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ARAMANTE, PORTUGAL — In Manitoba, our selection of Vinho Verde is on the modest side, to say the least. Typically made into light, crisp, low-alcohol white wines, we see just a few Vinho Verdes at Manitoba Liquor Marts and only a few more at private wine stores.
This isn’t surprising — Vinho Verde wines aren’t exactly taking the world by storm right now. But all the right ingredients exist for this wine to take off in popularity in a big way. First of all, Spanish wines are exploding in popularity right now, and by all accounts Portuguese wines could ride the wave to bigger global sales much in the same way Argentine Malbec did with Chile’s rise and/or New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc did with Australia’s massive presence.
There’s also the fact that many wine drinkers are looking for alternatives to big, heavy, high oak- and alcohol wines right now — in that sense, Vinho Verde is the perfect alternative. The wines tend to be very light, fizzy white wines with modest alcohol content (anywhere from 8.5 per cent to 12 per cent) that are ridiculously food-friendly.