Tempting You With Arena Vermentino

      8 Comments on Tempting You With Arena Vermentino

Antoine Arena Patrimonio Carco Vermentino Corsica wineA year ago I wandered into a favorite wine shop in Bordeaux and discovered Vermentino again. It’s a grape that grows in many places. France, Italy, Australia, California and Oregon are prime areas. I’ve tasted some from each place but the one that stands out is the Vermentino from the Corsican Arena family.

A Family Business in Patrimonio

Antoine Arena has a small winery in the Patrimonio region of Corsica. He’s a pioneer who worked for years to establish respect for this region and its wine. Since the 2014 vintage, he divided the estate among his two sons, Antoine-Marie and Jean-Baptiste, who will carry the family name into the future developing their own styles, while maintaining family bonds. They are a smaller producer currently making about 12 different wines with an annual production of 5,500 cases. You can find wines from the estate bottled by these three men.

Mark and I tasted a few red and white Antoine Arena wines, each were stellar and we highly recommend seeking them out. You can read about his Grotte Di Sole, Patrimonio Rouge 100% Nielluccio (Sangiovese) here.

US sources for Arena wines include Kermit Lynch Wine Merchants in Berkeley, California and Sherry-Lehmann in New York.

corsica wine vin corseAntoine Arena Carco Patrimonio Blanc 2014 (100% Vermentino) 13% abv | 32 / $45.00

Grapes come from the 30-year old Carco vineyard on an eastern facing slope of limestone, chalk and clay. This wine is organic.

Vinification: Natural yeast, long fermentation, low doses of sulfur, cement cuve, no oak; aged 6 months on lees in stainless tanks

Profile: Aromas of white flowers, stone fruits, an herbal quality (thyme), mild grapefruit and lime.

The palate is rich, with a marked mineral, lime/saline quality and a long, rich yet refreshing finish. For more about sur lie aging click here.

fish poissons les capusins marche market

Cabillaud from Marché des Capucins in Bordeaux is one of the places to get fresh seafood.

The Pairing: Seafood and Spice

The wine shined with Cabillaud (Cod), one of the most popular white fish found in Bordeaux Poissonnerie (fish markets). It’s generally thicker than the US version with a mild flavor that screams for sauce, spice, and toppings. My version was baked and served over a mixture of chickpeas, carrots, and red bell peppers cooked with a splash of coconut milk, cumin, and garlic (stew-like). A sautéed onion, preserved lemon, and cherry tomato salsa was draped over the top then finished with garlic flowers I found at a favorite herb market. And just down the street the Armenian baker makes thin, layered flat bread that’s quite tasty to use for scooping and eating the dish.

flat bread

The counter at my favorite Armenian bakery. Each morning the baker (this woman) brings a variety of freshly baked types of flat breads. I’m often tempted by the other goodies too!

Now this was a memorable pairing! Although the wine had a mineral brightness, because it spent time on lees before bottling, the mouth feel was full and rich. The dish had the same: rich earthy characteristics from the beans, coconut milk and spice, and bright notes from the salsa: similar elements in each played nicely with each other. The unfortunate part about this dish is I don’t have a recipe- I often don’t follow one having an idea in my head and running with it. Jane from Always Ravenous is waiting for me to share a recipe for my Thai Vegetable Lentil Curry bowl paired with Verdicchio, you can read about that here.

Antoine Arena Patrimonio Vermentino

This Vermentino would be nice with almost any seafood roasted or grilled, especially if the dish has a garlic, spice and acid component.

O-Sud was a favorite wine store because it showcased small, harder to find producers from the south of France, Corsica, Italy and Spain. Unfortunately they just closed their doors. I’ll certainly miss O-Sud but thank them for turning me onto Antoine Arena wines. We have yet to taste wine from his sons Antoine-Marie and Jean-Baptiste but if they’re anything like their father’s wine, our palates are in for a treat!

8 thoughts on “Tempting You With Arena Vermentino

  1. Karen Grove

    I’m just eating breakfast but you made me very hungry for dinner! Nice descriptions and pairings.

    1. Lynn Post author

      Thanks Karen, had such fun with the little garlic blossoms which packed a punch. An excellent wine if you happen upon it.

  2. Lauren Walsh

    I enjoyed the descriptions of the stores as much as I did the tasting notes on the wine! Your fish dish looks delicious – love the garlic blossoms. Cheers!

    1. Lynn Post author

      Thanks Lauren! It’s a treat wondering around Bordeaux shopping. The place I found the garlic blossoms has something new and obscure to try almost every week.

  3. Inga

    Always looking for a new wine to try, something that’s not the same old. This winery, although I’m not sure if I can find the wines sounds like the search is worth it, plus it’s organic. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Lynn Post author

      You can order this and wines from Antoine Arena’s sons online at Kermit Lynch Wine Merchants if you feel so inclined Inga!

    1. Lynn Post author

      So many wines to try out there, this is definitely a winner! Hope you’re able to find it, you won’t be disappointed 😉


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