The Wine 📌 If you enjoy Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, or Gruner Veltliner,
it’s time to try Verdejo!
If you’ve never tasted Verdejo, or confuse it with all those other “Ver” grapes (Verdicchio, Verdelho, Verduzzo…), unrelated varieties whose names all derive from the latin root word for “green,” you’re in good company!
VERDEJO – a quality flavorful white grape from Spain. Similar to Sauvignon Blanc for its herbal/green and citrus flavors but with a bit more body, it tones down Sauv. Blanc’s tropical passionfruit while ramping up lemon/lime and adding melon or white peach. Verdejo wines are made in stainless steel or concrete, intended to drink young and fresh, though the very best versions can age well, becoming richer with nutty almond flavors.
NOSE: Adalina Bodegas Verdejo 2018 has aromas of lemon, followed by mint, grass and sweet thyme.
PALATE: The palate was pretty, starting lighter with some herbal lemon and green melon flavors, then deepened a bit mid-palate with more intense lemon oil (in flavor and mouthfeel). It finished with mint, herbs and a slip of juicier citrus-melon. At times I tasted some pithy bitterness on the finish as well, but fruit juiciness usually washed in.
PAIRING: A tad herbal for me as a straight porch-sipper, Adalina is a fantastic FOOD WINE! (just add a nibble). Invite her to brunch to enjoy her lemony-herb flavor, acidity and light-medium body with a variety of savories…
The high acid will stand up to your best vinaigrettes, the intensity to marinated-herbed white or green bean salads or the flavor impact of Thai-Asian vegetable sides. Her “green” notes will be gorgeous with herbed cheeses, herb omelets, and all those supposedly ‘difficult’ food pairings – eggs, artichokes, asparagus. Pour a glass with any semi-hard cheese, grilled vegetables, and bring on the roasted chicken, guacamole, carnitas, fish tacos! (I have so many ideas I really must grab a few more bottles)
But HERE is THEE PAIRING to buy it for!
You know that Tierra Fina (brand) spinach dip from Costco or Safeway? Trust me! At my first bite and sip, my eyes flew open and I did a little dance, skipping across the room to share a bite-sip! Gawd it’s good. The flavors just blossomed and exploded.
Try it now. Thank me later.
At $4.49 in Trader Joe’s wine aisle, there’s no time like the present to say hello to Verdejo!
NAVIGATING THE WORLD OF WINE….
VERDEJO – Names to Know:
Verdejo is the most popular white grape grown in Spain and is native to the northwest region of Rueda. If you see a white wine labeled “Rueda,” Verdejo is the principle grape (for many European wines, the wine is named for the region where it grows rather than the grape).
Rueda is part of the Castilla y Leon, the high plains portion of Spain’s northwest, with a punishing climate that helps concentrate flavors while maintaining acidity in the region’s wines. Palomino, used for making Sherry, was once Rueda’s primary white grape – that is until the 1970’s when the Marques de Riscal (of Rioja fame) drew attention to the charms of the native Verdejo for making high quality white wines from the region.
That’s when Verdejo’s popularity exploded in Spain, prompting broad plantings outside of Rueda and across the country, including the vast central plains of the Castilla-La Mancha, likely where the grapes for this Adalina Bodegas wine were sourced. The broad appellation of “Spain” on this wine usually means the wine will be less structure and lighter in body than a regional Rueda, but it also allows for a very affordable price, and this wine’s lovely delicate flavors.
** Wines labeled Rueda DO require a minimum 50% Verdejo and may be blended with other white grapes (traditionally Spain’s Viura or Sauvignon Blanc). Grapes must be from the Rueda region.
** But when labeled Rueda Verdejo DO 85% Verdejo is required, though most Rueda Verdejo are made at or nearly 100%
** Wines labeled Verdejo Spain: the grapes can be sourced from any part of Spain.
[EU law dictates that any varietally-labelled wine (wine with a grape variety in the name) must contain a minimum of 85% of that grape in the bottle].
Let me know what you’re pairing with your Verdejo! Scroll to Comments below