Verdicchio Wine – A Light Red Wine Wearing A White Wine Disguise?
December 24, 2011 7 Comments
‘Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi’ D.O.C (Denomination of Controlled Origin) is one of the most popular white wines in the world and has won numerous awards. The unusual nature of the soil in the Marche area, together with favourable climatic conditions and including the regular breeze (which prevents moisture and mould forming) provides a perfect environment for the development of the grapes. The wines produced in the most sunlit and ventilated areas tend to be more robust and can easily keep for 2 or 3 years, including a short period in oak.
Straw yellow in colour, with greenish hints, from which it derives its name (‘Verdicchio’ is the Italian word for greenish). With a nose of wild flowers, citrus, peach and apple and almond on a full, rich palate.
Verdicchio is a dry wine, fresh but savoury, thanks not only to the salty breeze, but also to the numerous saltpetre banks which characterise the area.
For Verdicchio the minimum required alcohol vol. is 11.5%, for Classico Superiore (superior) 12% and 12.5% for the Riserva, (reserve), although it is not uncommon to find varieties which have over 13% alcohol. To be awarded the Riserva denomination, the Verdicchio must be aged for a minimum of 24 months, of which at least 6 months are in bottle.
Verdicchio is versatile wine which accompanies many different meals, thanks to its full-body nature, which make some people refer to Verdicchio as a red wine in a white wine disguise. It is especially suitable for accompanying seafood dishes, such as brodetto soup, mussel pasta, fish risotto and grilled fish, but also white meats, particularly the Riserva.
History says that the Visigoth King Alarico used to collect massive quantities of Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi on his way to Rome, to increase the vigour of his soldiers. Ancient propitiatory rites with sacred wine are said to have taken place back in 200 A.C. in Cupramontana, a village built around a temple dedicated to Cupra, the goddess of opulence. A likely drinker of the popular Verdicchio!