Verdicchio might not be on your pairing list, but if you have never heard of this wonderful white Italian wine it is definitely time to add to your tasting list. Be sure to hit up this white on your next trip to Italy or even put it on rotation when serving up some fish or roasted chicken at Casa tua (Your House).
Where is Verdicchio Made?
A few hours drive East of Rome, Verdicchio grapes can be found growing mainly in the Northern part of Le Marche. Le Marche is a central region of Italy known for its idyllic countryside, and the “IT” place to be if you want all the charms of Tuscany without the overwhelming crowds and tourist traps. Thinking about shaking the Tuscany Trance? Then why not nix the line-ups, cuisine that is less than epic and join us for a tour that is nothing less than a food and wine lovers paradise.
The History of Verdicchio
Verdicchio grapes thrive in mineral-rich soil that is unique to Le Marche’s territory. This wine region in Italy was submerged under water for nearly 200 million years, which allowed clay and sediments to form to make it the perfect landscape for producing the ultimate Verdicchio Italian White Wine.
Although relatively new to wine lovers outside of Italy, Verdicchio has been produced in the province of Jesi and Matelica since the 7th century and the tradition behind its production is DOC protected. Verdicchio as we know it today didn’t come around until the 1960’s when the Verdicchio grape variety starts being bottled and produced for quality, not quantity.
After some careful refining, and shift in the wine production mindset, passionate vintners of Le Marche have made Verdicchio a worthy competitor that can hold a candle to Italy’s more famous white wines.
Verdicchio’s Taste Profile
To the untrained eye, Verdicchio is a straw yellow Italian white wine with bright golden reflections. Take a closer look and you will see Verdicchio often displays a greenish tinge, which is why it was given the name Verdicchio (Verde means green in Italian). It has aromas of citrus fruits, peach, pear, apple with a tropical touch and good persistence. When Verdicchio is aged in barrique, fermentation in the cask gives it aromas of vanilla and toasted wood.
Quick Tip: Rotating the glass also blossoms vegetal notes of linden, elder, hawthorn, and mimosa.
Verdicchio can thank its revival to its structure, good acidity, and good alcohol content. Its taste has an aromatic profile that is extremely complex, vegetable and floral.
The “amaro” (bitter) characteristic of the Verdicchio grape is unmistakably sapid and has an almondy finish, which is pleasantly bitter. If you are picking up a Verdicchio that is labeled “Superiore” you will get the bonus of added longevity and it may even be stored away in your cellar for up to twenty years!
It is a great souvenir to bring back from your trip to Italy and perfect for fighting the post-vacation blues when you need to transport yourself back to the Bel Paese.
Quick Tip: When you mature Verdicchio you further elevate its flavour profile giving it the chance to develop aromas of honey and yellow fruit jams.
Perfect Pairings for Verdicchio
Thanks to Verdicchio’s good structure and ability to better with aging it can take on the characteristics of an array of Italian wines. Wine lovers say its soul is strong and similar to Pecorino grapes which are known for their bold characteristics that make them similar to an Italian Red wine.
For a classic pairing, Verdicchio is a great match with fish. I personally recommend it as a great wine to start the meal with by pairing it with some tasty seafood appys.
Quick Tip: Avoid pairing Verdicchio with starters that throw vinegar in the mix. This combo disturbs the acid balance of the dish due to Verdicchio’s good acidity.
Not a seafood lover? Verdicchio can be enjoyed by land lovers with a dish of pasta dressed with a well-known Italian classic: Pesto. Pesto requires a light, herbaceous Italian white wine and Verdicchio truly brings out the essential oils of basil that we all love so much about this Italian sauce.
A few other pairings to try with Verdicchio
Verdicchio’s versatility doesn’t stop there! You can also pair Verdicchio with seafood risotto, seafood paella (if you want some Spanish flair) and spaghetti with clams.
Its bold red-like qualities allow it to also support a pinch of chili for those times you want to spice things up in the kitchen. And if you are meeting us in Italy, you have to try the lethal combo of Olive Ascolane, a dish that is meant to be tasted in the place where it was born: Ascoli Piceno.
Have you tasted Verdicchio before? If so what are some of your favourite pairing?