Sogrape Gazela Vinho Verde

2009 Sogrape Gazela Vinho Verde, $8.95. LCBO#141432.

I have a lovely spring sipper to share for this wonderful wine Wednesday. My colleague Shelley recommended that I check out vinho verde, and I am happy I took her advice. I have to admit I picked this bottle because it was the prettiest one I saw in the Portugal section of the LCBO.  Luckily my very unscientific selection method worked in my favour. As well, it fit the under $10 criteria, much to my delight.

Vinho verde means “green wine,” which I suppose is fairly intuitive; it refers to wine that is meant to be enjoyed young. White vinho verde is actually made from green grapes. The name “Gazela” should probably have warned me that it is a sparkling wine….but I am a bit thick at times, so I was surprised by the bubbles. A good surprise, mind you, as the spritziness makes the wine even fresher and more appropriate for spring/summer.

Sogrape’s Gazela is a nice pale straw colour, with crisp citrus notes; it’s very dry, light and refreshing. I often don’t enjoy sparkling wines because they can be on the sweet side, but this bottle is dry enough for me. I would even take it to a celebration in place of an affordable bottle of champagne, because champagne at a price point comparable to this would hardly be drinkable. This would be great for a girl’s night or get together with tapas. I can’t wait to get another bottle of Gazela to pair with some seafood and then enjoy it on my patio under the sun.

Overall, I give this bottle 8.5/10 for taste and 4.5/5 for value.

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