Tuesday, May 18, 2021
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Italian white wine: The Pope´s Match in Heaven

White wine types

Wine and food. Food and wine. Time and time again, Pope Francis and his love of pizza, fish and wine.

ITALIAN WINE: Italy makes more wine than any other country on earth. It might surprise you to learn that it makes more white than red. Here are more than 3,000 varieties of grapes, many of them found only within its borders. This is a country where wine-lovers can explore to their heart´s content. Even Pope Francis prefer Italian white wine at his fish-dinner in the Vatican.

The Vatican Cookbook reveals the Argentinian-born Pope Francis loves Italian wine
The Vatican Cookbook reveals the Argentinian-born Pope Francis loves Italian wine

A pope without wine is like king without a kingdom. It’s important also from a religious standpoint because vital to Catholicism as a whole. It’s no surprise that one of Jesus’ most regularly retold miracles is his act of turning water into wine.

Jesus wants wine

In an apparent bid to be remembered as the coolest pope ever, Francis explained that “a wedding feast lacking wine embarrasses the newlyweds.
“Go ahead, then, and crack open a bottle. Jesus would have wanted it.”

The Vatican Cookbook published in English reveals that the Argentinian-born Pope Francis favourite foods include pizza, sirloin steak, empanadas, and dulce de leche – a pudding of caramel and sweet cream. And he is a big supporter of Italian wine. Francis special pick for fish dinner is Titulus Classico from Fazi Battaglia.

 

Wine and food at Castello di Tornano
Wine and food at Castello di Tornano

Dry and white in Italy

The white wines made in Central Italy are not flashy or famous, but they can certainly be delicious. And underrated. This area is known for making clean, light, white wines that are refreshing. Verdicchio is a white wine grape variety that has been cultivated for hundreds of years in the Marche region.
Verdicchio is a dry white wine with aromas of apple, pear with an almond finish. This wine is a match made in heaven with food like pasta, vegetarian, lean fish and cured meat.

This is the grapes at winery Fazi Battaglia
This is the grapes at winery Fazi Battaglia

Popular Italian wines

Italy has iconic wines such as Barolo and Chianti and many hidden games to discover. Each region has its own identity and the climate varies wildly from north to south. Most of the wine is food-friendly.

Cooled by the Dolomites, Trentinoi Alto Adige is a picturesque region in the northeast which produces Pinot Grigio with pure fruit and minerality.

Piedmont has the elegance of Barolo, Tuscany brings classic Chianti, Abruzzo has it famed Montepilciano and Pecorino. There are rich reds from Primitivo and Nero di Troia, and juicy Fiano from sun-drenched Puglia. The island of Sicily delivers reds from Nero d´Avola and whites from Grillo.

Not cheap: Tony at Salvino in North London. A bottle of Tignanello 2017 will set you back 100 pound. Said to be better after 2013, but already a joy to taste.
Not cheap: Tony at Salvino in North London. A bottle of Tignanello 2017 will set you back 100 pound. Said to be better after 2013, but already a joy to taste.

Stay at wine resorts in Italy

Tuscany is a region with glitzy wine resorts, but also hotel for the less well-heeled. Azienda Capannelle is located in the heart of Chiantishire, north of Siena. Surrounded by vineyards, olive trees and cypresses, offers a villa of four rooms and one suite. That will be an unforgettable experience while swimming in the panoramic pool.

Castello di Tornano makes award-winning Chianti Classico. Stay in a 1000-year-old castle, village house, with pool, tennis court and restaurant. Located between Sienna and Florence.

Wine for all: White Verdicchio is made of grapes from the inland hills of Marche region. Costs about 10 pound at Salvino in London.
Wine for all: White Verdicchio is made of grapes from the inland hills of Marche region. Costs about 10 pound at Salvino in London.

Visit winery in Marche

A tour of Fazi Battaglia’s cellar is a journey in search of Verdicchio, but also an exciting experience packed with evocative images that will take you through history. It is a story of courage, innovation and design – an all-Italian story.
Address: Via Roma, 117, 60031 Castelplanio (AN)

Titulus is the symbol of wine from Fazi Battaglia. The aroma is notes of white and yellow roses, wildflowers and grasses, decorated with subtle nuances of fresh bread and crackers, apples, peaches and dill.
The taste is elegant, refreshing wine. Notes of lemon and softened tones of garden fruits and almonds. Wine is recommended to seafood, white fish, sushi, chicken.

Assortment of cheeses, a bottle of wine, honey, nuts and spices, on a wooden table. That´s Italy.
Assortment of cheeses, a bottle of wine, honey, nuts and spices, on a wooden table. That´s Italy.

In my opinion…

I’ve been on an Italian white wine kick, and particularly interested in wines made from the Verdicchio grape.
Travelling in Italy, I always keep my eyes open for the underrated wines of Fazi Battaglia and Verdicchio di Matelica. Fazi Battaglia comes from Castelli di Jesi, Verdicchio is made of grapes from the inland hills of Marche region.
The quality of Italian white wines in general has shot upward in the last 20 years.
Nothing wrong to follow the Pope´s  advice – and his taste for Italian white wine.

Learn secrets: Risotto the Italian art of food

Gudmund Lindbaek
Gudmund Lindbaek
Journalist founded King Goya a few years back. Meeting people, local food and engaging stories are my passion. I plan for ambitious once-in-a-lifetime trips. My delight is the prospect of Future Travels: Longer, Slower, Farther! I just want a tiny slice of adventure to be alive, and then excited to return home.

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