Verjus (vair-jhoo, like au jus) is the pressed juice of unripe grapes. Verjus is tart like vinegar and mildly acidic but with a slight sweetness like wine, however, it is not fermented.
The French word verjus translated is green juice. It is made from red or white grapes thinned from the vines just when the crop is about to ripen. This early crop of unripe grapes is then pressed and bottled. Because it is not fermented, verjus contains no alcohol.
Widely used in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance as a flavor enhancer, verjus has been making a comeback in recent years because of its harmonious ability to pair wine with salad better than vinegar. Red verjus has an earthier flavor, while white verjus has a crisper taste.
Bainbridge Island’s Perennial Vintners produces verjus. Sprinkle a bit on your next salad or roasted vegetable and taste the difference.