I don’t own a wine cellar in my house, I buy wine from bad years, and I’m far from knowing everything about a good vintage of Burgundy. I enjoy going to wine tastings and if I find something I like, I buy it, no matter the brand or what the price tag says. Cheap wines are often frowned upon by wine snobs but I’ll say “If it tastes good, gimme gimme.”
Every Portuguese knows well this bottle of happiness. Casal Garcia has been around since I remember but this brand actually dates back to 1939. The Minho region in Portugal is the birthplace of this fun and fizzy wine brand. To this day, Casal Garcia is a staple in every Portuguese household.
This low alcohol white (or rosé) wine is usually more appreciated in the summer time while enjoying seafood or a lighter meal but over the years, I learned that you can appreciate it all year around. So what exactly is vinho verde? No, it’s not green wine. Young wines are called verdes because they must be consumed within 2 years after it was bottled. You can find many verde wines but the crisp, sweet, and refreshing taste of Casal Garcia is unique.
Occasionally, you can find bottles of Casal Garcia wines at a Trader Joe’s near you and it costs between $7 and $10. You will also find Espiral, another Portuguese vinho verde brand. Casal Garcia is one step above Espiral but you might find the price more attractive if you are on a budget. Espiral wines are around $5 a bottle. If you’re lucky, you also might spot another competitive Portuguese brand in the vinho verde business called Gazela. Who drinks Casal Garcia will also enjoy Gazela. They are very similar in flavor and smell however, Casal Garcia remains my favorite for the distinctive sweetness.
Fun things to do with vinho verde:
Make a Pritzer – Add Sprite or 7Up to your vinho verde. It will give a boost on the citrus flavors and fizz!
Make White Sangria – White Sangria made with Casal Garcia is delicious. Add Orange, Orange Juice, Apples, Grapes, Rum, Sugar and a couple of Cinnamons sticks. Oh my!