It’s no secret that I am a fan of the wines of Vinhos Verdes DOC. Last year, I did a deep dive into the white wines of the region for two TV appearances, and my understanding and appreciation grew. I tasted over 25 Vinhos Verdes wines and was pleasantly surprised by these inspired, thought-provoking, and complex wines.

Beyond reading and tasting, I had a chance to attend a Vinhos Verdes food pairing Master Class with Brand Ambassador Jeff Harding at Tanta Restaurant in Chicago. This gastronomic adventure paired bold Peruvian flavors with wines from Vinhos Verdes DOC, helping the media to experience the flexibility of these wines.

Where is Vinhos Verdes DOC?

Located in the northwest of Portugal, Vinhos Verdes DOC’s history spans 115 years. The wine region was officially demarcated in 1908, ultimately earning its coveted DOC (Denominação de Origem Controlada) title in 1984.

Vinhos Verdes has nine sub-regions, each with climatic differences that aid in producing diverse and versatile wine styles and profiles. Vinhos Verdes produces two distinct styles: one being young, light, fresh, and with low alcohol, while the other has more body, complexity, and aromatic intensity. The hotter, drier areas to the north of the Minho River produce perfumed and exotic whites from the Alvarinho grape. To the south, around the Douro River, you’ll be able to find wines that feature the creamy minerality of the Avesso grape.

According to the conversations I had with representatives from the Vinhos Verdes region, it is committed to sustainable viticulture. They describe the region as experiencing a renaissance of sustainable, single-varietal wines, and more wineries are adopting environmentally friendly practices. Producers combine scientific innovations with centuries-old practices and are attentive to environmental sustainability and biodiversity.

It’s Not Your Mama’s White Wine

Vinhos Verdes wines are often misconstrued as a singular wine style because many wine drinkers are introduced to the easy-drinking, budget-friendly wines of the region. Thus, its reputation as a region that only offers light, refreshing wines ideal for summertime sipping. In fact, the wines of Vinhos Verdes DOC are multifaceted.

I have only explored the white wines of the region, which are known for their freshness, lively fruitiness, and clever salinity. I must note the breadth of Vinhos Verdes’s viticulture, which encompasses 45 grape varieties. In addition to white wines, you will find reds and rosés among its portfolio. Furthermore, the region has been producing sparkling wines since 1999.

Main White Grapes

Pairing Possibilities and Beyond

Vinhos Verdes could easily become your house white wine. They easily fit into any occasion from casual to formal. The wines are an excellent frame for a variety of dishes, supporting vibrant flavors and adding refreshing acidity where needed.

  1. Takeout Night? From tacos to spicy Thai cuisine, savory sushi rolls, or decadent Indian, Vinhos Verdes’ white wines are a great option.
  2. Party Wine!  Introduce your guests to something new. Lean on the more complex Vinhos Verdes white wines; they can serve as satisfying aperitifs or pair with creamy cheeses, bruschetta, fresh seafood platters, and charcuterie boards.
  3. Holiday Menus-  I recommend Vinhos Verdes white wines as an alternative to traditional Thanksgiving wines. Try them with roasted turkey or ham.

One of our missions at Shall We Wine is to encourage you to explore the world of wine. We want to debunk common views and lead you to the areas that deserve your wine dollars. Vinhos Verdes DOC is one such place. Explore some of their more serious producers, and they will become among your new favorites.

Follow: @vinhoverdewines 

More information on the region can be found at

Paid partnership with Vinhos Verdes