(Verdejo pronunciation: Vurr-day-ho)
Verdejo is a lesser-known, light-bodied white wine grown almost entirely in Rueda, Spain. Rueda’s sandy, limestone and iron rich, naturally phylloxera-resistant soils, dry climate, and temperature variations make it the best breeding ground for Verdejo. Wine labeled Verdejo must legally contain at least 85% Verdejo gape. Although most are made from 100% Verdejo, some contain blends of other popular white wines like Sauvignon Blanc to give it a more full body. Often overshadowed by its better-known alternatives, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, and Chardonnay, Verdejo’s versatility and exceptionally affordable prices make it a favorite.
Verdejo is well liked for its broad versatility. Verdejo wine exhibits flavors of lime, lemon, grapefruit, and green melon, with notes of grass and fennel on the finish. When harvested at night, cooler temperatures prevent oxidation from occurring allowing the grapes to retain their acidity and freshness. When Verdejo is left to see more oxygen during fermentation, the wine transforms to a full-bodied wine with nutty notes of almonds and honey.
The versatility of Verdejo carries over to how and when it is consumed. High acidity and a slight bitterness let Verdejo work well as a palate cleanser; the light-body and citrusy flavors make this white wine a great aperitif; and the herbaceous flavors let it pair wonderfully with food. Verdejo pairs particularly well with dishes such as shellfish, vegetables, spicy foods, and any meal with lime in it. This pale green-yellow wine can be consumed young or aged, and at any time in the year.
This grape is a classic varietal from Spain, and we definitely keep that in mind while selecting wines to feature in our International Wine Club. So over the years we've been happy to include a number of Verdejo wines imported directly from Spain! Our hope is more people in the US will gravitate towards this varietal so we can feature it in more of our wine subscription boxes.
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