Wine made of tears and faith

October 29, 2009 / Food & Wine
Morro d'Alba, Le Marche
morrodalba1We Marchigiani (pronounced Mar-key-jah-nee) pride ourselves on our faith – to our local wines, that is. Because what Marche wines lack in notoriety they make up for in taste and variety.

Our soil and grapes produce some of the most delicious and lesser known Italian red and white wines. All delectable. But since I’m always pulling for the underdog, and since I’m a sucker for a great name, my number one favorite regional red wine is Lacrima di Morro d’Alba. Derived from the ancient Lacrima grape, this wine was added to the Marche DOC (regional wine “real deal” certification) list of wines recently, in 1985. It is produced by small aziende agricole or agricultural co-ops, (and not a few contadini , farmers, in their cantine, basements) in the hills and valleys surrounding Morro d’Alba, a gorgeous little walled borgo (hamlet).

morrodalba2My grandmother, also known as my go-to gal for local sayings and lore, once told me that Lacrima wine was actually once called Lacrima Christi, or “tear of Christ” because of its ruby red color. I’ve always silently wondered why Christ’s tears would be ruby red, but I also started to understand why this wine had so many “faithful” followers. So I did some research, which told me that the lacrima is actually the tear-shaped droplet that forms on the grape when it’s ready to be picked. Well, I have to say I like my grandmother’s far-fetched version of history better.

Cheers! Or, as we say here in Le Marche, Alla goccia! (“Drink it all, to the last drop!”)

Images courtesy of the Mayor’s office of Morro d’Alba.

– – Contributed by Enrica Frulla, a marketing consultant and copywriter living in Le Marche.

Enrica Frulla

by Enrica Frulla

Enrica was born in Italy, raised in the United States and is now living in Senigallia, on the coast of the beautiful Le Marche region. A marketing consultant in a past life, Enrica is now a freelance translator. Recently, her creativity and passion for telling people what to do has also  “translated” into an event planning business.

5 Responses to “Wine made of tears and faith”

  1. Rosemary

    This sounds wonderful! Thanks for this informative, entertaining note about Le Marche. We had the opportunity to visit when we lived in Perugia and loved the region.

  2. very interesting. i remember in “Three Coins in the Fountain” the Duke or someone of title’s favorite wine was Lacrima Christi.

  3. Pietro A Giorgi Sr

    My family were from the Marche area, They came to America in 1936
    with my sisters and brother, i was the first born here. It realy is nice to here about the region. Thank You very much and keep it up.

  4. Thanks, Rosemary! Cathy, there is actually a wine from Campania called Lacrima Christi. Will have to do a little taste test and compare it to Morro d’Alba’s Lacrima. The things I have to do for “research” (!) Pietro, what part of Le Marche was your family from?

  5. Ray Giuliani

    Ah the wonderful Lacrima in a country restaurant outside of Jesi. The best red I tasted in Italy. My parents immigrated from the huge towns of Castignano and Rotella but brought no vines with them


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