Fans of refreshing white wines generally consider sauvignon blanc and pinot grigio to be the obvious choices. However, in the realm of thirst-quenching whites, there are a plethora of interesting varieties to discover. Enter verdejo, central Spain’s claim to zesty white-wine fame. This is what to know about the grape, plus five delicious bottles to try.
What Is Verdejo?
Verdejo is a green-skinned grape variety used to make light-bodied, easy-drinking white wines. Although the grape was historically used to produce more oxidative styles of wine in the past, the variety is almost exclusively used to craft fresh, youthful whites today.
Where Does Verdejo Come From?
Originally from northern Africa, verdejo made its way to southern—and, eventually, central—Spain, where it is almost exclusively cultivated (specifically in the Rueda appellation) today.
How Is Verdejo Made, and What Does It Taste Like?
Verdejo can be vinified in a variety of styles, though its most popular expressions are light-bodied and acid-forward, and loaded with fresh, fruit-driven flavours. Verdejo-based wines are generally consumed in their youth and make great alternatives to sauvignon blanc, albariño, pinot grigio, and other zesty white wine varieties.
Verdejo wines are mostly vinified varietally, although when they’re blended, common partners include viura (macabeo) or sauvignon blanc. Verdejo grapes are known for producing wines laden with flavours of lemon, lime leaf, stone fruit, grapefruit rind, peach skin, white flowers, fennel, and grass.
What Are Good Food Pairings with Verdejo?
Due to its fresh and light-bodied nature, Verdejo is a wine that can easily be sipped on its own without food. However, like most wines, it comes to life when served alongside ideal pairings, which include seafood, shellfish, green salads, and fresh cheeses.