Crisp wines are so yesterday!

All my working life the wine world has described certain wine styles as crisp, so widespread is it that I have even heard these wines incorrectly referred to as ‘crispy’ by those who are unaware of the linguistic differences.

Most of us know what crisp means; fresh, firm and steely with a hard-edged green apple or lemon acidity. Basically it means a wine where the fruit is less dominant than the fresh dryness and the sharp (crisp) acidity, so these wines leave the palate clean, refreshed and a little sour rather than leaving the faintly sweet deposit of fruity wines. At least that is how I explain it to myself. Continue reading

Bottled Sunshine – the fun side of Vinho Verde

I don’t know whether I had my mind closed to it for the last 26 years, but suddenly I cannot get enough Vinho Verde, or wines from the Minho region of Portugal anyway.

The area has long been famous for producing light-bodied and light-hearted wines that are refreshing and lively. This traditional style can be very enjoyable even at the commercial end of the market, but in recent years I have tried some really serious wines from the Minho as well – rich, concentrated and complex, like the wonderful Quinta de Covela or the great Quinta do Feital.

Well, recently I tasted something completely new to me – a rosé Vinho Verde. Which sounds an odd concept until you realise that the verde or green in the name does not refer to the colour, but rather the youthful character of the wine. Continue reading

Quinta do Feital – A Minho Marvel

The beautiful Quinta do Feital

I attended the annual Portuguese tasting in London the other day where I was fully expecting to find some lovely wines. Portugal makes terrific wine and I find it inexplicable that there is so little demand for it in the UK.

However, I was not expecting to be so totally bowled over by a brace of white wines – and by the guy who makes them as well. Continue reading