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La Roccaccia 2015
Verdicchio di Matelica DOC, Italy

The Shop Around the Corner (1940) & In the Good Old Summertime (1949)
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You may not know about this Italian grape, but once you get to know it you’ll fall head over heels. Enjoy it while watching The Shop Around the Corner, in which Jimmy Stewart and Margaret Sullavan play unwitting lovers who annoy each other in person but unknowingly carry on an affair in letters. And be sure to save a glass for the Technicolor version, In the Good Old Summertime, starring Judy Garland, Van Johnson and a delightful musical score.

THE WINE

"Verdicchio is arguably Italy's greatest native white grape variety," writes Decanter critic Ian D'Agata in his book Native Wine Grapes of Italy. After a sip of La Roccaccia, we think you'll agree. It comes from the renowned Cantine Belisario, who have won multiple International Wine Challenge medals and six Decanter trophies for their Verdicchios. This new release is crafted with fruit from the Belisario hillside vineyard, and brims with bright citrus, apricot and a touch of almond (a hallmark of fine Verddichio).

THE GRAPE

Verdicchio takes its name from verde ('green'), the color of both the grape's skin and the tinge of its wines. Though most commonly used for dry whites, Verdicchio also crafts sweeter passito wines and made one of the first Italian spumante (sparkling) wines. The first documented use of Verdicchio comes from Italy's Marche region in the 14th century. However, according to legend, Verdicchio was served to King Alaric's soldiers to give them strength during their march on Rome – in the year 410!

THE REGION

One of only two DOCs in the Marche, and home to just 300 hectares of vines, "Verdicchio di Matelica is one of Italy's best-kept wine secrets," writes Ian D'Agata on Vinous.com. Located in the Esino River Valley, near the Apennine Mountains, the region benefits from a warm continental climate and cooling mountain breezes, which work together to ripen grapes and lock in freshness.

WITH FOOD

With its vibrant, crisp flavors, La Roccaccia makes a delightful aperitivo. At meal time, it’s a perfect partner for all manner of seafood (we suggest roasted flounder with lemon butter). For an Italian flair, pair it with creamy pastas like porcini mushroom risotto. If you’re feeling adventurous, try it with vincigrassi, a local lasagna made with offal, lamb meat and veggies.

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