wine fit for popes


Cunningly hailed as a ‘wine fit for Popes’ in the 16th century, the Vatican has enjoyed a steady supply of Sciacchetrà (sha-ke-tra) since.


The rare and difficult to make desert wine hails from the spectacular rocky stretch of Italian Riviera — Cinque Terre. Grapes are harvested from steep centuries-old vineyards that face the Mediterranean Sea.


During the 16th Century, Genoese scholar, Agostino Giustiniani, wrote “there is no baron, prince or any king who does not consider it a great honour when on his table Cinque Terre wine is offered.”

So I head to Bar dell Amore along “lovers walk” in Riomaggiore to take my seat.

Such a loooong bottle

Such a loooong bottle

Tasting notes: Honey with fragrances of cocoa, apricot and maquis (an aromatic Mediterranean shrub). Such is my sophisticated palate, that strawberry topping isn’t too bad either.

Now we can only assume that the current pappy, Pope Francis, has graciously traded his Andes Mountains’ Santa Julia Tardio for the fruits of Cinque Terre.

Salud pappy. Cin cin.

Rob Dunlop