The food culture of Marche has been greatly influenced by other regions and invading peoples throughout its long history, but many farmers cling to local tradition, governing their crops by ancient lunar methods. In the same way that early farmers in the United States relied on a farmer's almanac for timing their work, legend and myth still play a large role in determining which days are auspicious for Marche farmers for planting, harvesting, making wine, making cheese and curing meats.
On the coast, fish and seafood dishes abound. In the hills, chicken and pork are the primary proteins. Creamy sauces made from chicken giblets are used liberally in Marche cooking. Pork recipes rely on generous chunks instead of the traditional thin prosciutto style servings. Since pork is so readily available, there are many type of sausages made in Marche. A hearty favorite local smoked sausage is ciauscolo, crafted with half pork and half pork fat, and well seasoned with salt, pepper, orange peel and fennel seed. Olives grow well in Marche, and are served both on their own and stuffed with savory meat fillings. Grapes, grains, mushrooms and a wide variety of vegetables are found throughout the region, and the tables are graced with simple country Italian cooking at its best.
Cheese-wise, Marche holds its own in the steep competition for great Italian dairy products. Casciotta d'Urbino is a sheep and cow milks hand-pressed into rounds that are then salted and cured in a moist environment, producing a velvety texture. Ambra di Talamello is made from goat, sheep or cow milk and is cured in a pit lined with straw, resulting in an earthy flavor. Cacio La Forma di Limone is a sheep milk cheese made with lemons, then formed into small balls (that look a bit like lemons). It is rubbed with a salt and lemon mixture to cure, and has a refreshingly light lemon tang. Some great pecorino cheeses can be found in the region as well.
Pasta in the Marche region is rich with eggs, with wide noodles like lasagna and papparadelle in the forefront. The region's signature dish vincisgrassi (a pasta casserole with meat sauce) showcases flat pastas and savory meats to their best and most delightful advantage. Other pastas like spaghetti alla chitarra, spaghettini, tagliatelle andmaccheroncini have also found their way into Marche dishes. Combined with the freshest local ingredients, pasta is always a welcome addition to Italian country tables. The results are nothing less than a delicious display of cooking marked by confidences handed down from generation to generation.
If your looking for a special treat ask us about our local neighbor that will come to the house and teach you her local recipies for a small charge, an experience to remember!!!
Our lunch at a local resturant...
Pizza is everywhere...
Saputi Winery 5 mins from the house...
Coined "The New Tuscany", the Le Marche wine region is one of Italy's last untouched wine regions, and a must for gourmet travelers. In this region the amount of red and white wines produced are almost equal. The main regional white is the excellent Verdicchio, a dry characteristically flavored exceptional white, made from at least 85% of the grape with the same name. Both the Verdicchio di Jesi and the Verdicchio di Matelica DOC wines complement perfectly local dishes such as the Lumache alle Nove Erbe, snails cocked with nine aromatic herbs, and the Brodetto di Pesce, a bouillabaisse-like rich seafood stew that, though found all over the Adriatic coast, reaches its best expression here.
Other whites include the Bianchello del Metauro, made near the Metauro River estuary on the north coast of Pesaro, as well as the Bianco dei Colli Maceratesi or, “White from the Macerata Hills”, produced near Macerata only 30 minutes from our house, south of Ancona.
Something different for lovers of Italian wine-
Le Marche produces a large variety of wines including 13 varieties of wine carrying the D.O.C. (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) label. Many of these wines are little known outside of Italy but visitors to the region have a pleasant surprise when they try the local wine produced by many small aziendas and cantinas.
The following varieties of vines are the most common, growing well on the gentle slopes of the hilly region: Montepulciano d'Abruzzo, Sangiovese, Ciliegiolo, Pinot nero and bianco, Verdicchio, Trebbiano, Malvasia of Tuscany, Vernaccia Nera and Maceratino.
Other vines grown in selected areas are genetic variants of Pinot Nero (Pinot Noir), Pinot Grigio (pinot gris), Pinot Bianco (Pinot Blanc)
Without a shadow of doubt the jewel of the region. Better known than most, it's well earned fame has resulted in the export of large quantities of the wine, especially to Great Britain and the USA.
