If you know me a little, you know that I love to taste the 'unusual' and the sour cherry wine fits perfectly into this category as I have tasted very few of them in my life! So first of all I want to thank Fabrizi Family for giving me the idea to write this evening article... hoping not to fall asleep because I have to leave at 4:00 since tomorrow I start the Executive Course in Food and Wine Journalism at Luiss Guido Carli in Rome! Before I tell you what I tasted, I want to tell you a little about sour cherry wine, starting with its characteristic ingredient: sour cherry!

Sour cherry wine: let's start with the fruit

Sour cherries are a type of sour 'cherry' derived from Prunus cerasus just like sour cherries and morello cherries. Cherries proper, on the other hand, derive from another plant, the Prunus avium, and are more valuable.

  • Sour cherriesThe Prunus cerasus var. austera bears small, deep red fruit with a slightly sweet, slightly sour flavour. With sour cherries, sour cherry wine P.A.T. (Prodotto Agroalimentare Tradizionale - Traditional Food Product) is produced in the province of Pesaro Urbino in the Marche region.
  • Amarena cherriesThe Prunus cerasus var. amarena bears light red fruit with a bitter, slightly sour flavour.
  • MarascaThe Prunus cerasus var. marasca bears dark red almost black fruit with a very bitter and sour taste. Maraschino P.A.T. is produced from marasca cherries in the Veneto region and Dalmatia. This is because it originated during the Middle Ages in Zadar, in Venetian Dalmatia (today Croatia) as maraschino rosolio.
Sour cherry wine

Visciole wine: how is it made?

It would be more correct not to call it wine as it is a flavoured drink made from wine and sour cherries. In the Marche there are four different recipes for making sour cherry wine:

  • In the northernmost area, the Metauro river valley, a sour cherry wine is produced with only red wine from Sangiovese and Montepulciano grapes, sour cherries and sugar.
  • In the area of the ancient Via Flaminia, a sour cherry wine is produced with red wine from Sangiovese and Montepulciano grapes, sour cherries, sugar and sweet spices such as cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg.
  • In the Pergola area, a sour cherry wine is produced from very fragrant aleatico grapes, sour cherries and sugar.
  • In the area of the province of Ancona, and in particular around Jesi, a sour cherry wine is produced with red wine from Sangiovese and Montepulciano grapes with fermented sour cherries added with sugar. This is precisely the case with Fabrizi Family's Re di visciola.

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Visciole wine: the Fabrizi Family recipe

Sour cherry wine has only 3 ingredients: red wine from Montepulciano and Sangiovese grapes, sour cherries (30%) and sugar. It takes about 9 months between the two fermentations and resting in stainless steel barrels to prepare it. The first phase lasts 3 months and consists of the fermentation of sour cherries and sugar in closed casks. The second phase lasts another 3 months and consists of the second fermentation with the addition of the wine must. This is followed by filtration and ageing before bottling.

Visciole wine: my tasting of the King of Visciola Fabrizi Family

It has an intense ruby red colour, barely transparent and fairly consistent. On the nose it is delicate, fine and elegant with notes of cherry, chocolate, undergrowth and a hint of clove. In the mouth it is consistent, soft, round, well balanced and velvety, warm and extraordinarily drinkable. Pleasant bitterish finish.

I loved it, he's a real king of hearts! 😍

Fabrizi family sour cherry wine

Sour cherry queen Fabrizi Family

The Re di Visciole is not the only wine I tasted: I also tried the Visciola ancestral method. The brainchild of Chiara, Nicola Fabrizi's wife, I find it a fantastic idea on which there is still some work to be done to achieve a final result as excellent as his Re. It has a beautiful, bright, claret pink colour. The bubble is quite fine and numerous. The nose is delicate and the sour cherry is a little lost. In the mouth it is consistent and round, but I would have preferred it drier still. It remains an interesting wine that you could try with a risotto with fossa cheese.

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Visciole wine and food pairing

When I tasted it my thought was immediately only one: chocolate! The perfect match for me is the hard Marches doughnut with spreadable cream (don't use Nutella, which is absolute rubbish... if we want to stay with mass-produced brands, let's go with Venchi or Pernigotti, I beg you!) or with sour cherry jam. It is said that this cake is for dunking, but we sommeliers have been taught that dunking the biscuit is bad... but I tell you that in my opinion, even dunked, it would go really well!

My husband and I drank it on our own and the only flaw even then was that it finished immediately! 😄

Cheers 🍷


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