Creative Juices Wine Blog

Gazela Vinho Verde-Portugal

Posted in Minho, Portugal, Vinho Verde, Wine Reviews by CreativeJuicesWine on November 22, 2009

When we think Portugal, we think Porto. Secondarily, we think Vinho (“Veen-yo”) Verde. What’s that? Glad you asked.

Vinho Verde is a white wine made from Loureiro, Arinto, Trajadura, Avesso, and Azal grapes. These grapes are grown in the Northern regions of Portugal, and have made Vinho Verde a staple since the 12th Century. It is very close to being semi-sparkling, yet lacks the carbon dioxide pressure to classify as such. We like to think of its frizzante nature as being one of the dimensions of its youth and freshness. Vinho Verde means “Green Wine” and refers to the fact that these wines are to be drunk in their first year after release.

Gazela Vinho Verde has become a frequent guest of honor in our household. We generally do not go back to wines we have consumed before, unless it is a different vintage. This wine has been one of few exceptions. This is now the fourth bottle that we have purchased, and to be perfectly honest, we probably should have just bought a case of it. Gazela retails for $8 a bottle, and if you are in the right place, even less.

This wine barely possesses any color at all. If it weren’t for its pale yellow outer rim, it would look like mineral water. On the nose, there is a light hint of citrus fruits and green apple. The palate carries out the flavors consistent with those from the nose, adding a bit of minerality. The natural acidity gives the wine a crisp finish.

We would recommend pairing this food with oysters, scallops, or possibly cod.

Vinho Verde drinks like nothing else, and although the United States gets a good portion of Portugal’s exports of this wine, finding one may not always be that easy.

Gazela gets 88 points from us, and will no doubt make a few more appearances.

We challenge you to expand your palates, and if you have not tried this bottle (or any other Vinho Verde) go out and pick one up. Let us know what you think via comments. Cheers!

Kung Fu Girl Riesling-Washington St. 2008

Posted in Columbia Valley, Riesling, Washington, Wine Reviews by CreativeJuicesWine on October 28, 2009

We bought this bottle after continually seeing it everywhere – in print, on wine blogs, in retail. So finally, we gave in, and rightfully so. Honey comes on strong right on the attack, followed by citrus. The mid-palate is complex enough to substantiate a blog entry, yet forward enough that it would only seem unfamiliar to a person who has never had honey or lemon juice. It is gentle, soft, and feminine, yet succulent and inviting, finishing with wild blossoms. Speaking of the finish, it was the one thing that left a lot to be desired.

Having this bottle got us into a long conversation about whites. Living in El Paso we expected the local wine drinkers to be enjoying a lot more whites than reds, but were mistaken. Reds are peaking in popularity, while whites carry a stigma of a beginner drinker’s wine. Undeservingly so. Reds and whites can be equally enjoyable, and to deny oneself of either is to cripple one’s wine journey. White wines are easy to appreciate because everything is on the surface. This bottle breaks the common misconception that all Rieslings are sweet, and we encourage wine enthusiasts of all levels to enjoy this, and any other dry Riesling.

Our Rating: 88 points

Please email us with any thoughts or considerations about this bottle, or any other dry Rieslings that you may have recently consumed. Thanks.

-Zak & Olena