I have timed both of my most recent trips to Cambridge most fortuitously as both have coincided with wine tastings held by Tom aka The Cambridge Wine Blogger. I was particularly looking forward to this, most recent, tasting as we were focusing specifically on Vinho Verdes one of which (picture above) had been my favourite wine from the previous event.
Vinho Verde hail from Portugal and while the literal translation means green wine the name actually refers to the fact that these are young wines designed to be drunk rather than kept. They tend to be slightly lower in alcohol, the wines we tried were between 10 and 13%, and their light flavour and slight spritz make them a great summer wine (or mid-afternoon autumn wine as we discovered!)
As much as I am reluctant to admit it The Fiancé has a much better palate and/or recognition of flavours than I do. However, as he won the who-doesn't-have-to-drive-home-from-the-airport contest, and the fact that we tasted nine different wines, his memory of the afternoon has become somewhat hazy. So, I shall direct you to Tom's excellent post for the finer details and tasting notes and shall just focus in our favourites of the day.
My favourite from last time held strong in this tasting and seemed to be one of the favourites throughout the group. The Aveleda Casal Garcia Branco is a light, refreshing wine with a lovely spritz and is something that I could easily picture myself quaffing in the sunshine. There also seemed to be general agreement that the blue glass and label would entice us to pick it off the shelf.
The Fiancé was impressed by the Arca Nova Branco (right) which had lovely pear flavours and a much longer finish than the light Casal Garcia.
We both agreed that we also really enjoyed the Quinta de Lixa (below) which seemed a little fuller in flavour with more sweetness. This won a gold medal in the Concours Mondial Bruxelles which Tom informed us is worth keeping an eye out for when shopping for wine.
For those of you reading this in Dublin, a small amount of googling did not result in my unearthing a stockist for the Casal Garcia (If anyone finds it, please let me know!). However The Celtic Whiskey Shop seems to stock a number of the higher end Alvarinho ranging in price from €11.99 to €19.99 which would definitely be worth a try.
Thanks so much to Tom for having us along, to Cambridge Wine Merchants for hosting us, and to the EU for funding the whole thing apparently! Who knew the EU were involved in such fun things!