it a perfect Spring and Summer sipper, meaning you can enjoy it well beyond St. Patrick’s Day.