Tag: italy

3 Classic Prosecco Cocktails to Break the Ice

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Are you planning a dinner party, and not sure what drinks to serve? As guests arrive, you may want to serve them an aperitif cocktail to break the ice and stir up the conversation. There is nothing better to break the ice than original cocktails with a special ingredient like Prosecco as the base. Here are some interesting Prosecco cocktails to break the ice at your next dinner party:

1. Classic Prosecco Aperol Spritz Aperitif

This classic cocktail comes from the area of North-eastern Italy and is commonly served as an aperitif. To make it, you will need 3 parts Prosecco, 2 parts Aperol and 1-part soda water. In a wine glass, mix the Prosecco and Aperol together, and then, add the soda water. Garnish your Spritz cocktail, use oranges, which can also be frozen ahead of time to use as an alternative to ice cubes. Fresh strawberries in the spring are also an excellent choice for garnishing your Aperol Spritz cocktails.

2. Bellini For a Peachy Aperitif Cocktail

Another classic Prosecco cocktail is Bellini is a peach drink that is great on hot summer nights. It is a drink with origins in Venice, and its main ingredient is Prosecco. To make it, you will need to mix 4 parts peach puree or juice with 4 parts Canti Prosecco Spumante and one-part sweetener. To garnish this cocktail, use fresh peaches. If you can find white peaches, they go well with Bellini Cocktails.

3. Fizzy and Spicy Apple Cider Prosecco Cocktail

During the holidays, apple cider is one of the drinks that are popular in many countries. Rather doing apple cider, why not consider an Interesting Prosecco cocktail for your dinner party? To make your cocktail, you will want to start with Teresa Rizzi Prosecco Brut and add apple cider and spiced rum. Garnish the cocktail with an apple wedge for presentation.

Ingredients:
• 1 Braeburn Apple Wedge (Garnish)
• Teresa Rizzi Prosecco Brut 4oz
• Journeyman Old Country Goodness Apple Cider Liqueur 3oz
• Captain Morgan Original Spiced Gold3oz
Instead of adding ice to the cocktail, freeze apple wedges and use them to keep your original apple cocktails cool.

With an interesting aperitif cocktail at your new dinner party, you will be sure that your event will be a success. There are three types of Prosecco; Brut, Dry and Extra Dry, which you may want to try beforehand to see which work for the cocktail recipes you are planning to use.

 TAGS:Moët & Chandon Brut ImpérialMoët & Chandon Brut Impérial

Moët & Chandon Brut Impérial is an emblematic cuvée. The world’s best-selling champagne brand. 

 

 TAGS:Billecart-Salmon Brut RéserveBillecart-Salmon Brut Réserve

Billecart-Salmon Brut Réserve is an attractive and tasty champagne from Champagne with notes of ripe fruit and flowers. 

 
 
 

Foto: Handspire

Wine Production Under Strain

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The International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV) reported that this year’s wine production had been at its lowest since the 1960’s. Indeed, the harvest saw an 8% fall in production with only 246.7 million hectolitres. Moreover, despite a growing wine consumption among different population types, the production decreases steadily.

According to the OIV, climate change is one of the main reasons for these poor figures and it blames warmer autumns and longer frost periods which impede the grape’s development.

Yet, this does not cause a drop in consumption because there is enough stock (e.g. only in France, there are 154 million hectolitres in stock) nor a surge in price as exports are thriving. According to OIV experts, cheaper wines may slightly increase their price, but high-end wines will maintain themselves.

Climate change is especially affecting countries such as France, Italy and Spain. We witnessed it with this year’s vintage, which was ahead of schedule and yielded a lower production: 35.7 million hectolitres of wine and must in Spain.

Nonetheless, the wine world remains dynamic thanks to all kinds of events: wine tourism is flourishing and exports are rising.

More data on low production were published by the Directorate General for Agriculture of the European Commission which predicted that next year’s wine production would have an estimate of just 145.1 million hectolitres, which is 14.4% lower and over 24 million hectolitres less than last season.

 TAGS:Domaine Du Tariquet Premières Grives 2016Domaine Du Tariquet Premières Grives 2016

Domaine Du Tariquet Premières Grives 2016, a white wine from Côtes de Gascogne vinified with gros manseng.

Buy Domaine Du Tariquet Premières Grives 2016

 

 TAGS:Casa Castillo Monastrell 2015

Casa Castillo Monastrell 2015

Casa Castillo Monastrell 2015  is a red wine from Jumilla produced by Propiedad Vitícola Casa Castillo.

Buy Casa Castillo Monastrell 2015

What kind of Wine is Amarone?

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Amarone della Valpolicella it’s a very particular wine, made from raisins, previously dried in the sun, as is done with the variety Pedro Ximénez to get the sweet wine of the same name. For this wine, and contrary to what is usually done in most raisin wines, local red varieties are used first instead of white, and secondly, the result would be dry wine with different organoleptic characteristics.

Its color is dark red, which tends to garnet as the wine ages. It has an accentuated odor, a full, warm and velvety flavor and a touch of ripe fruit, cherry and raspberry as its aroma

As they age, you can also identify some moss and tar aromas. The residual sugars are of a maximum of 12 g/l, whereas the alcoholic graduation oscillates between 14 and 16 degrees. The production area is located in the province of Verona, in the Veneto region of northern Italy, and the varieties normally used are corvina veronese, corvinone and rondinella, with a limited presence of other red varieties.

The particular elaboration of the Amarone follows the same principle as that of other wines in which the concentration of sugar is raised and the aromas and acidity are enhanced, as in the German Eiswein or Strohwein, The French Vin de Paille, and other wines from Greece, Cyprus or Italy, almost always paired with desserts.

