Vinho Verde: The Perfect Poolside Wine From Portugal

You probably shouldn’t be drinking under direct sun. But, if you’re going to break the rules, do it with Vinho Verde wine. This Portuguese treat is the perfect poolside drink.

Portugal’s Secret Value

Vinho Verde comes from a small region in Northern Portugal known for its super-value whites, reds, and rosés. These wines are loved for mouth-zapping acidity, subtle carbonation, and lower alcohol, making them a great choice for summer.

Of course, when you dig into Vinho Verde wine, you realize this seemingly cheap, fizzy wine is something truly special. Let’s learn more about Portugal’s “green wine.”


White Vinho Verde

Tasting Notes Lemonade, White Melon, Gooseberry, Grapefruit, and Lime Blossom

The vast majority of Vinho Verde wines are white. Six grapes (you’ve never heard of) dominate the regional blend: Alvarinho, Arinto, Azal, Avesso, Loureiro, and Trajadura. Vinho Verde wines range slightly in style, but most are a touch fizzy, mostly dry, and have green fruit notes.

  • Azal: This is the highest-acid grape of them all. Lemonade flavors abound!
  • Arinto: Also called “Pederna,” it is arguably Portugal’s finest white grape. Expect juicy melon and citrus with some bitter notes on the finish. Great examples can age 7+ years!
  • Alvarinho: The same grape as Spain’s Albariño and produces wines with grapefruit and floral notes. This is another serious grape to watch.
  • Avesso: Similar to Alvarinho in its flavors of grapefruit and peach, but with a subtle green almond bitter note there is added complexity.
  • Loureiro: If there were such a thing as “The Riesling of Portugal” this would be it. Look up winemaker Anselmo Mendes for shocking single-varietal wines from the coastal regions.
  • Trajadura: This grape is a popular blender with Alvarinho. It adds richness and aromas of pear and citrus blossom.
How About That Fizz?

Most Vinho Verde today is artificially carbonated. Originally though, the carbonation happened when winemakers bottled so quickly that the fermentation would finish in the bottle. Today, you’ll find higher end producers shying away from carbonation all together. These wines are on par with the best in Europe!

Red and Rosé Vinho Verde

Tasting Notes Sour Plum, Sour Cherry, Pepper, and Peony

The reds and rosé wines from Vihno Verde are much harder to come by. Of course, this makes sense; the Minho region (where Vinho Verde comes from) is quite cool and often rainy, making it hard to ripen red grapes.

So if you get your hands on a bottle – no matter the price, – you are drinking rare juice!

The grape Vinhão (more commonly known as Sousão) is a teinturier grape, and wines are like a spicy, fresh version of Malbec.

The rare grape, Padeiro (“pah-deh-rhee-yo”) is the pet project of Amarante region producer Quinta da Raza. They’ve single-handedly brought this grape back from extinction. Padeiro has such little color, it looks like rosé. It offers up red fruity-juicy notes and ample acidity.

There are nine sub-regions of Vinho Verde in the Minho region of Portugal.

More On Minho

Most people picture the Algarve when imagining Portugal. Along the Mediterranean, the Algarve is hot and dry with sandy beaches and idyllic blue waters.

Up North, it’s a very different story.

The Minho faces the Atlantic to the west, in all its fury. The nine sub-regions of the Minho can essentially be broken up into groups based on their influence from this rainy, coastal weather.

  • Monção and Melgaço: Slightly inland and along the border of Spain, this sub-region produces excellent Alvarinho with more elegant, mineral notes due to the well-draining granitic soils.
  • Lima, Cávado, and Ave: The regions closest to the coast are very rainy and thus make more white wines with Arinto, Loureiro, and Trajadura. You’ll find rolling estates and easy drinkers here.
  • Sousa, Paiva, Baião, and Basto: This area is very mountainous and leads into the Douro valley. It’s much more sunny. Thus, there are two harder-to-ripen white grapes: Azal and Avesso, as well as a slew of rare reds: Espadeiro, Vinhão (Sousão), and the rare Padeiro.
The cobblestone road to Quinta de Azevedo in Barcelos, Portugal makes Vinho Verde Wines in Minho
The cobblestone road to Quinta de Azevedo in the popular Barcelos area of Minho.
If You Go

Early summer in Minho is an incredible time to visit. The city of Barcelos is a wealthy get-away for Portuguese families and features some of the most stunning, historic wine estates.

