June 07, 2006

Gazela Vinho Verde, about $9

Saturday is Portugal Day, a good excuse to stock up on Vinho Verde for the summer. The holiday originated as a remembrance of poet Luis de Camoes, who died in 1580, but today it celebrates all things Portuguese, especially food. And in Portugal, where there's food, there's wine. In Denver, we may not be able to find traditional dishes like pork and clams - a dish as delicious as it sounds strange - or bolos de bacalhau, addictive deep-fried balls of salt cod - but we can find Vinho Verde.

Cool, crisp and snappy with dry, mineral flavors, the "green wine" of Portugal - called such because it's typically meant to be drunk young and fresh - is an excellent way to welcome summer. Check out Gazela, a stylish example from Sogrape, Portugal's largest winery.

Imported by Evaton, Stamford, Conn.; evaton.net

This review first appeared in the Denver Post.

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