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Dear Dr. Vinny,
I've been drinking a lot of Vinho Verde—it pairs great with paella! Can you explain how the wine gets its bubbles?
—Jerry, South Carolina
Vinho Verde is a terrific wine to pair with food, and now I want some paella! This Portuguese white is crisp and juicy and, as you note, a teensy bit bubbly, which complements its refreshing character.
Unlike traditional method sparkling wines, where carbonation is created by a secondary fermentation that takes place in the bottle, Vinho Verdes traditionally got their effervescence by being bottled before all the carbon dioxide generated by the primary fermentation had dissipated. Nowadays, most Vinho Verdes get their bubbles via a CO2 injection before bottling—it's a much more predictable and reliable method that ensures consistency from bottle to bottle.
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