I read a striking article this week about the homogeneity of Californian winemaking, compared with the diversity of wine styles in Europe. While Steve Heimoff, the author, bemoaned the dominance of Cab Sauv, Merlot, Chardonnay and Zinfandel on America’s west coast, he exalted the use of local indigenous grapes in places like Italy.
Here at Window On Wine we like a native grape too. So here’s a wine of which we and Steve (would) approve – Taste the Difference Verdicchio Classico dei Castelli di Jesi 2011. To take that local feeling one step further, it is bottled in the traditional amphora bottle shape – a custom since the 1950′s for this wine from the Marche region in eastern central Italy. The Verdicchio grapes are joined by ten per cent of Trebbiano in this blend.
The grape is said to get its name from the “verde” – green – hue it gives to the wine it makes. That greenness is only a hint, this Verdicchio is more like pale straw in colour. It smells of lemon zest with a sort of fresh stoniness. I thought I smelled almonds too. The taste has more citrus zing and minerality with good acidity too. It’s a dry and crisp wine. There’s not masses of flavour or length here so drink it on its own or maybe with grilled fish or a simple creamy pasta dish. It’s a good midweek white.
Taste the Difference Verdicchio Classico dei Castelli di Jesi 2011 is available from Sainsbury’s priced £7.49.
W.O.W. Factor 6.5