Drinks of the Month
6 wines from grapes that begin with VE to drink on VE day
With VE day coming up on Friday you may have already made plans for what you’re going to eat and drink which could well be home-grown, UK produced, wine, beer or cider.
But if you want to drink something different and have a bit of fun you could open a wine made from grapes beginning with VE of which there are, surprisingly, several.
Four - including the ones you’re most likely to lay your hands on - are from Italy, one from Spain and one, verdelho, traditionally from Madeira but it also pops up in Australia. All are white wines.
To be honest many of the supermarket versions are not the most exciting examples so if you have an Italian deli nearby or an Italian wine specialist like Passione Vino give them a ring and see what they’ve got.
The beauty of Italian whites is that even if they taste comparatively underwhelming on their own they burst into life deliciously with food
Six wines that begin with VE
Masseria Pietrosa Verdeca 2018 £8.25 Morrisons
A relatively rare grape from Apulia and one of my favourite wines in this line-up. Crisp, fresh and fruity without being obvious. Really good value. Drink with fish (and chips, if you like!)
Verdicchio di Matelica San Vito Lamelia 2018 13.5% £10.95 Jeroboams
Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi is the wine you’re most likely to come across (Marks and Spencer has a good one from the 2018 vintage for £7 though it appears to be sold out online) but, looking beyond Friday, this one from Jeroboams has just that bit more texture, fragrance and character. It would be good with a selection of antipasti, seafood-based pasta dishes such as spaghetti vongole or, should you feel inspired, vitello tonnato (veal - or chicken - in tuna fish sauce)
Sassi del Mare Vermentino Toscana 2018 Tuscany £7.99 Lidl
Vermentino is the classic white wine grape of Sardinia but more often found in Tuscany or in the south of France where it goes by the name of Rolle. This is a fresh, clean, citrussy example - simple and really drinkable. Again, I’m not sure how much of it there is left at Lidl so I also very much like the appealingly smooth Domaine de Cazelles Vermentino Pays d’Oc 2018 from Davy’s at £10.50. Brilliant with all kinds of seafood
Castellani Vernaccia di San Gimignano 2018, Tuscany Great Western Wine £9.95
If you’ve been to the hill town of San Gimignano just outside Florence you may well have come across this slightly earthy, nutty white which you could drink with almost anything you care to throw at it. This is a decent example but again I’d be prepared to pay the extra for this stylish bottling from Casale Falchini from Berry Bros & Rudd
Beronia Verdejo, Rueda 2018 currently on offer at £6.99 at Waitrose
A light, lush, citrussy white from sauvignon drinkalike verdejo, Rueda is Spain’s most popular white wine. It’ll go with much the same sort of food that sauvignon pairs with but would make a good aperitif too.
You'll find more suggestions in my ebook 50+ great ways to enjoy Rueda
Margan Verdelho 2017 £13.20 Tanners
It’s not as popular as semillon in Australia’s Hunter Valley but verdelho does very well there especially in the hands of the Mangans. Smooth and mouthwateringly limey, it's great with seafood and summery salads.
Another manifestation of verdelho, is Henriques & Henriques 10 y.o Verdelho madeira which you can also buy from Tanners for £21. Waitrose has the 15 y.o. for £20.99. It's a lighter, drier style of madeira than the style you normally come across with a perfect balance of delicate sweetness and acidity. Sip with almonds.
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