The history of Verdelho is firmly buried on the island of Madeira. However, this cheeky little white number has found a new and exciting home in south-east Australia. With the climate very similar, Australia tends to produce varieties of intense flavour with an underlying honeysuckle tone. This is useful for combatting the naturally high acidity of the grape.
A Brief History
Verdelho was first planted in Madeira in the 15th century, despite being badly affected by a number of plagues and pests, its popularity lives on. Now, any Verdelho from Madeira needs to contain at least 85% of the grape. Although Verdelho makes delicious wine in itself, it is one of the permitted grapes for Port production. You’ll find this tough-skinned grape being grown in Portugal, Spain, Argentina and Australia.
A Trip Down Under
Our wine of the month for April is the Hummingbird, a crisp refreshing Verdelho from south-east Australia. It’s packed with all the classic characteristics, with an added tropical touch added thanks to the Aussie sun. Verdelho was introduced to Australia in the early 19th century but only became a feature during the boom of the 1990’s. It’s now the 5th most planted white grape down under after Chardonnay, Semillon, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc.
It’s All In The Flavour
Verdelho can be a tricky grape to work with. As a late developing grape, pick it too early and all those complex flavours would be lost. However as a sugary grape, pick it too late and you risk an over-ripe alcoholic wine that is prone to producing an unattractive end product. However, if you get it spot on, you’ve got yourself a vibrant, complex dry white wine. It’s vibrant and intense, refreshing and fruity…and it’s a little bit different. So if you’re looking to take your palate to the unknown, we’d highly recommend picking up an Australian Verdelho.
Pairing Verdelho With Food
Now you don’t have to pair this wine with food, you can easily kick back and relax in the garden with a bottle and nothing else. However, due to its character and fruity nature, it also pairs favourably with white fish, white meat and Asian cuisine with a little kick. Think tiger prawns with a little chile and lime. These flavours would perfectly complement each other to bring out the best in both.
We absolutely love Verdelho and persist that it’s a grape that doesn’t get the love or recognition that it deserves. Head over to the website to check out the Verdelho wines that we currently have in stock by clicking HERE