Wine of the Week: Famega Vinho Verde 2008

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Last week, Amber Ambrose talked about vinho verde being the perfect Houston summer beverage after a wine tasting at Central Market. Well, it must be catching on because we've found ourselves running into vinho verde everywhere from grocery stores to wine bars.

This week, we are featuring Famega Vinho Verde from Portugal, which we picked up at Spec's for only $6.57. Vinho is Portuguese for wine. The vinho regional designation is roughly a step up from table wine, and is popular for modern winemakers.

As Amber discussed, vinho verde is a younger wine that is meant to be consumed early, about a year after harvest. It comes from the northwest part of Portugal, and until the 1980s was a fizzy, dry red wine.

The Famega is made from a blend of Avesso, Azal and Arinto grapes, and it's light and dry with good acidity. Fizzy and effervescent on the tongue but not quite sparkling like champagne, it tastes like biting into a crisp, green apple with some citrus undertones. The Famega would go well with Mediterranean dishes, seafood, salads and some cheeses.

We celebrated the first warm days of spring/summer by sipping on this refreshing vinho verde. And, at such a low price, we were able bring home a few bottles for our impromptu outdoor celebration. Next time, we'll take the readers' recommendations and make white sangria. Saúde!

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