Reverse Wine Snob Brings Us Up Close and Personal With Alvarinho

From blends to single varietal wines, the Alvarinho grape is a showstopper. Reverse Wine Snob talks with some of the winemakers from Vinho Verde to get their first hand knowledge and impression of one of the most important grapes in the region.

“As a result of the potential of this variety and the enthusiasm about it from a new generation of winemakers, there has been a large investment in new vineyards and new vineyard planting systems. Since the 2015 vintage the region has started a six year transition period to allow all the wineries of Vinho Verde region to produce and label Vinho Verde Alvarinho, even outside the sub-region of Monção e Melgaço. In other words, look for even more of the innovative and top quality Alvarinho wines from the Vinho Verde region in the future.” – Reverse Wine Snob

Get the full article and the interviews with the winemakers here:

Fresh and Luxurious: A Review from Reverse Wine Snob

We’re throwing it back (it is #ThrowbackThursday after all) to the delicious single varietal Alvarinho. We’ve discussed how Alvarinhos differ from the traditional Vinho Verde blend but did you know that each Alvarinho possesses a unique personality? It’s true! This one is particularly fresh, but Alvarinho’s can also age for quite a few years.

“The 2015 Vale dos Ares Alvarinho from MQ Vinhos begins with a pleasing aroma of grapefruit, guava and other tropical fruit along with a little peach and honeysuckle. Tasting the wine reveals lots of honey-soaked, rich and fresh tropical fruit flavors as well as citrus, peach and apricot. The wine alse features a smooth, mouth-filling and luxurious texture. A bit of minerality leads into the dry, tart and delicious finish.” – Reverse Wine Snob

Get the full review and additional insight from Reverse Wine Snob here:

Discovering Single Varietal Vinho Verde

You are probably familiar with the tasty blends from Vinho Verde. Did you know there are single varietal wines as well? That’s right (it’s ok to do a double take), try some single varietal Alvarinho or Louriero to get up close and personal with the different characteristics of the many varietals from Vinho Verde.

Watch what Lauren Sloss has to say on these exciting single varietal wines.


Are you interested in trying a single varietal Alvarinho? Check out wines from Reguendo de Melgaço.


Quinta de Soalheiro is a four-generation family business. It was created by João António Cerdeira who, with his father António Esteves Ferreira, planted the first Alvarinho vine in 1974. The rest of his family was later involved in the project and his children Maria João and António Luís, together with their mother Maria Palmira, carry on his dream that will surely be followed by the grandchildren. António Luís has loved wine production since childhood. He studied oenology and has a profound knowledge of Alvarinho grapes that makes him the main creator and inspiration for new Soalheiro wines. The taste for the earth made Maria João to want to follow the family’s tradition. She defends a sustainable vine plantation based on the respect for the soil, plants and man, giving significance to the original terroir. She has been certifying their vineyards as biological agriculture. This is the family’s history, one of tradition and modernity, where passionate and dedicated people turn winemaking into art.

Learn more:

From Reverse Wine Snob: “Portal do Fidalgo Alvarinho – Delicate and Delightful”

Reverse Wine Snob is back with another review! This time he’s focusing on a single varietal Alvarinho. Find a sneak peak below, as well as a link to the full review!

“Today we’re back with another delightful Vinho Verde pick! Unlike the last wine we featured, which was a blend of several different varieties, today’s wine is a single varietal Alvarinho. You can find out lots more about this variety in our Grapes of Vinho Verde article.

The 2013 Portal do Fidalgo Alvarinho begins with a pleasing aroma of apple, pear and citrus. It’s a bit shy when first opened but don’t let that stop you (…) Better and better with every sip, this is a wine that’s hard to put down once you discover its delights!”


Get the full review:

It’s Casual Friday from Domesticate ME!

This December, Wines of Vinho Verde has partnered with Domesticate ME to bring you mouthwatering food & wine pairings and holiday tips. Today’s all about keeping it casual. For easy and delicious finger food, Serena made a Butternut Squash Crostini and paired it with a glass of Vinho Verde. See an excerpt below!


“TGICasual Friday, friends! We have badass finger food and all kinds of exciting internet things to chat about today, so let’s get right to it.

First order of business: Butternut Squash Crostini with Brussels Sprouts and Pomegranate. These sassy little numbers are one of my favorite bites in recent memory—and given last week’s epic T-Day feast, that’s saying a lot. A LOT, dammit. The flavors of sweet and savory butternut squash, earthy Brussels sprouts, and sweet-tart pomegranate are a match made in holiday heaven, but to really do this recipe justice, I feel the need to break things down for you layer by insanely delicious layer.

