Looking for a food-friendly white wine for the summer months ahead? If your usual summer choices are Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc, try Vermentino! Vermentino, in general, has more complexity than Pinot Grigio and not the bracing acidity and grassy notes often found in Sauvignon Blanc. Vermentino is produced in a number of different countries and styles. Which Vermentino to pair with shrimp and fresh herb pilaf? Start with Vermentino from Italy.
Vermentino’s Style and Flavor Profile
Light to medium body, dry, fresh medium+ acidity to a richer fuller style when the wine has undergone malolactic fermentation (a secondary fermentation that changes the tart malic acid to creamier lactic acid).
Flavors can range from and include; citrus, mineral notes, salinity, green apple, herbs, melon, tropical fruit, and almond.
Where is Vermentino Grown
Italy; Sardinia, Tuscany, Liguria, and Piedmont
France; Corsica, Provence, and Languedoc-Roussillon
Australia; Victoria: Murray Darling, South Australia: McLaren Vale
United States; California: Adelaide District AVA, Carneros AVA, Oregon, Texas, Virginia, and North Carolina
Other Known Names for the Vermentino Grape
Pigato – Liguria
Favorita, Favorita Bianc, Favorita d’ Alba – Piedmont
Rolle – Provence and Languedoc-Roussillon
Vermentino wines that are lighter in style with crisp acidity will pair well with fresh, clean, and simple flavors; light appetizers, seafood, grilled fish, and risotto. For richer style Vermentino (Gallura and Corsica), poultry, pork and, veal work well as pairings. Cheeses to try with Vermentino; Burrata, goat cheese, Havarti, and Feta.
My Tasting Notes
2016 Costamolino Vermentino di Sardegna DOC
13.5% abv | $19.99 Total Wines | 100% Vermentino
Produced on the island of Sardinia. Founded by Antonio Argiolas in 1938. The Argiolas family is recognized as Sardinia’s leading wine producer. Grapes are harvested in August and September and vinified in stainless-steel tanks. A small percentage underwent malolactic fermentation.
Pale straw in color with a green hue. Medium acidity and body. A soft round texture on the palate with notes of citrus, herbs, stone fruit, and almond.
2017 Terre di Talamo Vento Fermentino Toscana IGT
13.5% abv | $14.99 Total Wines | 100% Vermentino
The vineyards are located in Tuscany. The winery is owned by Bacci Wines. Grapes are harvested in September and vinified in stainless steel tanks.
Pale straw in color. An aromatic nose of citrus blossoms. On the palate, medium juicy acidity with a medium body. A rich mouthfeel with lingering citrus notes.
Which Vermentino to Pair with Shrimp and Fresh Herb Pilaf
Both Vermentinos that I tasted, though from different regions in Italy, were similar in style and paired beautifully with the shrimp and fresh herb pilaf. The slight sweetness in the shrimp brought out the fruit component in the wines. The herbs and citrus elements in the wines were echoed in the food. The fresh, clean simplicity of the dish did not overwhelm the flavors in the wine. It was a food and wine pairing in perfect balance.
Shrimp and Fresh Herb Pilaf
- 1 cup basmati rice
- 1 fennel bulb, cored, outer layer of leaves discarded and chopped
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small/medium white onion, minced
- 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
- 2 good pinch Piment d' Espelette
- 2 cups roma plum tomatoes, seeded, cored and chopped
- 1 cup dry white vermouth
- 1 and 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1 lb shrimp I used Trader Joe's Wild Argentian Shrimp
- 6 tablespoons fresh parsley and mint, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
- 1 lemon, cut into wedges
- Rinse rice in a strainer until the water runs clear.
- In a large sauté pan over medium high heat, add 3 tablespoons of oil olive. After a few minutes, add fennel and onions sauté until soft but not colored. Add the garlic and Piment d' Espelette, continue to sauté for another 2 minutes, and then add tomatoes. Sauté for another 2 minutes. Add the rice and stir to combine.
- Pour in the vermouth, bring to a boil and reduce liquid by half. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed about 20 minutes.
- About 10 minutes before rice is done, in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat add the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil. After a few minutes, add the shrimp and sauté until pink and cooked through on both sides (you may need to do this in two batches). Season with salt and pepper.
- Gently mix the herbs into the rice. To serve, spoon rice on to a large platter, arrange the shrimp over the rice and sprinkle with the crumbled feta cheese. Add lemon wedges to squeeze lemon juice over the rice and shrimp.
Learn more about Vermentino from my fellow Italian Food, Wine, & Travel bloggers and their blog posts listed below. And join our conversation on Twitter Saturday, May 5th at 11:00am ET following the hashtag #ItalianFWT. Cheers!
Gwen from Wine Predator is sharing “You Need To Know Vermentino: Paired with Carbonara #ItalianFWT”
Lauren from The Swirling Dervish is writing “Vegetarian Plates and Pigato from A.A. Durin: Perfect for Your Summer Table”
Jill from L’Occasion is adding “Vermentino from Maremma, Land of The Butteri Tuscan Cowboys”
Jane from Always Ravenous is penning “Which Vermentino to Pair With Shrimp & Fresh Herb Pilaf?”
Lynn from Savor the Harvest is contributing “One Italian Island White Wine You Must Try”
Katarina from Grapevine Adventures is dishing on “Vermentino by Antonella Corda – An expression of Sardinia Terroir”
David from Cookingchatfood is giving us “Salmon with Lemon Olive Relish and a Vermentino”
Jennifer from Vino Travels Italy is reflecting on “Vermentino of Toscana with Aia Vecchia”
Nicole Ruiz Hudson from Sommstable is bringing “Piero Mancini Vermentino and Salmon Two Ways”
Camilla Mann from Culinary Adventures with Cam is posting “From Sardegna to the Land Down Under: Vermentino + Pizza alle Vongole”
Wendy from A Day In The Life on The Farm gives us “A Successful Search for Vermentino”.
and here at Avvinare, I’m all about “Vermentino in its Varied Styles from Liguria to Sardegna”
Wine Enthusiast Magazine
“Daring Pairings” by Evan Goldstein