When you go inland, it’s much more hilly and rugged (and difficult to navigate without a native speaker!). Still for those with a rental car (and good hand-signals), the winemakers are extremely welcoming and generous.


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Bordeaux En Primeur 2018: Angélus first to release with ‘sensible move’ back to 2015 price

Château Angelus En Primeur 2018

The Saint-Émilion Premier Grand Cru Classé ‘A’ estate has released their grand vin at €252 per bottle ex-négociant, the same opening price as the highly-acclaimed 2015 vintage and 8.7% lower than last year’s 2017 offering at €276 per bottle.

Speaking exclusively to, Stéphanie de Boüard-Rivoal, managing director of Château Angelus, said this year’s prices reflect both the current market for Bordeaux wines around the world as well as the recent performance of Bordeaux’s En Primeur campaigns.

‘It’s only fair to say that the Place de Bordeaux struggled a bit with the last two En Primeur campaigns.

‘Although at Château Angélus we’ve had successful campaigns for the past 20 years, we felt that the current political and economical outlooks were calling for a strong signal and a positive trend.’

The estate followed advice from ‘friends, customers and more generally the market’ deciding ‘to make a sensible move by getting back to [the] 2015 basis’.

‘In terms of pure pricing, it may appear as paradoxical as the vintage is obviously a glorious one at Château Angélus, but one cannot ignore the relative fragility of the global economy which in the present case needed to be compensated by an incentive pricing,’ de Boüard-Rivoal said.

With regard to sterling rates, the wine is being sold by the international trade at £1530 per 6 x 75cl bottles, or £3,060 per 12, down 8.9% on the release price of the 2017 vintage at £3,360 per 12 bottles.

Decanter’s Bordeaux correspondent Jane Anson rated Château Angélus among her most highly scored 2018 wines, awarding it 98 points and revealing that it was the first year that the estate has worked entirely organically as well as using amphorae for ageing.

The 2018 vintage, Anson says has ‘pockets of brilliance but also some inconsistencies’ – ‘a very good vintage – maybe even great – albeit a little atypical for some appellations’.

Château Angélus’ second wine, Carillon d’Angelus, was also released at €78 per bottle in bond.

Today’s releases have limited fears that this year’s campaign might be delayed by the new scheduling for Vinexpo, which will take place one month earlier than usual in May, instead of June, for the first time in the fair’s history.

A small group of estates are also expected to offer their 2018 wines this week, having set their release dates in advance, with Cambon la Pelouse, Beaumont, Tour de Bessan and the Bernard Magrez wines Château Les Grands Chênes and Château Fombrauge Blanc expected, with some Sauternes estates due out after the Easter weekend.


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DWWA judge profile: Nick Oakley

Nick Oakley is a judge at the at the 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA)

Nick Oakley DWWA Judge
Nick Oakley DWWA Judge

Nick Oakley

Nick Oakley has been in the wine trade for 33 years, starting at wine merchants Lay & Wheeler in Colchester. In the late 80s he had a ‘road to Damascus’ moment following a visit to Portugal, and as a result he established his own business as an import agent specialising in Portuguese wine. Wines from NW Spain were added about ten years ago.

His company, Oakley Wine Agencies, is today one of the UK’s leading Portuguese specialists and counts most major supermarket groups in its client portfolio. In recent years, the company has also started supplying Portuguese & Spanish wines to overseas markets, including Norway, Ireland, Australia and Japan.  Oakley Wine Agencies celebrated 29 years trading this year.

Nick Oakley was first a judge at the DWWA in 2010.
Follow Nick on Twitter @nickoakley

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DWWA judge profile: Stefan Neumann MS

Stefan Neumann MS is a judge at the Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA) 2019.

Stefan Neumann MS
Stefan Neumann MS

Stefan Neumann MS

Stefan Neumann MS is Head Sommelier at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, a two Michelin-star restaurant in the Mandarin Oriental hotel, Hyde Park. He has comprehensive experience in the Michelin star world, previously working for restaurants The Fat Duck in Bray, Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in Oxford, Restaurant Hotel Obauer in Salzburg, and Steirereck in Vienna.

Stefan Neumann was first a DWWA judge in 2015 and gained his Master Sommelier qualification in 2017.



