Log In / Join Now

Ask Dr. Vinny

Do you have a question for Dr. Vinny? Ask it here...

Dear Dr. Vinny,

I want to surprise my husband with a bottle of Vinho Verde. But the last time we tried one it was bubbly and tasted terrible. What should I expect?

—Vannesa H., Napa, Calif.

Dear Vannesa,

Vinho Verde, or “green wine,” is a Portuguese white wine that’s meant to be consumed while still young, hence the name. It can be made from any combination of 25 different white wine grapes, the most popular being Alvarinho, Loureiro and Trajadura. Most Vinho Verdes are crisp and citrusy, and most are a bit effervescent, as you described, because winemakers often add a dose of carbon dioxide right before bottling. Vinho Verdes are usually inexpensive and typically go great with seafood.

I recommend searching our online database for recommended producers and bottlings of Vinho Verde (note the “h” in the spelling). But any time you grab a bottle of Vinho Verde, you run the risk of grabbing an effervescent one. If you like the flavor of Vinho Verde but not the bubbles, check out Albariño. Albariño is the Spanish name for the Portugese grape Alvarinho, which as I mentioned above is one of the main grapes used to make Vinho Verde. Albariños are also light-bodied and typically fragrant wines with pretty peach and citrus flavors. And no bubbles.

—Dr. Vinny

Wine Basics

We break down the basics—how to taste, serve, store and more. Plus:
» Maps of major wine regions
» Grape variety characteristics

How-to Videos

Learn to taste wine like a pro, pull a cork with flair, get great wine service in a restaurant and more

Wine Spectator School: All courses are FREE for WineSpectator.com Members

Learn from the experts and get the most out of each sip. Take one of our online courses or take them all—from the ABCs of Tasting to in-depth seminars on Food Pairing, California Cabernet, Bordeaux, Tuscany, Sensory Evaluation and more.

Browse our course catalog
Check out the professional wine sales and service courses
Learn Wine Forum: Got questions? Get answers

WineRatings+ app: Download now for 340,000+ ratings.