Pairing Pecorino d’Abuzzo from Ferzo: Lemon Caper Shrimp #ItalianFWT

PECORINO is not just a cheese, but a grape that almost went extinct!

Both Pecorino the cheese and Pecorino the wine are named after the abundant sheep and the sheep herders who roam the hills looking after them.

Native to Sibilini in the mountains of the Marche region of Italy, Pecorino was first mentioned in 1875 yet, the grape was abandoned and replaced by the more productive and easier to grow Trebianno (which I wrote about yesterday and you can read here).

In 1980, the grapevine was found in a vineyard and rescued.

Today you can find it being grown in both Marche, its native home, and in nearby Abruzzo Continue reading

3 Organic Wines from d’Abruzzo’s Valle de Real in Red, White, and Cerasuolo #ItalianFWT

If you like high mountains, rolling hills and lots of green as well as the ocean and a wonderful cuisine, Abruzzo, Italy is the place for you! 

Abruzzo:

  • 20% set aside as parks
  • 65% mountains
  • 34% hilly where the wines are grown
  • only 1% flat is flat!
  • is known as the greenest area of Italy, 
  • has the highest peaks in the main part of Italy, the Gran Sasso

Continue reading

Donnachiara: Vines Tended Like Window Boxes #ItalianFWT

Donnachiara is a winery in the Montefalciane region of Italy just south of Roma that’s been getting a lot of attention on Twitter — generating quite a bit of enthusiasm which made me curious about tasting the wines myself!

So when a few weeks ago, Donnachiara’s owner Ilaria Petitto hosted a wine lunch in NYC, and since I and some of my fellow Italian Food Wine Travel folks couldn’t exactly attend because we live in other parts of the country, we got the next best thing — wines sent to us for a twitter chat that afternoon. Unfortunately, for me, the wines arrived a few days after the twitter chat…

Continue reading

A Love Affair with Lugana: An Invitation for #ItalianFWT

 

This October, you’re invited to join the Italian Food Wine Travel group to discover LUGANA, a white wine made from the Turbiana grape and grown in the Lake Garda region of northern Italy about two hours from Milan, one hour from Verona, and 90 minutes from Venice on the coast.

The largest lake in Italy was formed by glaciers coming down from the nearby Dolomites at the end of the last Ice Age. When the glacier receded, it left a large moraine which dammed and retained the melt water. Before agriculture, a dense, marshy forest called “Selva Lucana” covered the land.

According to the Consortia Tutelar Lugana, the soils are “stratified clays of morainic origin while sedimentary in nature are Calcareous and rich in mineral salts, with more sand in the hillier part of the D.O.C. Difficult to work, the soil compacts easily, becomes hard during drought, and soft and muddy when it rains. “However,” they point out, “it is these very chemical and physical features that make it the source of Lugana’s organoleptic qualities, because they give the wine clean, powerful scents that combine hints of almonds and citrus fruits, as well as acidity, tanginess and a well-balanced structure.”

Turbiana is related to Trebbiano di Soave which grows nearby but on volcanic soils.

Continue reading

The Key to Italian Rose? Chiaretto!

Chiaretto? What’s that? Sue and I figured we’d just pass up this month’s Italian Food Wine Travel Chiaretto prompt — it’s summer, we’re busy, we’re traveling, we’ve got big projects going at home, and what is Chiaretto anyway?

But we got an offer we couldn’t refuse: samples! So we looked at our calendars, and committed to it — still with NO IDEA what we were in for but figuring it was something red.

That’s because even though Sue’s family is from Italy, we don’t speak a whole lot of Italian. Continue reading

Christmas in California Tuscan Style #ItalianFWT

Tuscany.

Let the name roll romantically off your tongue.

Tusssss… can…neeee.

It’s seductive, yes?

Like a kiss?

While I have never been to Tuscany, it is a region of Italy that captures the imagination: sunsets, rolling hills with views of the ocean, vineyards, and bottles of Chianti wine in those quaint straw bottles. But Tuscany offers much more to the world of wine than Chianti! Continue reading

5 Chianti plus a Vermentino paired with Puttanesca #ItalianFWT

After a long week of record breaking heat, high winds, and even a fire that threatened the homes of friends in nearby Casitas Springs, a group of us gathered after work on a warm Friday evening under the waxing full moon for an Italian dinner and a World Series baseball game.

“When we do wine pairing at your house, Sue, it is always so much more of a party,” I pointed out with a laugh  as we began on our evening’s adventure.

Continue reading