Verjus (a French word pronounced vair-ZHOO). Also known as "verjuice" or "ver jus." Red or white unripe (thus tart) grapes are pressed into juice and bottled without fermentation.
Verjus is often used as a mixer though some love it chilled, straight from the bottle.
Verjus as a cooking ingredient is actually an old tradition going back to the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Use white Verjus as you would use white wine vinegar or lemon juice. It is often mentioned with with chicken or fish recipes. Red Verjus can be substituted for red wine vinegar or used for marinating. It is particularly good in sauces for meat or spicy foods. (For simplicity purposes, we have identified our Verjus products by their pouring color -- not by typical red or white descriptions associated with various grape varietals.)
Many recipes also utilize Verjus in salad dressings.
Oregon Riesling grapes form the basis for Draper Valley Vineyard's first Verjus. The unripe grapes from the harvest were combined with a small amount of carbonation to create a new option for gourmet chefs. Though the taste is crisp, some enjoy the juice as an alternative to lemonade. Due to its limited production, you will want to order Draper's Verjus sooner rather than later!
Napa VinJus is created from wine varietal grapes such as Chardonnay. It comes with half the calories and half the sugar content of traditional grape juice. This is the juice from unripe grapes, often classified as Verjus. Its unique balance of crisp, tart and sweet lingers with a hint of green apple, honeysuckle, wildflower and lavender. Use it in cooking or let it tingle your taste buds right from the chilled bottle.
Jim Neal, a young chef in California's Napa Valley, entered the verjus business in partnership with Duckhorn Vineyards and the Charles Krug winery. Using a mixture of varietal grapes from the wineries, Mr. Neal's first product was Fusion white Verjus. Now you can join a number of celebrity chefs by incorporating Fusion into your menu!
Verjus is tart -- not sweet!
fusionwhiteRegular price: $16.99SPECIAL SAVINGS: $15.99
Perched on a rise overlooking the lush vineyards to the east and the gently rolling Hamptons landscape to the west, Wölffer Estate Winery is unquestionably one of the most beautiful and stylish spots on New York's Long Island. The vineyard's Verjus is made from a blend of 59% Merlot, 24% Chardonnay, and 17% Cabernet Franc hand picked grapes. The color has a shimmering light pink / copper hue. The nose is exuberant with gooseberries, mint and capsicum. The mouth-feel is fresh with a zesty and clean play between the tart acidity (hints of lime and green apples) and the fine touch of natural sugar.
In the rolling farm lands of Oregon's Tualatin Valley, Montinore Estate vineyard is home to 230 acres of grapes being tended using the strict methods of Biodynamic farming. This means that instead of applying chemical pesticides and herbicides, you might find the staff spraying chamomile or diluted milk, vines inter-planted with nitrogen rich cover crops, and grape skins, seeds and clippings returned to the soil as compost. Oregon Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris is used to produce Montinore Estate's Verjus.
Southern Oregon's Rogue Valley is home to Kurt and Laura Lotspeich's vineyard of pampered Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc grapes. After several years of producing a limited amount of Verjus for the family, they bottled their first commercial Verjus from Cabernet Sauvignon grapes harvested in the fall of 2010. Now you can see what the family was enjoying!
After producing Fusion Verjus Blanc, Jim Neal, a young chef in California's Napa Valley, turned his attention to creating a red Verjus blended from from red and white grapes. From San Francisco to New York, many of America's great chefs now have red Fusion on their minds.
The Perigord region of France is actually four distinct regions identified by a color. Périgord Pourpre (Purple), one of four, is so named because of the grape juices produced by the local vineyards. It is also the major producer of France's Verjus. Castelmuro's golden Verjus has found its way from the kitchens of France to the chefs of America. Try a bottle and you will see why.
Spain is home to this Verjus made from a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc grapes. Its beautiful blush color and tart taste co-mingle in a fascinating sensory blend that will leave you wanting more.
Though the Semillon grape is common in wine production, its availability as a juice has been very limited. Thus we were delighted to discover that Boulou, a Spanish company, has introduced Verjus from this special grape.
Verjus is tart -- not sweet!
Do not confuse the brand name with a product that is made from unripe grapes! Beer and Verjus are not related. That said, Maggie is said to be the first in the world to produce Verjus commercially. Though the grape varietal changes from year-to-year, this Verjus is a blend of Chardonnay and Viognier. And if happen to travel down under, stop by the farm shop and enjoy a cooking demonstration using Maggie Beer Verjus!
Oregon's Umpqua Valley is surrounded by the Klamath Mountains, the Coastal Range, and the Cascades. Because the region's adjacent valleys look nothing alike locals sometimes refer to the region as the Undred Valleys of the Umpqua rather than as a single valley. Abacela lies near the southern end of the valley above Lookingglass Creek. In October 2011 Abacela released its Verjus, a blend of Grenache and Graciano varietals. With only 178 cases produced, the 2011 bottling will likely sell out quickly as did the previous year's juice.
Navarro Vineyards began producing Verjus in the late 1970s using various grape varieties each year. This year's Pinot Noir Verjus is a beautiful golden color. Some have suggested that it is a rival to Navarro's award-winning 2012 Gewurztraminer verjus.
Kokomo Winery is one of the elite boutique wineries of Sonoma County, California. Launched in 2004 by owner and winemaker Erik Miller, the winery was named after his hometown of Kokomo, Indiana. The varietals they focus on consist of Zinfandel, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Petite Sirah, Merlot, Grenache, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc. Their 2013 Verjus comes from 100% Zinfandel grapes.