When spring arrives you just want to celebrate with a good wine…why not with a Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi DOP…?
My first encounter with Marika Socci and her father Pierluigi and their Verdicchio wines was about a year ago at a local digital marketing event organized by some of my friends here in Tuscany. I knew of their wines before but so far, I had never tasted them.
Of course, while tasting the wines I also did a live video. LOL This lead to Marika being a guest at my #WinesOfItaly #LiveStream last summer where she was actually streaming directly from their vineyard. This was a fun episode and we learned a lot about the Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi wines.
So, when it was time to choose a wine for this month’s theme “Spring and the Verdicchio grape” in the Italian Food, Wine, and Travel (#ItalianFWT) group, I, of course, chose the wine, Marika. This wine is named after Marika and it is a Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi DOP Classico Superiore 2016. It is a 100% Verdicchio wine that is atypical, according to Marika. The grapes are chilled down to -5 degrees before they are pressed to better extract the aromas and sugars.
On Saturday, April 7, you can join us on Twitter at 11amEDT / 17.00 CEST to learn more about Verdicchio wines paired with spring dishes and travel in Le Marche. Just type in the hashtag #ItalianFWT in the search field and click Enter, thereafter, you click Latest which will show you all the live tweets.
Feel free to listen to the #WinesOfItaly #LiveStream with Marika below.
A Wine Map of Le Marche
There are several different DOCs and DOCGs in Le Marche but the most known still today is probably the Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi and di Matelica. See the areas of Jesi and Matelica on the map below.
Verdicchio is often called one of Italy’s greatest white grapes. In fact, Marika says that it is a chameleon-like grape because it is so powerful and can be vinified in many different ways giving optimal results. (See more in the article The Many Faces Of The Verdicchio Grape With Marika Socci.) Ian D’Agata also stresses the Verdicchio grapes versatility, longevity and how it soars when aged in oak.
The Verdicchio is believed to have been cultivated in Le Marche and other central Italian regions since the 8th century more or less. Though it seems that some documentation points to the 15th century. Furthermore, DNA tests have more recently shown that the Verdicchio and the Trebbiano di Soave grapes are identical. There seem to be similarities also with the Trebbiano di Lugana and Trebbiano Valtenesi.
What are the typical traits of the Verdicchio then? Well, it is a grape that is slow to ripen, it has a very good acidity which gives fresh wines with a great aging potential. The typical notes of the Verdicchio can be fruity (such as apple, pear, peach, citrus fruits, pineapple, etc.) and floral (such as hawthorn, jasmine, broom, etc.). The most characteristic thing of the Verdicchio grape is probably its aftertaste of almond, that can feel a bit nutty and rich.
The differences between Jesi and Matelica
The Verdicchio wines from Jesi and Matelica are similar but still so different. Jesi is situated closer to the Adriatic sea while Matelica is more in the inland and in a hilly landscape. The Verdicchio wines from the Jesi area are considered to be more aromatic and fragrant as well as salty as a result of the closeness to the sea. They are also lighter in the body.
The Verdicchio wines from Matelica have longer maturation times, a higher acidity level, a better structure, and longevity. The terroir in the Matelica area is also particular as its soil is rich in minerals. The wines might be rougher when young but with time they smoothen out and gain in structure and complexity.
Multinational Spring Lunch with Verdicchio
On Easter Sunday, that was also one of the first beautiful spring days, I was invited to lunch with my American friends Laura and Melissa. Melissa lives with her husband and son in the hills outside Florence and it was a perfect place for a spring lunch. With Laura, her son, and Italian husband, we were a nice group of American, Italian, and Swedish friends that had a lot of fun. The lunch turned into a whole day thing lasting to after dinner time.
While chatting, sipping on wine, and having fun while Melissa was cooking we did this live Easter video together, just after opening the Marika 2016 bottle.
Melissa had told us they would cook mainly fish, so, therefore, I had brought the Marika 2016 wine thinking it would pair well. In fact, it was perfect with the spaghetti alle vongole where she had added parsley, lemon juice, and a cup of the Marika wine.
The fresh, sapid, floral, and a bit citrusy Marika 2016 with a touch of herby or green notes was very good with the yummy spaghetti alle vongole.
What better way to celebrate spring than with a Verdicchio
So, what could have been better than celebrating Easter and spring with good friends, good food, and wine, right? This article was the perfect occasion to refreshen the knowledge about the Verdicchio grape, Le Marche, and Azienda Vitivinicola Socci. Also, I have linked in the beginning to the previous article I wrote about Marika Socci and their wines after she had been a guest at my live stream. Enjoy the readings! 🙂
See what our Italian Food Wine & Travel Enthusiasts have to offer about Spring and Verdicchio:
- Jeff at FoodWineClick! gives us a A Wine Pairing Lesson with Verdicchio.
- Camilla at Culinary Adventures with Camilla pours Bisci Verdicchio di Matelica with a Panzanella di Primavera.
- Wendy at A Day in the Life on the Farm serves up Scallop Crudo with Verdicchio.
- Katarina at Grapevine Adventures offers a Multinational Spring Lunch with Verdicchio.
- Jane at Always Ravenous shares Verdicchio Paired with the Flavors of Spring.
- Nicole at Somm’s Table posts Cooking to the Wine: Azienda Santa Barbara Verdicchio and Tuna Melts.
Lauren at The Swirling Dervish pairs Verdicchio and Roasted Vegetables: A Match Made in Heaven.
- Lynn at Savor the Harvest has A Spring Date With Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi.
- Susannah of Avvinare listens as Verdicchio Sings of Spring.
- Jennifer of Vino Travels shares Verdicchio of the Marche with Tenuta di Tavignano.