Margaret Swaine’s Wine Picks: Whites from Portugal

Portugal’s Vinho Verde whites pair perfectly with hot summer days and good meals — check out the Passport to Vinho Verde Promotion in T.O. eateries this month. Or look for these picks via

Aliança Vinho Verde 2010
$8.95 (86 Points)
One of the largest producers of Portuguese wines, Aliança owns 800 acres of vineyards spread throughout the country. This blend of azal, pedernã, trajadura and loureiro is lightly fruity with more body and texture than the average for Vinho Verde. Clean, fresh and lively with a touch of spritz, it’s a partner for fish, salads and egg dishes.

Gatão Vinho Verde
$9.95 (85 Points)
Sociedade dos Vinhos Borges, founded in 1884, created this brand at the beginning of the last century. A blend of azal, pedernã, trajadura and avesso, it’s gently fizzy and lower alcohol (9%) with a light, crisp green-apple-and-citrus taste. Easy on the palate with a hint of sweetness, it’s just right for summer sipping with light snacks or meals.

Quinta da Aveleda Vinho Verde 2011
$9.95 (87 Points)
Produced from the best grapes on the Aveleda estate, this is a step up from their regular Vinho Verde and just a buck more. A blend of loureiro and alvarinho (a.k.a. albariño), it has floral aromas and a lively fruit taste with decent length, a touch of spritz and a hint of minerals. Great for seafood, white meats or light cheeses.