Wine Profile: Vermentino
Vermentino is a white wine grape that’s most likely from Italy. Or maybe France. Or possibly Spain. But, wherever it’s from Vermentino is a dry aromatic white full of notes a citrus fruit and minerality.
WHO’S GRAPE IS IT ANYWAY?
Many countries claim this grape as their own, but most of its production comes from Italy. In Italy, Vermentino is grown widely in Sardinia and in Liguria on the Italian Riviera. Sardinia produces wines with bright, crisp flavors, lifted floral aromatics, and balanced acidity. In fact, nearly half of all Vermentino produced worldwide comes from Sardinia. In Liguria, Vermentino tends to be slightly lighter and crisper than the Sardinia version.
Next, we move onto Corsica, an island situated right next to Sardinia, but actually part of France. Vermentino is by far Corsica’s most planted white varietal. The grape is also grown on the mainland of France in the regions of both Provence and Languedoc-Roussillon. The main difference between the Italian and French versions is that the best Italian examples are almost always single varietal bottling. But, in France, the grape is often blended with other white wines from the region.
Even though Spain is in the running for a potential country of origin for the grape, today there is little to no Vermentino grown there. However, the new world is starting to offer some excellent examples of the wine. Australia, in particular, is producing some excellent Vermentino. Although still relatively new in the United States, there have been some promising examples produced in different areas.
DRINK IT NOW? NOT A PROBLEM
Vermentino is not a wine for aging. It’s a cross somewhere between a crisp Sauvignon Blanc and a highly aromatic Gewurztraminer, and its bright flavors and intoxicating nose are best enjoyed soon after it’s released. On the nose, Vermentino can have notes of fresh flowers, green tea, and ripe citrus. On the palate, it is full of flavors of pear, white peach, lime, pink grapefruit, and crushed rocks. It is almost always a dry wine with zesty acidity and an austere texture.
VERMENTINO: SO MANY MATCHES…SWIPE RIGHT
When pairing Vermentino with food the best options are usually appetizers or salty snacks. Because it generally has low to moderate alcohol, it can handle dishes with a generous pop of salt. In fact, deep-fried dishes are an especially excellent match. If you’re looking for a healthier quick meal, it is also an excellent match for many salads. It is also a great pairing with garlic-based dishes, which can be difficult to pair with white wines. If you are thinking of fresh pesto, you’re in business. Finally, like many citrus and acid-driven white wines, Vermentino is also a good compliment to seafood. With all of these options, we recommend this rock star white wine for your table.