Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Get to Know a Grape: Verdicchio

This week, we're looking at one of central Italy's classic white wine grapes: Verdicchio!

Primarily grown in four regions of central Italy's Marche region, Verdicchio's name derives from the Italian for green (verde), due to the light yellow and even slightly green colours that often characterize Verdicchio wines. Despite the similarity of the names, Verdicchio is a largely Italian grape and shouldn't be confusvinho verde!
ed with Portugal's 'green' wine,

Wines made from Verdicchio often have aromas of green apple and citrus, as well as a good amount of acidity and minerality with notes of almonds on the finish. Some Verdicchio wines, particularly those made in the Castelli di Jesi area, tend to be lighter and cleaner, emphasizing the grape's natural citrus aromas and easy-drinking style. Others, such as those from the Matelica DOC, tend to be somewhat softer and rounder, trading some of the grape's high acidity for notes of flowers and almonds.

Although usually meant to be consumed quickly, when aged, wine made from Verdicchio can develop a very luxurious velvety feel. Verdicchio is usually vinified on its own, although it is sometimes blended with Gargenega in making white wines in Italy's Veneto region. It is also sometimes used to make spumante, or Italian sparkling wine. Wherever it comes from, though Verdicchio wines make a great aperitif or pairing for sole, mussels, oysters, or gnocchi.

Verdicchio grapes tend to ripen late into the harvest season and is often harvested in mid-to-late October and is susceptible to fungal diseases, but can produce large yields. Because of this, you don't need to spend much to get a great Verdicchio white and some great expressions of this wine can be found under the $15 mark, although you will also be rewarded if you're willing to splurge for a higher-end bottle. So the next time you're thinking about pairing wine with oysters, or just enjoying a nice evening in the sun, try a bottle of Verdicchio!

The Short Version:
Names: Verdicchio, Trebbiano di Lugana, Trebbiano di Soave, Giallo, Maceratese
Flavour Profile: Notes of green apple on the nose, with good acidity and hints of almonds in the mouth.
Best-Known Regions: Marche, Veneto
Price Range: $12-$25

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