Starting with the butternut squash puree! Cubed squash gets tossed with a little olive oil, cinnamon, and salt, roasted until tender and lightly caramelized, then blitzed with creamy ricotta to fluffy, spreadable perfection. (I like to go all out and use a whole milk Buffalo ricotta, but calorie counters may use skim ricotta if they must.) That silky madness is slathered on crisped slices of seeded baguette and topped with a petite mound of shaved and lightly charred Brussels sprouts. Each crostini is finished with a few juicy pomegranate arils and BOOM. Teeny-tiny bites of heaven.

Flavor fireworks excluded, what I love most about this recipe is that each element can be fully prepped in advance (puree made, sprouts sautéed, pomegranate seeded, and baguette toasted), so that all you’ll have to do come party time is assemble the crostini. And assembly shouldn’t take you more than 15 minutes, max, even after the requisite pre-party glass of vino. WHOOP.

Speaking of vino, you know I’ve been looking to up my wine game these days, and I’m very excited to announce that December will be Vinho Verde Month on Domesticate ME! Vinho Verde is a well-known wine-producing region in northwest Portugal, and it produces some fabulous wines that I’ve had the pleasure of learning about and tasting of late. There’s been a real quality revolution in the region over the past few decades, which has translated to some exciting varietal (aka single grape) wines in addition to the traditional blended styles that Vinho Verde is famous for, and I’m very excited to help spread the word.

The most notable thing about these wines is that they’re incredibly versatile. Their refreshing acidity and light body means that they pair well with a wide variety of cuisines, including those tricky ones that are big on spice and heat (i.e. Asian and Mexican). I have a feeling you’ll share my Vinho Verde obsession—especially since the wines really over deliver for their very approachable price—and I can’t wait to share some of my favorite bottles and recipe pairings over the next few weeks. We’re all going to be fancy wine experts!!

p.s. This crostini would be delightful with any Vinho Verde wine, but I’m partial to the Quinta da Lixa Pouco Comum Alvarinho 2015. It’s light and fruity nature plays very well with the sweetness of the butternut and pomegranate.” – Domesticate ME

For more on Domesticate ME and the full recipe plus other fun tips for Casual Friday, check out the full blog post:

Wine Spectator: Portugal’s White Wines Surge in Quality

In September, Kim Marcus of Wine Spectator turned his attention to some of Portugal’s great white wines, including Vinho Verde. Kim says “Alvarinho has traditionally been a component in the light and spritzy blends from the Vinho Verde appellation, which lies north and west of the Douro. Quality in Vinho Verde has improved over the past decade, as vintners have modernized grapegrowing and cellar practices, benefiting both blends and varietal bottlings.” Several Vinho Verde wines are recommended in this article.

Subscribers can read more here

Download the article here: breaking-the-mold-_-tasting-reports-_-news-features-_-wine-spectator

Quintas de Melgaço

Quintas De Melgaço, owned by multiple winegrowers, is one of the largest producers in the Monção and Melgaço subregions, where some of the best Alvarinho is grown and produced. The collective knowledge, passed down through generations, of these wine growers shapes the style and quality of the wines. The winery produces around a dozen brands, ranging from sparkling to red wine, with Alvarinho as the shining star. The wines are fresh, light and elegant: Terra Antiga is a soft, light and refreshing ideal for every day drinking. QM Vinhas Velhas is a white wine exclusively made with Alvarinho grapes from old vines. QM Alvarinho radiates freshness and lightness with aromas of tropical fruits. Torre de Menagem is fruity, delicate and irresistible to the taste.

Learn more:

Portuguese 101: How to pronounce Vinho Verde Grape Names

Ordering wine can be hard enough without having to stumble over how to pronounce a certain grape name or region. Vinho Verde’s grape names may look intimidating, but they are actually easy to say. Here, locals break down some of the most common ones for you:

Alvarinho with Joana of Quinta de Santiago:

Espadeiro with Andre of Casal de Ventozela:

Loureiro with Pedro of Quinta da Aveleda:

Trajadura with Pedro of Quinta da Aveleda:

Vinhão with Andre of Casal de Ventozela:


Quintas de Melgaço Torre de Menagem

This Alvarinho-Trajadura blend is pale yellow in color with a fruity, delicate and persistent aroma with hints of tropical fruit. They recommend you serve it well chilled as an aperitif, or paired with seafood. Another advantage of the grape is that it pairs well with international foods like sushi and sashimi.

Find a bottle near you.