What is my favorite wine region?
Despite being a curious wine enthusiast, I reckon that this is a really hard question to answer. It’s just as difficult as picking one’s favourite band.
I was born in Italy, where I live enjoying the abundance of the historical sites, cultural beauties, and touring among the variety of food-and-wine selections to be savoured and sipped.
Being above all a quality wine lover, a writer and critic, I can’t help hiding my fondness for Piemonte and its fascinating array of regal wines, especially those made from Nebbiolo.
I can’t help flirting with the fantastic Toscana region, with its beautiful rolling green hills that, as naturally painted landscapes, host the farms and renowned vineyards, that are the birthplace of the greatly acclaimed wines; by the way, when you visit, don’t forget to taste the fantastic EVO oil as well.
As a roman living in Rome I could have also chosen Lazio, bringing our roman ancestors up as the very first, if not the unique promoters of the diffusion of the vine around Europe … If it weren’t for them, we would be probably talking about something else now.
But I don’t like obvious choices. I prefer peculiar ones. Something definitely less known but more ambitious. A territory with the necessary requirements to express and introduce excellent wines, despite some loose ends. A region that for the time being benefits from the result of its efforts.
I choose le Marche, a wonderful region which has often achieved many “goals” scoring very good results, but nevertheless should throw the hat in and play the game to get the due acknowledgement it deserves.
A region with a lengthy legacy, rich in vineyards, wines, and what’s great, many charming contradictions as well: red wines that ripe overhanging on sheer cliffs, such as Rosso Conero, or by the seaside like the “napoleonic” Pinot Noir on the coast of Focara by Colli Pesaresi; the quality Verdicchio di Matelica and Jesi, that may be considered as red wines disguised as whites. Wine stock that thanks to their longevity, talent and class can challenge many red divas .
Let’s turn to the outsiders. Ribona and Bianchello del Metauro, show their flavour combined with plainness and history and would only need a jumpstart. Same goes for Piceno wines or those neighbouring Abruzzo, such as Montepulciano, Pecorino, Passerina and Trebbiano.
Not to mention the one and only sparkling wine produced from red grapes, Vernaccia di Serrapetrona. A rarity that undergoes three fermentations, but alas is on the brink of extinction. One of those rarities Mario Soldati (a famous Italian film director, writer, historian, as well as one of the most important Italian food and wine journalists) was in constant search of in his long food and wine trips around Italy.
What does Marche wine region lack to be on top?
I’m not directly related to this region but I live and feel it as I belong there as perhaps no other place.
How many people know Marche or have tasted its wines? I guess not so many, and not enough for sure, but trust me: if you have the chance, instead of the usual and emblazoned Italian regions, give Marche a try… You will not regret it.