If there was a white grape that deserves a little more attention than it is getting, then this is one. I would predict it has a bright future as a hot new thing in trendy wine bars. It is an attractive grape with delicate herbal aniseed aromas and nice grapefruit pithy flavours that at their best have a fresh mineral finesse.
Most common in Italy and showing at its best in Sardinia where the wines seem to get maximum freshness from the cool island air. In the Maremma coastal area of Tuscany it also shows well but with more dense, sweeter fruit on the flavour profile; even slightly tropical. You might also find it in Languedoc-Roussillon where again the wines can be bigger and more fruit driven in style. And it has many pseudonyms; in Corisca is can be known as Malvoisie de Corse, or Favorita in Piedmont and even Rolle in the South of France. Wherever you find it, I would say it is worth a try.
Vermentino has high levels of phenols meaning it can easily become weighty and have a bitter tinge, the best winemakers can avoid this by gentle pressing. Most winemakers chose to avoid malolactic to preserve its herbal aromas, but those that chose to use it create a fatter wine with more creamy flavours. Usually an unoaked white and best drunk young.
Viognier, Malvasia, Fiano, Picpoul, Roussanne
Italy: Sardinia, Tuscany, Piedmont
France: Languedoc-Roussillon, Corsica
Thai food, seafood paella, fish or pork tacos, quesadillas