new here, but having fun poking around. getting very hungry and thirsty...
on valentine's, we went to this great little place in cambridge, MA, called the blue room, and i ordred a lobster dish, which had a suggested wine pairing of a sauvignon blanc that i, surprisingly, didn't really like (can't recall the vineyard). when i told the server that i wasn't wild about it, he suggested a verdejo (sp?) from las brisas (somewhere in spain, i believe), which i adored. really nice and 'green'. is anyone familiar with this varietal, and if so, can you suggest any other vineyards to try? it doesn't seem all that popular.
I see carswell beat me to it (curses!), so I'll shorten my clarification and add one recco:
Verdejo is a Spanish grape variety known for strong aromatics. It's found in many if not all whites from Rueda in central Spain and several other regions. Vinho verde is an unrelated appellation in Portugal.
One inexpensive Rueda I've enjoyed is a viura/verdejo blend from Hermanos Lurton (a French family with wineries in France, Spain, Argentina and possibly other countries).
Verdejo can make wonderful wines. Unfortunately, Quebecers don't have access to many of them. One I enjoy is the 2004 Rueda from Bodegas Aura.
A short list of other verdejo-based Ruedas I've been on the lookout for, prompted by online raves from people whose palates I trust:
- Blanco Nieva 2005
- Matinsacho 2004 (said to be fabulous)
- Palacio de Bornos 2004
- Vinedos de Nieva Pasil 2004
- Las Brisas 2003
- Vina Sila Naiades 2003
re: Robert Lauriston
A number of modern style Ruedas have Sauvignon Blanc blended in (don't know what the legal maximum might be) to add extra acidity. Verdejo oxidizes/ages quite easily. The two grape varieties blend quite nicely. Also, I've had 100% Verdejo wines from Rueda that taste like SB when the producer swears there is none in the cuvee. (g)
There's also some Verdejo planted in Australia. I've tried a handful of the wines, but none that I liked much from there.
thanks for all of the suggestions! i will hunt down some of the ruedas you mentioned. it's too bad they're not more popular/widely available!
on a side note, i picked up a vinho verde from trader joe's last night, and am looking forward to trying it. i didn't used to be a white wine fan, but since i've found nice crisp 'green' whites like SBs (as opposed to chardonnays, which, to me, have a 'yellow', hay-like flavor, if that makes any sense), i've been craving it! so nice in the summer.
(The original poster mentioned Cambridge, so some local suggestions.)
For Verdejo, I would suggest poking around Mall Discount, Gordon's , etc to find some possibilities.
If you do like the Vinho Verde, a few suggestions. The restaurant Portugalia on Cambridge Street has a large selection and specializes in seafood/salt cod dishes (I don't particularly like their meat dishes). Most liquor stores only care Casal Garcia, but there are a lot of other possibilities. I would try Jerry's Liquors in Union Sq Somerville, 660 Liquors on Cambridge St in Cambridge (there is a smaller one across from Casal Bakery that is slightly cheaper), or SavMore on McGrath O'Brien. All should have more selection, including 5 liter "garrafao" bottles. As noted Vinho Verde is different than verdejo.
itaunas- thanks for the tips! i'm hoping that vinho verde is a nice alternative to the SB for me, and i'll definitely check out the stores you mentioned. i wonder if the wine and cheese cask might have a good selection? i've checked downtown wine and spirits in davis, but it was in february/march, and alan said that he will sometimes carry a verdejo, but in the spring/summer. i should check back. they might also carry some vinho verdes, too.
kenito- that's the one i got, so i'm glad you like it so much!
I was always disappointed with the prices and selection at the Wine and Cheese Cask, but others have done better. The ones in Somerville and Cambridge that I mentioned are either portugese owned or specialize in portuguese wines. When I ask my local merchant to order certain wines from there, he either has difficulty or it costs more. (Whitehall is the larger distributor, but there are other small ones.) There is an excellent Portuguese white that I get at 660, which my merchant can't get.
I mentioned Mall Discount for the rueda because I have found some special wines (on the racks, not at the front) when looking for carmenere blends and such. Downtown Wine and Spirits is a great store and when looking for Spanish Rose's, I had some success with University Wine and Spirits on Mass Ave but it has been a while since I dropped by.
I did drink a fair amount of SB a few years ago, mostly chilean. Right now I am drinking a Cline Pinot Gris Chardonnay blend (good buy at $8.99), a spanish and portuguese rose, plus some cava... and the occasional blanc de noir.