CollelevaItaly | Le Marche | Lacrima di Morro d’Alba
There are two theories about the origin of the name of the grape variety called Lacrima, which translates to “teardrop.” The first is that the grape’s shape resembles a teardrop. The second is that its skin breaks easily and the juice seeps like a tear. The only sad aspect to Lacrima is that it almost went extinct until the 1980s, when a handful of local vignaioli revived it. This grape, however, produces not a brooding wine but a highly aromatic rosso that is all about pleasure, especially in the hands of Colleleva’s Stefano Antonucci.
If the Lacrima above bears some of the exuberance often associated with Beaujolais, this Morus Nigra showcases depth, fine grain, and elegance comparable to premier cru red Burgundy. That one of Italy’s classiest reds comes from a grape variety most have never heard of, Refosco, is a testament to the enthralling range of native varieties on offer from this diverse country. With gorgeous notes of perfectly ripe, brambly fruit and white pepper, this rosso charms now and will evolve beautifully over ten years at least.
“What is vermouth doing on the pages of a wine newsletter?!” you might ask. For one, Bèrto came recommended by two of our favorite Piemontese vignaioli, Alessandro and Gian Natale Fantino, who produce world-class Barolo. Second, Bèrto crafted this artisanal red vermouth with four different grape varieties (in addition to about fifteen spices), grounding it firmly within the rich tradition of grape-growing in Piemonte. Finally, vermouth is technically a fortified wine. In this case, the family’s recipe dates back to 1930, and the bottle is so versatile you’ll turn to it again and again. My go-to is the Negroni.
Drinking distilled spirits, beer, coolers, wine and other alcoholic beverages may increase cancer risk, and, during pregnancy, can cause birth defects. For more information go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov/alcohol
Many food and beverage cans have linings containing bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical known to cause harm to the female reproductive system. Jar lids and bottle caps may also contain BPA. You can be exposed to BPA when you consume foods or beverages packaged in these containers. For more information, go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov/bpa