Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Verdict on Vinho Verde...and Seafood Stew.

Last night I had a wine that I normally LOVE, Trader Joe’s Espiral Vinho Verde. So much so that I keep it on hand always and do not feel the least bit bad about going through two bottles in one night, with my husband or a good friend by my side of course.
What I know about the wine:
  • It’s light and fizzy. Think featherweight champagne!
  • Drink it fully chilled. If there’s no time for that a coupleof ice cubes won’t hurt (I warned you in my first post that I am by NO means a wine snob!). Plus it's a tall bottle that won't fit upright in most refrigerators.
  • It’s slightly tart, not overly sweet. I don’t care for sweet wines generally but this is a bit “drier” than I normally drink.
  • It is an out and out perfect summertime wine! I actually love to drink it when it’s cold to remind me of the summer weather to come.
  • It costs $3.99!!!!! Holy Cow, there were some mean reviews online about this poor fella. But my thought on that is: What the hell did you expect from a 4 dollar bottle of wine? Drink more, it’ll taste better!

What I learned online:
  • It is comes from Portugal, somewhere in the Northern region.
  • It should be drunk in the year after its harvest. So in 2011 we should be drinking a 2010 vintage.
  • It’s naturally low in alcohol. This fact has me rethinking how much I love it as well as the sharing part!

Going back to my initial statement, I normally love this wine. However, last night it was not as pleasing for me as usual. The problem was the meal I served it with. You used to always hear, white with fish and chicken, red with beef and so on (I know this is not the norm of today). Last night I made the most delicious and easy Seafood Stew (recipe to follow) that went horribly with this wine. Not only that, it then turned around and made my stew taste weird! It was very disheartening. But then I got to thinking…”I’ll drink water with dinner. Why throw the baby out with the bath water right?” If you love two things dearly that are wonderful on their own but not so great together…Just do your best to keep them apart and enjoy their company separately whenever you can.

Husband One Word Ratings (for those in a hurry)
With the stew? Budweiser   By itself? OK 

Seafood Stew
Makes 4-6 servings

4 small to medium potatoes peeled and evenly diced
2 stalks of diced Celery
1/ 2 Yellow Onion, cut into medium pieces
32 oz carton Chicken Broth
32 oz Water (refill the stock carton)
1 pound of Cod, frozen or fresh cut in to 1 inch cubes
1/2 pound (or more) 31-40 shrimp peeled, cleaned and cut in half
8 oz Half & Half
1 TBSP Old Bay seasoning
1 Tsp Garlic Powder
Pepper to taste (I like a lot)
Salt to taste

In a stock pot, bring the stock and water to a boil. Add Old Bay and garlic powder. Add potatoes, celery and onions. Cook until potatoes are just fork tender, about 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium low. Add the cod, shrimp and cream. Let cook at low heat for about 5 minutes more until the shrimp is pink and the cod is cooked through. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with cornbread and anything but Vinho Verde!

**I would normally add some lump crabmeat (about 4-6 ounces) during the last couple minutes of cooking, but didn’t have any on hand. Feel free to change up the amounts on the fish and type- as long as it is a thick white fish you’ll be fine.
*** By request I will start including nutritional info- approximate and for informational purposes only.
***  Total Calories 1409
        Carbs 156
        Fat 124
        Protien 138
***   Per Serving (5)
        Calories 282
        Carbs 31
        Fat 5
        Protien 28


  1. Great! I can't wait to give the Vinho Verde a try. Unfortunately, there's no Trader Joe's around me, but I'll give the Broadbent brand a try. Hopefully it's as inexpensive as the TJ brand. I'm more of a red drinker (Gabbiano Chianti is my drug of choice), but I love to try anything new.

    That seafood stew looks amazing! (I LOVE the pics! Great photography!) Only one suggestion: nutritional information would be awesome. has a great app where you input your ingredients and the servings and it will calculate it all for you. Of course your faithful fans could do it ourselves, too ;)

  2. Maria,
    Thanks!! I've had lots of the Verde type wines that I love. I am also a huge fan of Chianti and there is one coming up, I'll dedicate it to you. Unfortunately I just hit TJ's so that will be most of my wines for now.
    Thanks for the suggestion onn the nutrition. I'll get on that now..great idea!

  3. We tried the vinho verde last night. We finished the bottle between us both. Hubby's not really much of an alcohol drinker at all, per se, so that's saying something (he barely tries any reds, but he's not opposed to white or rose'). We will definitely purchase it again, although we may wait for a little warmer weather when we can sneak it to the park for a little picnic. I can't wait to try your next suggestion!