The sunset over the ocean

When I think about summer meals provided by the sea, I try and remember the “Two V’s” – Vernaccia and Vermentino. When done right, these wines are as fresh and vibrant as the foods they accompany.  Futhermore, if they possess a bit of salinity or minerality from their terroir, then you’ve a match made in heaven.

On a recent trip the New Jersey shore the opportunity to enjoy the freshest seafood imaginable presented itself and we didn’t let it pass by.

We started with an antipasto of sauteed soft shell crabs.  Sauteed quickly in a simple condimento of white wine, butter and Old Bay seasoning, the salinity in these crustaceans amplifies the flavors of the Vermentino.

Soft shell crabs

~ From sea to table in under a day. The purity of flavor here is something to behold. Have the fish monger clean them and then simply melt some butter and saute. Splash with white wine if the pan runs dry and liberally sprinkle with Old Bay seasoning ~

Sourced from Castello Banfi’s vineyards on the Tuscan Coast, La Pettegola is primarily Vermentino with, as Enrico described here, a splash of Chardonnay.   The 2017 is bright and fresh.  Aromas of white flowers, citrus and salinity are obvious and persistent.  The flavors echo the aromas, but the real joy here is derived from the saline character and minerality in the wine which marries so well to the seafood.

La Pettegola is a wonderful value and is readily available.  88 points and about $15.  Find this wine.


~ The 2017 La Pettegola is crisp and attractive. It’s saline notes harmonize incredibly well with the bounty from the ocean ~

This wine paired very well with the main dish; pasta alla mare!  The key to making this dish is simple.  Start with a base of olive oil, white wine and clam juice, then add the seafood in the appropriate order based on cooking time.

  • Clams to steam open (about 20 minutes)
  • Shrimp until pink
  • Scallops for 2 minutes, and then
  • Calamari (for about 35 seconds)

Tossed with the pasta of your choice and you have pure joy!

Vermentino and Seafood

~ Simple to make and boisterous in the purity of its flavors, this finds its way to our table a few times per summer ~

More new summer white releases coming seen.  Vernaccia and Pesto?  Yeah, we’ve got that!


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