Verdejo is one of Spain’s freshest grape varieties, full of crisp citrus and vibrant fruit that’s perfect for sipping with your feet up. But did you know this moreish white wine also pairs wonderfully well with food?  

The jewel of Rueda 

Verdejo, pronounced Verr-day-ho, is a light bodied white grape variety that comes into its own on the flat plains of Rueda in Spain, some 600-780m above sea level. The cooling breeze and plentiful sunshine leads to ripe, plush Verdejo with lip-smacking acidity.  

Our Vibrant & Zesty Verdejo, part of our new Heritage Collection and available from Ocado, has familiar fennel-like herby tones and similar notes of citrus to Sauvignon Blanc, then mixes it in a melody of orchard fruit and tangerine. It fits neatly into BBC Good Food’s shorthand for Verdejo, describing it as ‘exotic Sauvignon Blanc’. 

Food that pairs well with Verdejo 

Pairing wine with food is less a science than it is in art. Art is subjective and our aim is to inspire you to cook up a storm and enjoy a glass of Verdejo with some of the dishes below. The fun is in trying out new things and sharing it with friends. Our 250ml cans split neatly into two small glasses of wine, so these dishes have been recommended with a couple’s weeknight meal in mind. 

Seafood Paella 

Seafood paella, with a mix of prawns and mussels with mouth-watering romano sauce and a mix of paprika, cayenne and, if you fancy, saffron. Don’t forget to be generous with the garlic and soak the rice first! You can add lobster tails if you’re feeling like something special. Most supermarkets in the UK will carry frozen lobster tails, but if you can go to a fishmonger and seek them out fresh. You’ll notice the difference! Verdejo goes so well here because the ripe fruit loves the heat of the paella spices, while the bright acidity is made for good seafood. This one’s a great Sunday night meal, because you can have the leftovers for lunch, which makes every Monday a little better. 

Pasta – but not tomato sauce 

The Italians mastered simplicity that puts all the focus on the ingredients. I am sure most Italians would like you to drink Italian with their cuisine (and you could always give our Copper Crew wines a go) but Verdejo is a delight with pasta sauces when you’re not reaching for the passata or fresh tomatoes. Tomato is a great binder and one of pasta’s greatest friends, but stir fried courgette slices with Wyfe of Bath cheese (or Provolone for the authentic version), some garlic, basil and extra virgin olive oil will result in a wicked plate of Spaghetti alla Nerano. Easy, quick and delicious with a cool glass of Verdejo. 

Keep it fresh: Salads, goat’s cheese, and more 

When the sun comes out, or you want something quick and fresh, Verdejo will show off its versatility. It has a special affinity with vinaigrette dressings (in a way wine rarely manages) thanks to its rolling mouthfeel, so it becomes a natural partner with cold salads made up of sliced grapes, avocado, crunchy cucumber, fresh green leaves, cherry tomatoes and quinoa or cous-cous. Add in some creamy, salty and crumbly goat’s cheese and it’ll bring out bursts of orange in your Verdejo, focusing its more tropical and fruity character (the magic of this comes from the salt in the cheese). Oh and talking about avocados, if you let the Verdejo come up to room temperature it’ll become sharper but also fruitier and it makes for a fabulous pairing with creamy avocado spread on toasted sourdough – add chilli flakes for a little weekday fire. 

Chicken wrapped in bacon 

The real cheat to great food and wine pairing is that salt loves acidity. Chicken breast wrapped in bacon, oven baked and dished up with buttery new potatoes and some fresh greens, maybe a little white wine sauce or gravy, is easy to make and feels a bit special on a weeknight. Verdejo with its electric zing and juicy lemon character makes it sing with chicken and the bacon, as it did with the goat’s cheese, will bring out softer and more Mediterranean elements. If you want a spin on this classic, swap out the buttery new potatoes with creamy mashed sweet potato and the greens for some steamed purple sprouting broccoli. Yum. 

Love cheese? OK, here’s how to treat yourself 

Whether it’s a Friday night treat or just something to perk up your midweek, a cheeseboard is always a happy thing to see – and white wine is my favourite to pair with cheese. Most cheese has a good bit of salt and creamy, delicious fats that go so well with ripe, fresh white wines like Verdejo. My picks of the punch would be the semi-soft and tangy Tomme de Savoie, salty Somerset Pecorino, gooey and herby Taleggio, and the aforementioned Wyfe of Bath cheese. You could also seek out the Torralba Mahón DOP Spanish cheese, a semi soft paprika rubbed rind cheese made from cow’s milk with a chalky-soft and salty texture and a fruity, tropical aroma. Very creamy and a little bit addictive.  

We hope you enjoy experimenting with Verdejo and some delicious food pairings. If you find a match you love that we’ve not mentioned here, please let us know as we’d love to try it ourselves. If you’ve not tasted Verdejo wine before, then grab one of our cans online from us or shop for the Heritage Range on Ocado here. You’ll love this jewel of Rueda. 

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