M&S Vinho Verde Rosé
Once upon a time, there was just one pink wine everyone knew from Portugal. And that wine was Mateus Rosé in its distinctive flask shaped bottle; an off-dry, faintly spritzy, undemanding drink. This lively pour from the same corner of Northern Portugal is a very modern reinvention of that tired old stalwart of the wine list. The light spritz on the palate here is just right, and the red grapes used are fine varieties also used to make port, including Touriga Nacional, which has a wonderful depth and richness. The result? A frisky, low alcohol (11%) wine with a nose of loganberry and a finish with just a hint of lemon zest. Perfect with paella.
“A frisky, low alcohol wine with a nose of loganberry and a finish with just a hint of lemon zest.”
How can a wine described as ‘verde’ be pink? An interesting question. The definition of vinho verde is not to do with colour at all, but a reference to wine style: these wines may be white, pink or red, but are always fresh and youthful on the palate, so ‘green’ because they are juvenile and faintly fizzy, not mature. And that is their charm. Even the Romans wrote about this wine style. Pliny the Elder praised these wines, produced between the Douro and Minho rivers. The Douro is of course most famed for its port vineyards, and nowadays an increasing production of fine red table wines. But up toward the Minho everything looks very different. Traditionally, vines were cultivated on high fences surrounding family vegetable patches. Cabbages in the centre, vines all around. This is far less common today in an era when there are about 600 producers of this popular wine. Don’t dismiss vinho verde as a lightweight. It has the capacity to surprise and charm.
Marks & Spencer stores, £7 a bottle.
About The Author
I’m Rosalind and I’m here to talk to you about Rosé. Whether it’s your first choice or your last on a wine list, this site is for you. After years of writing about and tasting wine, there is something truly special to me about the pink stuff. On the Rose Report, I write reviews of the best Rosé Wines. You can find out more about me HERE.