Vinho Verde & Why It's the Perfect Wine for Southeast Asia

Vinho Verde & Why It’s the Perfect Wine for SE Asia

Vinho Verde & Why It’s the Perfect Wine for Southeast Asia

Monica Tindall

Vinho Verde, the renowned Portuguese wine region located northwest of the country, is celebrated for its distinctive, young, and refreshing wines. Characterized by its hilly landscapes, lush greenery, and ideal climate, Vinho Verde spans several sub-regions, each with its own microclimates and terroirs. This picturesque region produces light, crisp, and aromatic white wines that capture the essence of Portugal’s vibrant wine culture.

Portuguese Enotourism
Vinho Verde Grapes
Portuguese Enotourism
Granite – Typical of the Terroir

The Vinho Verde region benefits from a mild maritime climate influenced by the nearby Atlantic Ocean. This unique climate moderates temperatures and contributes to high levels of rainfall, creating perfect conditions for grape cultivation. The region boasts fertile soils and optimal weather, which enable winemakers to preserve the grapes’ fresh, vibrant, and fruity characteristics.

Portuguese Enotourism
Borges Vineyards

The wines from Vinho Verde are predominantly white, accounting for about 85% of the region’s production. They are typically released young, within a few months after harvest, to maintain their lively and refreshing nature. With a focus on low-temperature fermentation in stainless steel tanks, these wines retain their bright fruit flavours and enticing aromas.

Portuguese Enotourism
Diverse Wines from the Region

10 Reasons to Drink Vinho Verde Wine in Southeast Asia

  1. Suitability for Warm Climate: Vinho Verde wines are light, refreshing, and low in alcohol content, making them a perfect match for the warm and humid climate of Southeast Asia. When served chilled, these wines offer a rejuvenating drinking experience, making them ideal for hot weather.
  2. Versatile Food Pairings: The vibrant acidity and fruit-forward profiles of Vinho Verde wines make them an excellent companion for a wide range of cuisines found in Southeast Asia. They pair exceptionally well with seafood dishes, salads, grilled vegetables, sushi, sashimi, and other lighter fare commonly enjoyed in the region.
  3. A Perfect Summer Wine: Vinho Verde’s youthful and lively fruit flavours align perfectly with the tropical climate of Southeast Asia. Whether it’s an outdoor gathering, patio party, or chilling by the poolside, these wines are a great choice for summertime enjoyment.
  4. Slight Spritz and Effervescence: Many Vinho Verde wines exhibit a slight spritz or effervescence, providing a refreshing and playful sensation on the palate, which can be particularly appealing in warmer climates.
  5. Affordable and Accessible: Vinho Verde wines are often reasonably priced and more are coming to the market in Southeast Asia. Their approachable price points make them an attractive option for both casual drinkers and wine enthusiasts looking to explore new wine regions.
  6. Variety of Grapes: The Vinho Verde region boasts several indigenous grape varieties, each contributing unique flavours and aromas to the wines. Whether one prefers crisp citrus notes from Alvarinho, floral and aromatic tones from Loureiro, or tropical fruit flavours from Arinto, Vinho Verde offers a diverse selection of wines to suit various palates.
  7. Excellent Alternative to Traditional Sparkling Wines: For those seeking a refreshing alternative to traditional sparkling wines, Vinho Verde’s slight effervescence and lively character make it an appealing and affordable choice for toasting special occasions or enjoying every day.
  8. Embracing Sustainability: Many winemakers in the Vinho Verde region have embraced sustainable viticulture and modern winemaking practices, further enhancing the quality and appeal of their wines. By supporting these producers, consumers in Southeast Asia can indulge in eco-conscious wines that resonate with a growing global interest in sustainability.
  9. Lower Alcohol Content: Vinho Verde wines are generally lower in alcohol content, with many coming in below 11.5% ABV (some even as low at 8%), aligning perfectly with the trend towards more responsible and healthier drinking habits. 
  10. Lower in Calories: For the calorie-conscious, Vinho Verde wines provide an appealing choice. Typically, most contain 60 to 70 kcal/100ml. Comparitvely Sauvignon Blanc or Moscato may have around 80 kcal/100 ml, and red wine much more. The use of white grapes with lower sugar levels and the fermentation to a lower alcohol content contribute to Vinho Verde wines’ lower calorie count. Vinho Verde wines offer a lighter option for those looking to enjoy wine without excessive caloric intake.
Best Match for Seafood
A Great Match for Seafood

Where Can I Find Vinho Verde in Malaysia

Now you know why we should drink more Vinho Verde wines in Southeast Asia, I bet you’re wondering where can you find some in Malaysia.

Gatão arrived to Malaysian shores last year, offering a light and easy introduction to this style of wine. It takes its name from a playful colloquial term for a “mischievous” person, infusing the brand with a sense of fun. Gatão is widely recognised for its approachable and easy-to-drink wines, popular for casual and social occasions. Made from indigenous grape varieties such as Loureiro, Trajadura, Arinto, and Azal, Gatão wines showcase vibrant fruit notes of citrus, green apple, and tropical flavours with a refreshing acidity. Known for their light body and low alcohol content, these wines are perfect for warm climates and pair well with seafood dishes, salads, and outdoor gatherings. Look out for them in hip bars such as Concubine and W Kuala Lumpur, or take a look at their page on Instagram @gataowine_my

Gatao Wine Vinho Verde
Gatão Fresh off the Production Line
Gatao Vinho Verde
Great with Seafood

Portugal Recommendations

Borges, one of Portugal’s renowned wine producers, offers a diverse range of Vinho Verde wines that showcase the unique characteristics of the region. This large producer and exporter has everything from entry-level wines to finer labels showcasing the variety this region is capable of. From their popular Gatão to the more complex Quinta de Simaens or Quinta do Ôro and single-varietal Alvarinho AT, Borges offers a wide range of Vinho Verde wines suitable for various preferences. They are widely available internationally and provide excellent value for wine enthusiasts seeking to discover wines from this region. Discover their range here.

Borges El Gatao wine
Borges Has a Wide Range of Wines Produced in Vinho Verde

Get Your Green Game On

Vinho Verde wines are a refreshing and enjoyable addition to Southeast Asia’s growing wine culture. Whether you’re in for a chilled afternoon by the pool, a seafood feast, or a night on the town with your crew, these wines offer versatility and freshness – a flawless match for the tropics. Cheers to discovering the enticing flavours and charms of Vinho Verde!

Find more recommendations for gourmet travel in Portugal here and stay up-to-date with our latest gourmet travel finds here and here.


  1. There was a somewhat suggestive hit song at one time called “Summer Wine” by Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazelwood.

  2. I love wine, and I love trying new wines. I was excited to try Vinho Verde, because I’ve heard so many great things about it. I was not disappointed! It’s a great wine for any occasion. I

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