Clear and intense, the colour is a pale straw with a very slight greenish tint. Full bodied, it has a dry harmonious taste with a pleasing, slightly tannic aftertaste and a delicate, characteristic nose.
It comes with a minimum alcoholic content of 12% by volume and is produced mainly from the Verdicchio grape to which may be added a quantity of Malvasia and Trebbiano together forming a maximum of 20% of the total.
Considered the 'the best wine for fish in Europe' Verdicchio should be served chilled and is an inseparable companion of all fish based dishes such as brodetto (fish soup), antipasti ai frutti di mare (hors d'oeuvres of mixed fish), risotto alla marinara (a delicious fish based rice), grilled and fried fish and all white meats.
The 'classico' Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi is restricted to a zone with the town of Jesi at it's center.
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A rich garnet red wine with reflections tending toward violet. With a strong predominance of the Sangiovese grape growing on the hills in the Pesaro province in the north of the region. The addition of a small quantity of Montepulciano and Ciliegiolo grapes (not more than 15%) determine it's preparation.
A refreshing dry taste with a pleasant, slightly stringent aftertaste. Alcohol content of not less than 11.5%, it preferably accompanies roast and grilled meats and the tasty first courses of the Le Marche region: Vincisgrassi (a slight variation to lasagna), Cannelloni and Ravioli.
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A wine with a history going back to 500 b.c. has certainly stood the test of time. Coloured a light strawish yellow and with a fresh dry taste with pleasing overtones, it has a minimum alcoholic content of 11.5%. The wine is produced from grapes of the same name to which may be added Malvasia of Tuscany up to a maximum of 5%. A typical wine for fish dishes and marries perfectly with exquisite marinade specialties of the Marchegiana coast.
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Lacrima di Morro d'Alba
A high quality wine produced in a small area north of the River Esino in the province of Ancona with Morro d'Alba at it's center. It is produced from the lacrima grape, native of the area. A rich ruby red with violet reflections in young wines. A pleasant, dry but smooth taste and a rich fruity nose reminiscent of bilberries and violets. Almost a varietal, a maximum of 15% of other grapes of approved varieties may be added for correction purposes, normally Montepulciano and Verdicchio. After the first racking in late December a 2nd fermentation is induced by the addition of a must produced from partially dried grapes (a method known as the 'governo Toscano').
Normally consumed as a young wine during the year of bottling but sometimes aged for up to 3 years. Best served at below room temperature (around 15°C) Goes well with Vincisgrassi, lasagna, pasta dishes with a tomato and meat sauce, all roast and grilled red meat and game.
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A very slight straw colour with greenish reflections. The production area is most of the province of Ancona and a large area of Macerata. A characteristic intense nose and a fresh dry taste very similar to verdicchio given that a minimum of 50% verdicchio grape is used in it's production. The rest is made up of white grapes of the production zone authorised by the D.O.C. authorities - normally Trebbiano and/or Malvasia. Minimum alcohol content 10.5%. A sparkling (frizzante) version is also produced, minimum alcohol content 9.5%.
Served at a temperature between 9° and 12°, accompanies most 1st courses, white meats and due to it's lower alcohol grading does not overpower the most delicate fish dishes, molluscs and crustaceans.
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Produced from grapes which ripen in a restricted sunny area in the foothills of the mountain which goes by the same name just south of Ancona. The prevailing protagonist of it's composition is the fruit of the Montepulciano vine to which may be added Sangiovese in quantity not exceeding 15% of the total. It is an exceptional wine with a remarkable Mediterranean temperament, a ruby red colour, clear and brilliant, dry flavour pleasing to the taste, rich fruity nose, full bodied and velvety. Alcohol content not less than 11.5%.
It was particularly appreciated by the ancient Romans and is an ideal companion of roast meats, game and in general all rich and spicy food - a strong personality.
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The production area is more elevated above sea level and further west than it's cousin dei castelli di Jesi, a fertile territory situated on the lower slopes of the Apennines.
It has very similar characteristics to Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi but with a more impulsive character, simpler and fuller bodied, derived from it's mountainous origins.
