The Drinking of the Green—Wines

No, they're not green in color, but these picks have delicious green notes

Should you drink green wine for St. Patrick’s Day? It turns out, there’s a host of white wines known as green wines. These have some faint green hues and/or flavors of green things—apples, herbs, even bell peppers.

I find these characteristics most appealing in white wines, but in proper proportions they are compelling in reds—the subject of next month’s column. These green wines are lovely with shellfish and especially salads, where they balance the acidity of vinaigrettes. The following are some fantastic all-purpose whites, which I won’t recommend for St. Patrick’s Day. After all, what could be better than a tap of Guinness? 

Quinta da Aveleda “Vinho Verde”  
Portugal, 2010, $9
Vinho Verde isn’t a grape, but rather a style of Portuguese wine. Light as a feather, this shows a refreshing tartness, a tangy lemony cut and some playful spritz. A fine choice for a Friday night fish fry.            

Loimer Grüner Veltliner, “Lois”  
Austria,  2010, $16
The German word “grün” doesn’t refer to green in the grape, but it may just as well. This wine shimmers with flavors of spicy baby greens—tatsoi, mizuna and sorrel, and then flavors of Granny Smith apples. Try with artichokes.  

Bucci Verdicchio dei di Castelli Jesi   
Marches, Italy, 2009, $20
This splendid Verdicchio shows the varietal’s grassiness with a complex note of lime oil. A fabulous pairing with slightly oily fish served with peppers and olives.

Available at Madison’s finer wine stores. If unavailable, most purveyors will special order from their wholesalers if requested. Michael Kwas is wine director at L’Etoile restaurant. He writes this column monthly.

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