Vermentino is a light-bodied white wine that has a sophisticated edge to it. One sip, and you’ll find aromas of pear, peach, lime, grapefruit and crushed gravel. Commonly a dry white wine, it has a bitter ‘green almond’ or grapefruit pith finish. You’ll find two styles of Vermentino, which are floral and zestier, and another style where you’ll get an almost oily or buttery/creamy sensation on the tongue.
Pairing Vermentino with Food
While Vermentino is light, it has this creamy character, along with a bitterness. This makes it excellent with medium-weight dishes that feature herbs and spices, like chicken and spinach pasta tossed in pesto. It will also stand up to richer foods like Salmon, crab cakes, or roasted quail, but we wouldn’t recommend pairing anything too heavy. With its zesty, and citrus quality, this is a great wine with fried food as it will cut through the oiliness of it. So calamari, fried mussels and fried chicken are excellent with this white wine.
Personally, I love Vermentino with roasted asparagus, falafel, spinach quiche, hummus, or a creamy leek soup. It just adds a bit of brightness to these dishes. While Vermentino is very veggie-friendly, it’s not a super acidic wine, so it will not go great with a tart vinaigrette, or with pickled vegetables.
Vermentino & Fried Mussels Pairing
Both styles of Vermentino are exceptional with fried mussels in their own way. The zestier version is the perfect counterbalance against the fried flavours, while the buttery Vermentino style complements the fried dish. I love how the crushed gravel flavours mesh so well with they salty-sea kissed flavours of fried mussels.
Pesto Sauce & Vermentino Pairing
When it comes to pesto sauce, you generally want to avoid oaked wines as the sharp bite of pesto clashes with the oak flavours. You also need a wine with a touch of heft, so it’s not overpowered by the strong garlic, basil and nutty flavours of pesto. Vermentino strikes this perfect balance as it has those bitter-almond notes that blend beautifully with the toasted pine nuts of pesto. I prefer the creamier style of Vermentino with pesto, as it marries well with the hard cheese and olive oil components of the sauce.
Spinach Quiche and Vermentino
Vermentino is an incredibly veggie-friendly white wine, that will go great with spinach quiche. In most instances, provided it’s not overly loaded with cheese, cream, bacon or ham, as Vermentino might not have enough acidity to cut through this wall of flavour.
If your quiche is simple, and full of spinach, Vermentino makes for an excellent partner. The light creamy nature of Vermentino complements the creamy texture of quiche, while the grapefruit bitterness and gravel notes love the earthy but green flavours of the spinach.
If your quiche is super cheesy and creamy, Vermentino will still make a fine pairing, however, knock off a star as you’ll find the wine may not hold up to the dense flavours of a heavier styled quiche.
On a final note, you might find Vermentino difficult to find as a significant amount of the world’s Vermentino is grown and produced the island of Sardinia in Italy. Thus, getting your hands on it may not be the easiest thing to do. However, this is a glass of wine that is worth getting lost in.