Because of the pandemic I haven’t visited any wineries for a while, but luckily the nice people of Bisci Wines contacted me. They were enthusiastic about the recipes I have posted that pair well with Verdicchio, and offered to send me some samples of their wines. Grazie mille, società agricola Bisci!
Bisci Wines was founded in 1972 by the brothers Giuseppe and Pierino Bisci. Nowadays Mauro and Tito, sons of Giuseppe, have taken over the reigns. They have 20 hectares of vineyards between the provinces of Macerata and Ancona in the Marche region in Italy between 320 and 370 above sea level. They mostly produce the white of the region, Verdicchio di Matelica, but also some red from Merlot and Sangiovese.
I tasted two of their white wines, both Verdicchio di Matelica DOC. This is the ‘neighbor’ of Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi DOC.
Verdicchio di Matelica DOC 2019
Retails in Italy for 12.50 euros.
100% Verdicchio, vinified in cement vats, and aged in the bottle for at least 2 months.
Color: pale yellow
Nose: fresh, white fruit, citrus fruit, almonds
Taste: crisp and clean, medium bodied, well balanced, bitter note
Verdicchio di Matelica Vigneto Fogliano DOC 2018
Retails in Italy for 20 euros.
100% Verdicchio, vinified in cements vats, and aged in the bottle for at least 4 months.
Color: slightly less pale yellow
Nose: less fragrant, with more mature notes
Taste: creamier, more body, bitter note, beautifully balanced
Food pairing with the Verdicchios
The first dish I tried the whites with, was orecchiette with slow-roasted cauliflower. The pairing was good with the Verdicchio di Matelica (*** for the pairing). The wine was a bit too light and fresh for the depth of flavor of the dish. The pairing was very good with the Vigneto Fogliano (**** for the pairing), because that wine worked better with the deeper flavors.
The other dish I tried with the whites was vitello tonnato. As this has a lighter flavor than the cauliflower, I thought it would work better with the Verdicchio di Matelica. But again the pairing was good (*** for the pairing) with the wine being on the light and fresh side for the dish. I had run out of the wine so I wasn’t able to try it with more dishes. I think the base Verdicchio di Matelica, which I liked very much by itself (and just as much as the Vigneto Fogliano), is perhaps more suited to drink as an aperitif just by itself, rather than being a wine that needs to be paired with food.
The Vigneto Fogliano was a very good to excellent pairing with the vitello tonnato (****1/2 for the pairing). The body of the wine worked excellent with the meat and the freshness worked well with the sauce.
Bisci Rosso 2017
Retails in Italy for 12.70 euros.
Marche IGT, 80% Merlot, 20% Sangiovese, vinified in stainless steels and cement, and aged in the bottle for at least 3 months.
Color: ruby red
Nose: fruity and mint (herbaceous)
Taste: smooth and fresh with light tannins, medium bodied
Food pairing with the Rosso
Because it is such a light wine, the first dish I tried was a simple but delicious spaghetti al pomodoro. The pairing was good in that the wine and the dish co-existed, but there was no interaction (*** for the pairing).
Next I tried gnocchetti sardi with salsiccia and fennel. Same result: co-existence without interaction (*** for the pairing).
This is when Kees suggested I prepare lamb with a mint sauce, because lamb is good with lighter red wines, and the wine has a minty aroma. As I already mentioned in the blog post with the recipe for the lamb, this pairing was a winner! A perfect match where each bite of food makes you want to take another sip of the wine, and vice versa. ***** for the wine pairing!