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Vermentino – A New Varietal With Nous

By Alex Russell on May 23, 2012 in Food

Most wine drinkers stick to the usual grapes: Sauv Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Shiraz, Merlot, Cabernet and Pinot Noir. Together, these grapes account for a lot of the wine sold in Australia.

Most of you will also know grapes like Riesling, Semillon, Viognier and possibly Grenache, Mourvedre, Barbera, Nebbiolo and Sangiovese too. These grapes are kind of ‘second tier’ varieties and by comparison not all that much of them is sold, unless it’s blended with some of the grapes above, such as the famous Margaret River Semillon Sauvignon Blancs or those Barossa Grenache Shiraz Mourvedres. As a retailer, these grapes are much harder to get people to try.

You may not know that there are plenty of other grape varieties out there too. You probably haven’t heard of Albarino, Arneis, Fiano, Petit Verdot, Carmenere, Cinsault, Auxerrois and many, many others.

To further complicate matters, some grapes go by multiple names because they’re in different countries. For example, Mourvedre is also called Mataro, Monastrell, Catalan, Drug, Esparte, Alicante and even Estrangle-chien, which translates to ‘dog strangler’.

So if grapes are such a mystery to consumers, what chance does yet another grape have on the Australian wine scene?

Enter Vermentino…

Vermentino is an Italian varietal seen in Sardinia, Corsica and Liguria. It’s also becoming popular in southern France (under the name ‘Rolle’). There’s more and more of it popping up in Australia too, and producers include Oliver’s Taranga, Brown Brothers, Yalumba and many others.

Vermentino grapes produce crisp, fresh whites that can be picked up for a bargain. The Yalumba ‘Y Series’ Vermentino, for example, can be found for about $10-15 and is stunning value because the price is set low to try to get people to give it a go. If you’re used to drinking more expensive wine, don’t turn your nose up at it just because it’s cheap.

Why do we need another varietal?

The team at Brown Brothers make a lot of different styles of wine and actively experiment with different grapes and winemaking techniques. In a recent interview on theshout.com.au, executive director Ross Brown describes the company’s belief that global warming is happening and that the Australian wine industry needs to develop grape varieties that have a natural, fresh acidity so that good wine can continue to be produced.

They see Vermentino as a champion in this area, along with another Italian varietal called Montepulciano, so you’ll be seeing more of these under the Brown Brothers label over the next few years.

And it’s not just Brown Brothers. Choosing a reputable online casino to find providers, online casino it is not always easy, because as I said, the selection of online casinos is enormous. Many producers are embracing Italian wine styles and varietals along with the currently in vogue French grapes, and both big and small wineries are trying to them out in their wines. It’s an exciting time in the Australian wine industry as they explore just what our climate and regions can do in terms of new wine styles.

All of this adds up to a headache for the buyer because more options means there is more to learn, and wine is already confusing enough for most people – you’ll just have to get out there and experiment!

If you want to try a Vermentino, grab a bottle for a bargain and drink it with some seafood – it’s a perfect match.

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