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The name translates to “young wine,” as Vinho Verde is bottled three to six months after harvest. These bottles have electric acidity and were originally produced to be naturally effervescent. Because many consumers still expect the style to be slightly bubbly, some winemakers add CO2 to the finished wine before bottling.
Another style produced by an array of Portuguese winemakers is skin-contact or orange wine. This style of wine uses giant clay pots, or amphorae, and ferments and ages white grapes in contact with their skins, which gives the final product an amber or orange hue. You will often see these wines labeled as Vinho de Talha.
Here are some of our favorite bottles from Portugal, all for $35 or less.
Adega de Monção 2020 Escolha (Vinho Verde); $12. Find at Wine-Searcher. This is the entry-level brand from this fine cooperative in the northern Monção and Melgaço region of Vinho Verde… SEE SCORE AND FULL REVIEW
Adega Ponte da Barca 2020 Premium (Vinho Verde); $9. Find at Wine-Searcher. Loureiro is the acknowledged star of the Lima Valley where Ponte de Barca is situated… SEE SCORE AND FULL REVIEW
Anselmo Mendes 2020 Contacto (Vinho Verde); $20. Find at Total Wine & More. Born and bred in the Minho Valley, Anselmo Mendes finds close ties with the region’s native grape, Alvarinho… SEE SCORE AND FULL REVIEW
Aveleda 2021 Vinho Verde; $15. Find at Total Wine & More. This bright, crisp and lemon-scented wine is deliciously and openly fruity… SEE SCORE AND FULL REVIEW
Herdade do Rocim 2020 Amphora (Alentejo); $16. Find at Wine-Searcher. Matured in amphorae, the wine is fruity and lightly oxidative and has intense acidity and fresh apple flavors… SEE SCORE AND FULL REVIEW
Herdade Grande 2018 Amphora (Alentejo); $35. Find at Wine-Searcher. With aging in amphorae giving the wine a creamy texture, this is a ripe, textured wine dominated by the Alentejo’s white grape, Antão Vaz… SEE SCORE AND FULL REVIEW
J. Portugal Ramos 2020 Vinho Verde; $11. Find at Wine.com. This is a tasty, deliciously fresh wine. Bright and lively green fruits… SEE SCORE AND FULL REVIEW
Quinta da Raza 2020 Grande Escolha Alvarinho-Trajadura (Vinho Verde); $17. Find at Vivino. With a majority of Alvarinho, this is a finely focused wine, crisp while also having a ripe, rounded character… SEE SCORE AND FULL REVIEW
Quinta do Ameal 2020 Vinho Verde; $18. Find at Wine.com. Loureiro is the grape par excellence of the Lima Valley, home to this producer… SEE SCORE AND FULL REVIEW
Quinta do Regueiro 2020 Foral de Melgaço (Vinho Verde); $19. Find at Wine.com. A creamy, fruity wine that has a mineral edge… SEE SCORE AND FULL REVIEW