Arinto is my choice for world’s most underrated grape. Yes, I’m uninformed but for acid lovers, this grape has all kinds of car battery and a long finish on the front of the mouth. Most wines have that long, tannic finish or round out the back of the mouth with a dollop of chewiness, but not Arinto. Arinto’s a front of the mouth lingerer, a grape that likes the incisors and is kinda into the canines, but mostly the incisors. Very front of the mouth, which I respect since that’s where a kiss is best.
Wine of choice when it comes to Arinto isn’t really known since I think I’ve tried about 3 in my life. That said, this particular one from Bucelas is the first wine that caused me to buy a case. It’s got all kinds of lime, lemon and little flowers (had to finish that alliterative line). Also, grapefruit lovers will gobble this wine up at $10.
Also, history. Back in the days when the English hated the French (18th century in case you think that’s always been the case), the Brits were all about Portuguese wines since Napoleon barricaded the continent with one exception. Portugal, crazy Portugal not only had an alliance with the Brits, they had really kick-ass wines. Duke Wellington (yes, that Napoleon-defeating guy) used to offer this wine to his court friends. Somehow between then and now, the Bris lost their way and moved on to gin and Irish beers. Nonetheless, Bucelas thrives still and heads up the list of awesome Portuguese wine regions. Thanks to the French and their blockade we have that random historical tidbit.
Quinta da Romeira – Arinto 2008 for about $10
* Arinto shows up in Vinho Verde sometimes. Code-named Pederña.
* All of Portugal loves Arinto. Think of it as the Cristiano Ronaldo of wine.
* Arinto begs for food like a hungry puppy. People eat clams with this wine, not puppies.