Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Vermentino's Time to Shine

Warm-weather wines abound these days; from bright, tropical New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc to crisp and clean Chablis, there’s no shortage of excellent white wines to quench your dog-days thirst as August rolls over into its second half.

But it’s not often that a less-known grape variety like Vermentino finds itself in the spotlight. The reasons are simple: For a long time it was an under-performer, grown and vinified into middle-of-the-road wine that was pleasant, sure, but offered little in the way of excitement.

Which is why today’s Vermentino article in The New York Times is so timely: The grape is not only coming into its own, but has been for some time now. It’s simply been doing so fairly under the radar.

The tasting panel convened by the newspaper found that the wines in their cross-section of Vermentino “had much to offer, whether as a crisp, tangy accompaniment to seafood…or as a richer, more complex wine with a distinctively oily sort of texture.”

The article in its entirety is linked above, but a quick rundown of the tasting panel’s top 10 includes the Argiolas Vermentino di Sardegna, the Guado al Tasso from Bolgheri, and the Poggio al Tessoro, also from Tuscany. (All of the wines noted here are linked; click on them for more details.)

Delicious, easy-to-drink, and a great value: Vermentino’s moment has finally arrived. It’s about time.


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