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DWWA judge profile: Claire Kyunghwa Nam

Claire Kyunghwa Nam is a judge at the 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA).

Claire Kyunghwa Nam
Claire Kyunghwa Nam

Claire Kyunghwa Nam

Claire Kyunghwa Nam joined the wine trade in 2005 while studying a postgraduate wine business programme at the Adelaide University. She has worked on various sides of business from buying and selling to marketing and education in Korea, Australia, Hong Kong, France and UK.  She worked as a Wine Consultant at Berry Bros & Rudd Hong Kong in 2007 – 2009 prior to moving to Burgundy where she spent 1.5 years.

Since 2012, Claire has helped the Decanter Tasting Team as a freelancer, writes columns for Korean wine media and judges at international wine competitions. Claire set up a micro-négociant GARAM in Bordeaux and has been producing a micro-cuvée Graves Blanc ‘Les Trois Mains’ since 2016.

Claire is currently a 2nd stage student of the Institute of Masters of Wine and passed the practical part of the exam in 2015 at her first attempt. She is an Italian Wine Ambassador certified by Vinitaly International Academy.

Follow Claire on Instagram @BLICWine 


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DWWA judge profile: Dimitar Nikolov

Dimitar Nikolov is a judge at the 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA)

Dimitar Nikolov
Dimitar Nikolov

Dimitar Nikolov

Dimitar Nikolov has 14 years’ experience in the wine industry as a sommelier, wine buyer, wine judge, wine writer and educator. Starting his career as a sommelier for a major hotel chain and at a restaurant in Chicago, Nikolov then returned to his native Bulgaria to work for Metro Cash & Carry, firstly as the wine buyer for Bulgaria, and then was promoted to category manager for Metro Cash & Carry’s entire Russian Federation operations, which saw him move to Russia.

After five years with the company, Nikolov was appointed to a top management position at a wine importer specializing in Hungarian wines. Upon returning to Bulgaria, he created, an online wine shop where he offers a selection of boutique wines from Bulgaria. He holds qualifications from the ISG Chicago, the WSET advanced certificate, and is currently studying for the WSET diploma.

Dimitar is the co-founder of Wine and Spirits Academy Bulgaria (WSAB) located in Sofia, Bulgaria where he is teaching WSET courses.

Dimitar first judged at DWWA in 2011.

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DWWA judge profile: Bruno Murciano

Bruno Murciano is a judge at the 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA)

Bruno Murciano

Bruno Murciano grew up with experience of a small family catering business and studied catering management in Castellon, Spain, followed by a sommelier degree in Toulouse, France.

He moved to the UK in 2002, where he worked as a Sommelier for Raymond Blanc at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in Oxford, before moving to London to join Richard Corrigan at Lindsay House as Head Sommelier, and then the Ritz London as Chef Sommelier. He was named Best Sommelier of Spain 2008 and then spent a few years with Bibendum Wines as Prestige Accounts Manager.

Murciano owns a biodynamic vineyard in his native Utiel-Requena, where he makes a range of artisanal wines from Bobal with David Sampedro Gil. In 2012, Murciano and Sampedro Gil teamed up with Valencia based historic family Valsan 1831 to make a range of new wines based in native grape varieties.

He co-founded deVINOS TastEspaña UK, a Spanish wine specialist importer for the UK market.

Murciano has recently developed a strategic partnership with H2Vin, to fully incorporate ‘de Vinos’ Spanish Wine Collection into H2Vin’s core portfolio. Murciano joined H2Vin’s management team, aiding sales and client relations whilst further developing H2Vin’s Spanish Agencies.

Bruno Murciano was first a judge at the DWWA in 2014.

Follow Bruno on Twitter @BrunoMurciano

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Wine Folly’s Big 2019 Announcement!

We’re delighted to announce that we’re merging with another company. Find out what this means for you and the wine world!

Wine enthusiasts, wineries, commissions, and communicators: here’s what you should know!

Sign Up For Updates

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We’re combining forces with Global Wine Database to build the world’s best wine information portal. The team is tasked with collecting, quantifying, and maintaining a centralized knowledge base of global wine information – available to all.

Say Hello to Folly Enterprises.

