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Vermentino / Rolle
Vermentino (pronounced “vair-men-teeno") is a white-skinned grape grown around the Mediterranean, particularly in northwestern Italy, Sardinia, Corsica and the south of France. The white wine made from Vermentino goes by various names, including Rolle, Favorita, Malvoisie de Corse and Pigato. When in doubt, order Vermentino wine, and your sommelier will take good care of you.
Vermentino is a light-bodied white wine with hints of lime, grapefruit, almond, green apple and daffodil. You may also notice pear, pink grapefruit and white peach aromas when sipping, followed by just a hint of citrus zest and crushed rocks. It boasts a medium fruit profile, subtle sweetness and medium-high acidity similar to Sauvignon Blanc.
There are two types of Vermentino wines based on the fermentation process, which changes the flavor depending on how the bacterium is added to the mix. One type is citric, floral and light while the other is richer and creamier.
Overall, Vermentino is a refreshing wine that's perfect for sipping alfresco on a warm summer's day. It's an excellent choice served with calamari, white fish, cippino and basil pesto. In fact, some Vermentinos have a slight pine nut and basil aroma, which makes them perfect for accompanying pesto dishes. Since Vermentino is relatively inexpensive, it was originally intended as a fish wine, so you can't go wrong pairing it with your favorite seafood or Italian dishes.
The best Vermentinos hail from Italy and France, namely in Corsica, Provence, Languedoc-Roussillon, Liguria and Sardinia. Other countries grow their own varieties, including the United States, but you can't go wrong with a bottle from one of Vermentino's origin countries. If you're new to Vermentino, its affordability makes it easy to sample a variety of labels until you find your perfect bottle.