Arinto is a popular native Portuguese white grape that is commonly found in white blends throughout the country. It is planted primarily in the regions of Bucelas, Tejo, Vinho Verde, Alentejo and the Azores Islands.Arinto grapes produce wines with extremely high acidity and are often added to lower-acid wines to improve the blends, especially in hot, dry regions such as Alentejo. In regions such as Alentejo, Arinto is often blended with varieties such as Antão Vaz, Fernão Pires, Roupeiro, and Verdelho. Arinto’s high acidity also makes it an ideal candidate for sparkling wines. It can be oaked and reach a level of richness similar to a Chardonnay. Though most Arinto wines are made to be drunk young, they can be aged for several years and develop more complex tertiary flavors. The best pairings are richer seafood dishes such as Portuguese bacalhau (salt cod), scallops in citrus butter sauce, or any fresh lobster or crab dish.
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