Drinking and Pairing Vernaccia di San Gimignano with FoodVernaccia di San Gimignano is a crisp and neutral dry white wine with faint aromas and flavors of citrus, peaches, and (in the best examples) minerals, with a pleasant bitter-almond finish. Tuscany is really all about red wine. With the exception of Vermentino from the Tuscan coast and the occasional Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc, Vernaccia di San Gimignano remains a rare source of Tuscan white wine. The name Vernaccia from the Latin vernaculus simply means "local," and other unrelated wines with the name "Vernaccia" can be found throughout Italy. But none of them are as famous as Vernaccia from the Tuscan village of San Gimignano. The wine's fame is actually attributed to the town rather than the wine itself. The town features 13 narrow, medieval stone towers and a reliable stream of tourists are bused in from nearby Siena for a chance to photograph the towers, dine in the trattorie, and sip the local white wine. A few producers are working to reverse this image by lowering their yields, blending a permitted 10% "other" white grapes, and, with mixed results, aging their wines in oak.
The best Vernaccia di San Gimignanos are fresh and zesty, making them excellent fish wines. They're also appreciated locally for their ability to pair well with vegetables, and are excellent with simple pastas adorned with braised chard, chickpeas, and pine nuts.