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Spring into Flavor: A Perfect Pairing

White wine, bike, bread, flowers, girl, hands

A versatile white with flavor

Ver­menti­no made in Cal­i­for­nia often has a dis­tinc­tive oily salin­i­ty that sets it apart from Ver­menti­no pro­duced in oth­er regions. The wine typ­i­cal­ly has a medi­um to full body, with a rich, oily tex­ture that coats the palate. This tex­ture is bal­anced by a bright, refresh­ing acid­i­ty that gives the wine a live­ly, crisp finish.

The salin­i­ty in Cal­i­for­nia Ver­menti­no comes from the grape’s prox­im­i­ty to the ocean. Many Cal­i­for­nia vine­yards are locat­ed near the coast, where the cool ocean air and fog influ­ence the grapes’ fla­vor and aro­ma. This coastal influ­ence can give the wine a dis­tinct brini­ness that enhances its over­all complexity.

The oily tex­ture in Cal­i­for­nia Ver­menti­no is a result of the grape’s nat­ur­al oil con­tent. Ver­menti­no grapes have a high oil con­tent, which is trans­ferred to the wine dur­ing the wine­mak­ing process. This oili­ness gives the wine a rich mouth­feel and con­tributes to its over­all depth and complexity.

white wine, hands opening, table

matching wine characteristics with food

When paired with a sim­ple seafood dish or cit­rusy sal­ad, the oily salin­i­ty in Cal­i­for­nia Ver­menti­no can enhance the fla­vors of the food, cre­at­ing a har­mo­nious and well-bal­anced pair­ing. The wine’s rich tex­ture and bright acid­i­ty cut through the rich­ness of the seafood, while the brini­ness com­ple­ments its nat­ur­al fla­vors. With a cit­rusy sal­ad, the oily tex­ture can pro­vide a nice con­trast to the bright, tangy fla­vors of the dress­ing, cre­at­ing a refresh­ing and sat­is­fy­ing pairing.

This sal­ad is a per­fect match for a Cal­i­for­nia Ver­menti­no because it’s light, refresh­ing, and has bright cit­rus fla­vors that com­ple­ment the wine. The arugu­la adds a pep­pery bite, while the fen­nel adds a sub­tle sweet­ness and crunch. The oranges bring a pop of juicy sweet­ness and the sliced almonds pro­vide a toasty, nut­ty crunch that pairs well with the min­er­al­i­ty of the wine.

The cit­rus vinai­grette ties all the fla­vors togeth­er with its tangy sweet­ness, which brings out the fruit fla­vors in the Ver­menti­no. It’s also a sim­ple dress­ing that does­n’t over­pow­er the del­i­cate fla­vors of the sal­ad or the wine.

Over­all, this sal­ad is a per­fect pair­ing for a Cal­i­for­nia Ver­menti­no. Its fresh and light fla­vors com­ple­ment the wine’s cit­rusy notes and min­er­al­i­ty, cre­at­ing a well-bal­anced meal that’s per­fect for a warm spring or sum­mer day.

Arugu­la, Fen­nel, and Orange Sal­ad with Cit­rus Vinaigrette

The bright acid­i­ty and cit­rus fla­vors of the Cal­i­for­nia Ver­menti­no pair per­fect­ly with the tangy lemon and gar­lic mari­nade on the grilled shrimp. The wine’s min­er­al­i­ty also pro­vides a refresh­ing con­trast to the rich­ness of the shrimp.


  • 4 cups arugula
  • 1 bulb fen­nel, thin­ly sliced
  • 2 oranges, peeled and segmented
  • 14 cup sliced almonds
  • Salt and pep­per, to taste

Cit­rus Vinaigrette:

  • 14 cup olive oil
  • 2 table­spoons fresh orange juice
  • 1 table­spoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 table­spoon honey
  • 12 tea­spoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pep­per, to taste

Grilled Lemon & Gar­lic Shrimp

For this pair­ing, we’ll be grilling shrimp with a sim­ple mari­nade of lemon and gar­lic. This recipe is quick and easy to make, mak­ing it per­fect for a week­night din­ner or a week­end barbecue.


  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 gar­lic cloves, minced
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zested
  • 2 table­spoons olive oil
  • Salt and pep­per, to taste


  1. In a large bowl, whisk togeth­er the gar­lic, lemon juice and zest, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  2. Add the shrimp to the bowl and toss to coat in the marinade.
  3. Cov­er the bowl and refrig­er­ate for at least 30 min­utes (or up to 2 hours).
  4. Pre­heat a grill or grill pan to medi­um-high heat.
  5. Thread the shrimp onto skew­ers (if using wood­en skew­ers, be sure to soak them in water for at least 30 min­utes before grilling).
  6. Grill the shrimp for 2 – 3 min­utes per side, until they are pink and slight­ly charred.
  7. Serve hot, gar­nished with addi­tion­al lemon zest and chopped pars­ley (if desired).