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Vernaccia di Serrapetrona
A typical wine of the small district from which it takes it's name. It is a Spumante (sparkling wine) obtained by natural fermentation. Red, a true jewel of variant colour ranging from garnet to ruby with a fine and lively intoxicating sparkle, sweet or semi-sweet (amabile) with a pleasing slightly bitter background.
With it's 11.5% alcohol it is an excellent red dessert wine but drunk on it's own reveals an exceptional, sweet and delicate fragrance.
Fundamental to it's production is the Vernaccia grape, in part, slightly over-ripened to which is added modest quantities of Montepulciano, Sangiovese and Ciliegiolo.
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A pale straw yellow colour, refreshing dry taste and 11% alcohol minimum. It is produced from the Maceratino grape (min. 80%) The rest being made up with small quantities of the Tuscan Trebbiano grape, Malvasia and Verdicchio grown in the production area.
It is first-rate with hors d'oeuvres and pasta dishes in general.
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Amongst the thirteen, the one that covers the largest zone of production covering the entire lowlands and medium hills of the centre and south of the region. In the most part, the territory inhabited by the ancient Piceni.
Sangiovese and Montepulciano are used in it's production with added small measures of Trebbiano and Passerina. A beautiful ruby red colour and a pleasant dry and fruity flavour graded at 11.5% increasing to 12-13% which qualifies the wine as 'superiore'.
Typical of the hills above Ascoli Piceno which degrade towards the sea. Accompanies dishes of roast meats ( best with lamb), fries and grills and seems made to measure with the choice fried olive ascolane (large green olive stuffed with minced meat and fried in bread crumbs).
A beautiful clear strawy yellow colour, delicately perfumed with a pleasant, not too dry taste, moderately acid. Alcohol content 11.5%. Those who say they don't like white wines usually change their minds at first taste. An impeccable companion to fish and hors d'oeuvres.
The grapes used in it's production are the Tuscan Trebbiano, Tuscan Malvasia, Pinot bianco, Verdicchio, Passerina and Pecorino cultivated on the gentle slopes around Ascoli and Fermo.
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Received the DOC label in 2001. The production area is the hills north of Ascoli Piceno and south of the River Aso. Unlike other DOCs of Le Marche, Offida comes in both red wine and white wines in different varieties as noted below:
Offida Rosso is a ruby red tending towards garnet. A well structured wine with a complex fruity nose slightly ethereal and a pleasing dry harmonious taste. It is produced from a minimum of 50% Montepulciano, a minimum of 30% Cabernet Sauvignon and a maximum of 20% of authorized, non-aromatic red grapes of the production zone. Aging is carried out for 24 months, 6 months of which is spent in oak barrels of no more than 500 litre capacity. On top of this it is obligatory that the wine stands a further 6 months in bottles before release for public consumption. Minimum alcohol content is 13%. Is also produced as 'superiore' and 'novello'.
Served at 16° to 18°C accompanies food with rich flavoured sauces such as ragu, red meats and game meats in general as well as seasoned cheeses.
Offida Pecorino Pale straw coloured with a slight greenish hue. Made from a minimum 85% pecorino grape. Up to a maximum of 15% of other authorised, non aromatic white grapes of the production area may be used. Pleasant nose and flavour typical and characteristic of the grape variety. Minimum alcoholic content is 12% by volume. Drunk young, the pleasing slightly acidic taste goes well with delicate sea foods, especially crustaceans and fish soups. When matured for 12 months may accompany all sea food dishes and white meats.
Offida Passerina is a very pale yellow with a golden hue. Produced from the passerina grape - minimum 85% and the rest made up of authorised, non-aromatic white grapes of the production area. The pleasing scent and slightly acidic flavour are characteristic of the passerina grape. Minimum alcohol content is 11.5%. Drunk young is an ideal accompaniment of specialist fish dishes, especially molluscs and crustaceans.
Offida Passerina Spumante produced from grapes as above. Secondary fermentation by the classical 'champagne' method, the process requires a minimum of 6 months.
