Lacrima di Morro d’Alba

Though often confused with Lacryma Christi del Vesuvio (a wine from an area near Naples on the slopes of Mount Vesuvius), Lacrima di Morro d’Alba is something quite different.  This wine is produced further north and east of Naples, near Central Italy’s Adriatic coast, in the region of Marche.  A bit inland from the port of Ancona there is a small town called Morro d’Alba.  In and around this town a grape called lacrima is grown, made into a delightful red wine, and commonly drank by the people of the area- a regional specialty!

Lacrima is a thin-skinned grape that will indicate that it is ready to be harvested by the slight bursting of its thin skins, which allows a bit of its juice to cry out.  The English word for lacrima is tear.  How melodramatic!

Soft and slight in tannin (another result of its thin skins), with notes of violet, lavender, blueberry, and sage- it is a bouquet of purple fruits and flowers with a touch of fresh garden herbs.  Though these characteristics sounds a bit exotic, they come together in the wine in a completely unobtrusive way.

In my experience, this lesser known grape has been greatly kept secret as it has seemed to be one of those wines that everyone enjoys.  A nice option for sharing at holiday get-togethers….

Serve with soft cheeses, spicy dishes, and…pizza!  Drink in the current vintage.  Recommended producers: Velenosi, Enzo Mecella, and Fontezoppa (Fontezoppa’s wine made from lacrima is called Di Rosa e Di Viola, pretty, pretty).