Here’s a snapshot of what’s coming:

  • Explore wines based on unique traits (tech info, certifications, and more).
  • Teach yourself wine through educational guides and tools.
  • Quickly and easily access wine, winery, and winemaker information.
  • Integrate Global Wine Database’s API into apps and ecommerce.
  • See remarkable information visualized about the wine world.
  • Drink better wine.
Folly Enterprises - how it works
The wine information portal starts with an easy-to-use user experience.

Wine drinkers get free access to the database through Wine Folly’s learning resource. Global Wine Database adds the layer of truth and authenticity to wine regional data, wineries, and wines to Wine Folly’s platform.

how wineries will use folly inc
Wineries receive increased visibility as well as useful digital tools.

Wineries benefit by being part of the ontology with increased visibility, as well really useful digital tools and better data management.

folly inc resources for big businesses
The API will be available for ecommerce, app developers, big data businesses, and researchers.

The API isn’t a closed system. Access is granted for those needing better wine data. The potential is limitless. Ecommerce, app development, government structures, wine commissions, research institutions all have the opportunity to use this tool.

Team Folly - Matt Protti, Madeline Puckette, Ben Andrews, David Gluzman
From left to right: Matthew Protti (CEO Blacksquare), Madeline Puckette (co-founder Wine Folly), Ben Andrews (Folly co-founder), and David Gluzman (new Folly CEO).

Who is Behind The Merger?

Wine Folly and the Canadian firm, Blacksquare (who controls Global Wine Database), founded this project. The new company is called Folly Enterprises and it’s already off to a great start with information gathered on many of the top regions of the world.

“Gone will be the need for dozens of people to populate dozens of databases, forms, and documents, spending endless hours copying, pasting, printing, faxing, emailing, posting, and chasing queries. They sum it up thus: Upload data once. Drive the facts forward.”

–Tamlyn Currin,

Want to know more?

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Sign up above for news and contact to Folly’s team and find out how to get involved.

Wine Folly – Learn about wine.

Calling all UK wine retailers

Roberson Wine, UK wine retailers
Roberson Wine won USA Specialist of the Year 2018.

With the deadline for this year’s Decanter Retailer Awards approaching, here’s an outline of the main benefits of entering and winning an award.

Enter here

1. Brand Alignment with Decanter, the world’s leading wine media brand

We announce the shortlist, runners-up and winners on, publish the full results in the November issue of Decanter magazine and shout about it all over our social media platforms.

Follow us @DecanterAwards to stay up-to-date with the awards

See what one of last year’s winners said…

“Many customers, and indeed potential customers, recognise the awards through their awareness of the Decanter brand and the esteem in which it’s held. In this way, having an award reassures existing customers that they are buying from a top retailer.

Hannah Schwarzer – Tanners Wines, National Wine Shop & Subscription Wine Club of the Year 2018

2. See where your store ranks against your competitors

Curious to know how your business is doing in the eyes of our experts?

The judges: Awards chairman Peter Richards MW, Laura Clay, Peter Ranscombe, Andy Howard MW, Matt Walls

Our judges evaluate performance and look for evidence of excellence over the past year scoring entrants from 1-10 on:

  • Performance
  • Staff training
  • Wine range
  • Customer service
  • Innovation

3. Attract the attention of new customers and suppliers

If you win, come runner-up or make the shortlist you will have access to the Decanter Retailer Awards logos and marketing materials in our Media Centre to help you promote your success.

4. Find out what the British wine drinking public really think about your business with the People’s Choice award

NEW to 2019 – all entrants to the Decanter Retailer Awards will be put forward to a public vote to be crowned the Decanter Retailer of the Year People’s Choice winner. This will give you the chance to connect and interact even more with your consumers by campaigning and getting them to vote for you.

5. A night out to celebrate

After all, in the word’s of the Decanter Retailer Award’s Chairman, Peter Richards…

“One of the primary duties of wine is to be fun”

All entrants are warmly invited to join us at the Decanter Retailer Awards ceremony and after-party, regardless of whether you made the shortlist or not.  Join us on Thursday 26 September at the OXO2 where we will reveal this year’s Decanter Retailer Award winners, alongside wine, canapés and live music.

Click here to take a sneak peak from last year’s ceremony.

Enter the Decanter Retailer Awards here

Stay up-to-date with everything related to the Retailer Awards by signing up to the newsletter – CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE


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