Pale straw yellow, slightly fruity nose typical of the grape variety. Minimum alcohol content is 11.5%. Offida Passerina Passito. The word passito refers to the method of producing a wine from dried or partially dried grapes in order to raise the relative sugar content which gives a characteristic flavour to the resulting wine. Grapes as per Offida passerina above are normally dried on the vines but maybe continued indoors under controlled conditions. Drying is carried out until the sugar level reaches at least 260 grams per litre of must. The pressing is carried out not before the 1st of December of the year of harvest and not later than 31st of March of the following year. Because of the high sugar content, fermentation is rather slow and is stopped naturally with a residual sweetness by the increasing alcohol content. Minimum alcohol content is 15.5% of which 13% must be produced naturally. The colour is a clear yellow/amber.
The wine is aged for at least 18 months, 12 months of which is in wood. Nice with Italian pastries and well seasoned cheeses.
Offida Passerina Vino Santo. Production is similar to passito except that the grape drying procedure is carried out entirely on racks in an ambient where temperature and humidity are controlled. No forcing is permitted. The wine is produced in a much smaller area, namely within the territory covered by the communes of Offida and Ripatransone. Strict controls on soil types and terrain, only well drained slopes in full sun.
Alcohol content by volume is 15.5% minimum of which at least 13% is produced naturally.
Colour is rich amber. Bouquet typical of wines produced from grapes 'passito', slightly ethereal and intense. Taste velvety and has the characteristic 'passito' flavour.
Aging is 36 months of which at least 24 months in wood barrels of not more than 500 litres capacity. An excellent desert wine, also suitable as an after dinner drink
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The most recent to receive the DOC label (31 October 2006). This is the second wine in Le Marche to be granted the DOC label and comes in different varieties (the other being Offida).
The varieties are:- ROSSO, ROSSO SUPERIORE, ROSSO PASSITO and MORO. The production area is the whole territory which comes under the administration of S. Severino excluding areas more than 500 metres above sea level.
The Rosso, Rosso Superiore and Passito are produced from a minimum of 50% of the Vernaccia nera grape and the remainder of non-aromatic black grapes of the region, namely
Montepulciano and Sangiovese. Terreni di S. Severino Moro is produced from a minimum of 60% Montepulciano and the remainder of black non-aromatic grapes of the region.
I Terreni di San Severino Rosso. A ruby red colour with a complex, pleasing nose. The flavour is pleasant, harmonious and characteristic of the Vernaccia grape. Alcohol content is 12% vol. The quality Superiore is an intense ruby colour then as above. Alcoholic content 12.5% vol.
Aging is carried out for 18 to 24 months in wooden casks and a further 8 - 12 months in the bottle before the wine is ready to be sold commercially. Wines of good structure may be reserved for up to 5 years.
Best served at 18° C. Goes well with pasta dishes with a rich sauce; red, white and game meats, strong flavoured dishes with herbs and spices and medium strong cheeses.
I Terreni di San Severino Passito. Colour a clear ruby red tending towards garnet. An intense
nose typical of a passito wine. The flavour is pleasantly sweet and velvety. Alcohol content is 15.5% vol. which may be fortified but a minimum of 12.5% must be obtained by natural fermentation. The drying of the grapes may be carried out on the vine and/or in a suitable locale after gathering. Forced ventilation may be used until a sugar content of 200 grams per liter is reached This must be completed by no later than 31 March following the harvest. Vinification must not be initiated before the 1st of December. The fermentation and aging must be carried out in wood casks with a maximum capacity of 500 litres for a period of at least 2 year.
Best served slightly chilled at around 14°C. Desert wine going well with all sweet courses from the simple to the well structured and in particular sweets based on chocolate.
I Terreni di San Severino Moro. Produced from a minimum of 60% Montepulciano grapes the remainder being black, non-aromatic grapes of the region.
Colour is ruby red with a complex nose and a pleasant fruity harmonious taste.
Aging, serving and accompanying dishes as per Terreni di San Severino Rosso.
Amongst the wines which don't enjoy the D.O.C. label, the following are worth a mention: Vinsanto di Sant'Angelo in Vado, a dessert wine, sweet and liqueurish. Tristo di Montesecco a more or less dry white wine produced in a zone around Pergola. The delicate 'Brut's with an extremely fine beaded sparkle (all obtained by the champagne method) based on Verdicchio.
Some quite good varietals are produced in the region. i.e. Sangiovese and Pinot nero.
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