Brodetto All’Anconetana

The ‘Brodetto all’anconetana’ is a typical fish soup from Ancona, in the Marche region.  According to local tradition there should be 13 different varieties of fish in it. This number is sometimes attributed to the number of people at the Last Supper, although the majority relate it to the quantity of spouts of a popular fountain in the centre of Ancona, “Le 13 Cannelle”, one of the symbols of the city.

The original recipe is said to be jealously guarded by the master chefs of Ancona, who wouldn’t reveal it even under torture. We will try to give just a hint here, so that you know what to expect. As explained 13 fish varieties should be used, such as cuttlefish, squid, shrimps, scampi, mussels, clams, mantis shrimp, scorpion fish, red mullet, turbot and others, depending on what’s available and fresh at the market (but not less than 13 varieties!). The fish is cooked with extra virgin olive oil, vinegar, parsley, garlic, onions and tomato purée for about 15 to 20 minutes until the sauce thickens. Depending on individual taste, it can be made more spicy by using some chilly or black pepper.

Whatever the secret recipe is and however good a cook you are, you will have to come to Ancona to experience the authentic taste, as the 13 varieties should all come from the local Adriatic sea which has fish that is regarded as among the most tasty, because of the high concentration of nutrients in a relatively small and shallow sea. This high quality seafood includes the local mussels (called ‘moscioli’ by the residents), which grow naturally on the rocks surrounding the Monte Conero, south of Ancona and are protected by the ‘DOP’ label (Denomination of Protected Origin).

Unlike other popular Italian and international soups, ‘Brodetto all’anconetana’ should be made relatively thick and is often served on toast. It goes perfectly with a full-bodied, rich white wine, like “Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi”, a popular, award-winning wine, which is also from the Marche region.

Making My Own Wine In Marche

I have always had mixed feelings about port towns, they don’t always have a great reputation so I was interested to go and have a look for myself when an Italian friend, Marco, kept insisting that Ancona (which is in the region called Marche) is a beautiful old harbour and deserves more visitors.

I took a budget flight and on arrival at the airport I was greeted with a cold beer and a Parma ham sandwich and things were off to a good start,

it got even better when we stopped at a beautiful local restaurant on the way to our accommodation. We were advised by our host to try pasta made with local mussels, washed down with a carafe of fresh local Verdicchio wine. The recommendation didn’t disappoint, the Adriatic’s shallow waters produce famous seafood and the pasta was perfectly complimented by the well-balanced wine which had hints of lemon and almond, Verdicchio is a Marche speciality.

We were staying at a picturesque vineyard and our host was a friendly chap called Matteo – he was happy to show us around his vineyard explaining which grapes he was growing (as well as wheat and honey), his plans for the future, some of the problems he encounters and what makes a great vintage.

Next it was our chance to make our own wine. A group of Marco’s friends joined us and accompanied by a wine expert we started by trying various combinations of vintages to see what we wanted to make. We agreed on a combination that we all liked and then got to know each other as well as how wine is made while blending the wine, inserting corks, adding foil, designing and adding labels, we called the wine my Oinos (Oinos being the ancient Greek work for wine, which reminds of the Greek roots of the town). This amazing day ended with us drinking our own wine and having a B-B-Q together, it was a great bonding experience.

Over the next few days I visited some local wineries where we were warmly greeted and encouraged to try the produce. The local red is called ‘Rosso Conero’, like many Italian wines it is based on the Montepulciano grape (it must be at least 85% Montepulciano), I hadn’t tried it before but soon realised that it is excellent, complex, full bodied wine – it doesn’t have the name of a wine like Chianti but because it’s not mass produced the quality is high. This was a good chance to buy some more wine to ship back (I was already taking home a case of the wine that I had made).

I also had the chance to visit the town which is full of glorious historic buildings as well as gelateria’s selling the best ice-cream in the world and small trattorias (traditional restaurants)
serving mainly delicious pizza, pasta and seafood. We also visited some beautiful beaches and I had the opportunity to see the stunning countryside full of vineyards and olive groves, we had a walk up Mount Conero and on the last night we ate fresh fried fish at a festival of the sea hosted by local fishermen.

Marco was right! Ancona has a lot to offer and I will be back there soon to make some more wine, lay on the beach and eat great food!

I hope you enjoy the short video below that captured the experience of making my own wine in Marche.

Making ‘My Oinos’ in Marche

We recently hosted a group of friends in Ancona, a historic port city in the Marche region.

As well as taking in the sights and sounds of the old town, soaking up the sun on the beach, enjoying fabulous seafood and delicious Italian ice-cream; we made a special limited edition wine which we blended, designed the lable, bottled, corked and called ‘My Oinos’ (Oinos being the old Greek term for wine).

We hope that you enjoy the short video we have produced to capture our experience.

The ‘Podos’ story

Ancona, a hidden gem perched on a stretch of elbow-shaped coast dropping into the Adriatic sea. Surrounded by rolling, beautiful countryside and crowned with the impressive Monte Conero.

This story begins here, in the shadow of Monte Conero, in the heart of the Marche region. It is the story of blending the countryside way of life with the modern pleasure of tasting a handmade glass of wine; considered today, more than ever, a noble and precious product. It is the story of a group of friends, who decided to share an exclusive experience in traditional settings enjoying themselves while promoting the Marche ‘brand’.

This is where ‘Podos’ came from, a wine making experience with friends. The name ‘Podus’ comes from the ancient Greek ‘pous-podos’, which means ‘feet’ and reminds of the Greek roots of this land and the handicraft nature of the product. Feet are used to crush the grapes.

Wine making is an adventure that leads you back to simplicity of ‘being together’, in contact with nature and making something tangible. Slowly, you start savouring and appreciating the value of a simple, timeless product, which is at the same time rich and sophisticated.

The various blends were tasted and a favourite chosen, corks were put in place, labels designed, a blowtorch was used to shrink the foil into place. We became a slick well-oiled team as we tool pride in producing our wine.

The passion for wine and the invaluable experience of ancient techniques add to the delight of opening your own bottle of wine.

From the grape to the table, an unforgettable journey through values and traditions; much more than just a simple glass of wine and an experience that won’t be forgotten by any of those involved in making our own Rosso Conero wine.