I met an Italian lady a couple of days ago, who wanted to know where in Italy I was headed for judging the wine competition next week. When I told her it was ‘Selezione Internazionale Vini da Pesce’ her eyes beamed as she said, ‘Oh, then I am sure you are going to Marche. What beautiful beaches on the Adriatic Coast! The fish is delicious. And what a heavenly combination they make with Verdicchio wines!’
She was right. Although what she was thinking about was “Selezione Vini Da Pesce” wine competition, the only one approved in Italy by the Italian Ministry for Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies that makes the important link between wine and fish, it was limited only to domestic wines earlier. Since last year it became international by expanding the horizon of the original competition by accepting wines from outside the 20 Regions of Italy.
The domestic competition was launched in the 1960s around the same ideas that make it unique today: wine, sea and how these two combine. From year to year, the competition has evolved and expanded. From being a competition open to only still white wines when it was created, the admission policy now also permits rosé and sparkling wines. It was expanded to included foreign wines too last year and hence the ‘Internazionale’ added to the name.
At ‘Selezione Internazionale Vini da Pesce’ wines are divided into ten categories taking colour, pressure, oak-aging and sugar content into account. The categories also include rosé and sparkling wines besides whites, looking to compete for the sought-after award of ideal accompaniment for fish-based dishes. Jury panels made of five journalists and wine-makers from different countries will carry out the judging process at the beautiful setting on the Riviera del Cònero on the Adriatic Coast of central Italy on 15-17 May.
Organised by the Istituto Marchigiano di Tutela Vini in collaboration with the Chamber of Commerce of Ancona, the competition has the technical support of Associazione Enologi Enotecnici Italiani. Three highest-scoring wines from each category receive gold, silver and bronze awards. The Special “Calice Dorico” award is given to the winery that has obtained the best overall result. The samples which obtain at least 80 points according to the methodology of dell’Union Internazionale des Oenologues receive a Merit diploma, says Alberto Mazzoni, Director of the Institute (Istituto) who is a passionate promoter of fish and wines from this area.
Verdicchio is one of Italy’s indigenous grapes that make wines an ideal accompaniment for fish-based dishes. It was this natural harmony between Verdicchio and the local fish cuisine that inspired the creation of the original competition
Ten countries including Albania, Australia, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Portugal, Rumania, Slovenia and Italy took part in the first edition of the international competition last year. Surprisingly, CONTRI SPUMANTI winery from Cazzano di Tramigna in the province of Verona won the prestigious “Calice Dorico “award. In all, 32 medals were awarded to wines. Wines from Abruzzi were given 6 awards including 2 gold medals. For the international contingent, Germany managed to scoop 5 medals including 2 Golds whereas both Slovenia and Portugal won bronze medals. An international jury made up of 35 winemakers and journalists from 15 countries tasted the wines over 3 days. Incidentally, the competition enjoys the patronage of OIV just like Mundusvini, Vinitaly etc. do.
Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi and Verdicchio di Matelica wines have found welcoming palates in India. Ancona-based Moncaro wines imported by Riona Wines in Maharashtra, that also has a technical collaboration with this Marche winery, had introduced these wines a few years ago. They were extremely popular at the dinners organized by the Delhi Wine Club and were always the only ones to run out. After a gap of a couple of years due to some administrative issues, they are back now with over a dozen labels from Marche in the offering. A few other labels like Umano Ronchi are also available.
Wineries from any part of the world interested in participating with their wines should visit www.vinidapesce.it or contact firstname.lastname@example.org "
Tags: Selezione Vini da Pesce, Marche, Italy, International Competition of Wines for Fish, Verdicchio