Keeping Cool with Green Wine

There are three qualifications for drinking in the Houston heat: the beverage in question 1) must be cold 2) must be light 3) must be refreshing. The one wine that meets all three criteria with flying colors is neither white, rosé or red. It's green.

Known "officially" as vinho verde, which translates to "green wine" in Portuguese, the color refers to the lack of aging rather than the actual color, which is white and rosé, depending on the type of grape used for the wine.

Vinho verde, due to its youthful character, contains a refreshing acidity that makes it easy to pair with just about anything. Another endearing quality, contributing to its universal pairing tendencies is the effervescence and lower alcohol content. Borderline-carbonation perks up the palate and keeps the wine fresh and sprightly.

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Pair with any grilled seafood dishes, citrus sauces or grilled vegetable salads for a boozy lunch or lighter dinner. Or, just drink a bottle to celebrate Monica Pope's triumphant Quickfire win on last night's Top Chef: Masters.

The wine for this tasting was Santola Vinho Verde, which is under $10 at Central Market, and found in a green bottle with a white label and a crab on the front.

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