Amarone, on the other hand, is usually combined with autumn and winter dishes, such as roasts, meat, cheese, risottos and other typical dishes of the region, and it can also be drunk alone as the culmination of a good dinner. It is served in a large glass, to favor its oxygenation at a temperature of 18 to 20 ºC.

The process of drying the grapes takes about 120 days or more, according to the water content of the fruit, under a strict control of ventilation and humidity, to avoid the appearance of fungi and take care of the correct drying when external climate changes as winter arrives. At the beginning of February, the grape is pressed and the skins macerated until 30-50 days, so that the sugars, as a result of the yeast, are gradually converted into alcohol, until reaching the degree determined for the Amarone. If the concentration of sugars remains above the marked, the resulting wine is renamed Recioto della Valpolicella, a sweet red wine that has different characteristics.

Do you want to try Valpolicella wines? We suggest an Amarone or a Reciotto:

 TAGS:Zenato Amarone Classico Della Valpolicella 2011Zenato Amarone Classico Della Valpolicella 2011

Zenato Amarone Classico Della Valpolicella 2011

 

 

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Zenato Amarone Della Valpolicella 2011

5 places in Italy for food lovers

 TAGS:undefinedThere a special places you don’t want to miss knowing if you are a fan of good food and you like traveling Italy. Today we present you 5 locations to give you an idea.

1) Romagna

Being surrounded by impressive woods, they stand out for their hospitality for about two decades now: Giovanni and Cristina welcome travelers with breakfast, homemade cakes, pies and jams made from organic fruit of their own orchard. Furthermore, their subtly sweet licors, Parma sausages, zucchini filled pasta, amaretti cookies among others. The hosts are always ready to suggest hidden, unknown places to have dinner. During mushroom season, Giovanni offers field trips to visitors from around the world.

2) Agriturismo Corte d’Aibo, Emilia-Romagna

Autumn in Emilia-Romagna means wine, truffles, mushroomes, and chestnuts. The Agroturismo Corte d’Aibo is an organic farm and vineyard, located 25 kilometers west of Bologna, in the hills of the Apennines. The vineyard produces 6 red wines and 6 white wines, made from grapes of its own backyard. The recommendation is to take a bottle of Pignoletto with lunch and a tour of the winery. The menu includes specialties like tagliatelle with ragout and risotto with truffles and Parmigiano-Reggiano such as local dishes.

3) Masseria Il Frantoio, Puglia

Before lunch and dinner, Armando Balestrazzi gives a tour around Masseria Il Frantoio, close to Ostuni. They own 4.000 olive trees – many of them planted by the ancient Romans -, a citrus orchard from the 17th century, and a Moorish style garden. Armando and his wife Rosalba bought this 500-year-old property 15 years ago and turned it into a restaurant and a hotel with 19 rooms. Rosalba takes care of the cooking, and her 8 courses lunch paired ip with wines from Puglia and different olive oils is a real challenge. One of her typical meals could consist of: pizzelle (discs of fried pasta similar to Indian puris) with fresh tomato sauce, zucchini and shrimp fritters, green beans, baked goat cheese with saffron and pear jam, homemade pasta laganelle with zucchini and carrots, roast lamb with potatoes, garden salad with fresh almonds and rose petals, and lemon pie.

4) Le Campestre, Campania

After living in Belgium for decades, the Lombardi family returned to Italy to build up organic Agroturism. Le Campestre is a farm with rooms and a restaurant, a property located in the region of Campania Alto Casertano, that is famous for its olive oil, the buffalo, goat chees and its rustic breads. Meals are served on a terrace overlooking the nearby valley and mountainsides. The guests stay in simple rooms and participate in the daily tasks of the farm, such as the olive harvest. They also offer vooking classes.

5) Bio Agriturismo Valle Scannese, Abruzzo

Gregorio Rotolo is famous for his cheese: round blocks of pecorino, flat ashlers of aromatic stracchino and tender ricotta, each of them with a distinctive green and silver label. Gregorio and his family hava a biodynamic farm, more that 1.500 sheep and agroturism. The location is excellent, on the edge of the Abruzzo National Park, it is run by the family itself and has 17 cozy and comfortable rooms, and the food is wonderful.

 TAGS:Quota 29 Primitivo 2012Quota 29 Primitivo 2012

Quota 29 Primitivo 2012: a red wine with Salento DO with the best bunches of 2012 primitivo and 14º of volume of alcohol. 

 

 

 TAGS:Cantine San Marzano Primitivo di Manduria Sessantanni I Giganti 2012Cantine San Marzano Primitivo di Manduria Sessantanni I Giganti 2012

Cantine San Marzano Primitivo di Manduria Sessantanni I Giganti 2012:  red wine from Puglia DO with primitivo of 2012 and 14.5º of alcohol. 

 

 

What they mean when they talk about Super Tuscan Wine?

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The term “Super Tuscan” originated in the 1980s to describe a mix of Tuscan reds. What makes “Super Tuscan” a wine, unlike other Tuscan wines, is the use of non-indigenous grapes.

Super Tuscan wines differ from the Tuscan ones since they can be made from other different grapes than Sangiovese, such as Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah.

The creation of super Tuscan wines was the result of blending unauthorized varieties in order to achieve high quality wines, which were labelled as table wine or “vino da tavola”. Since the 1970s the Tuscan producers began to develop this new wine.

The legal system finally gave up in 1992 by creating IGT (Typical Geographical Indication), a new designation that gave oenologists the ability to be more creative in their elaborations and launch to the market wine with a higher level of quality than a table wine.

The most famous Super Tuscan wine is called “Tignanello”, and was created by the Marquis Piero Antinori in 1971. This was the first Super Tuscan wine and is made with a blend of 80% Sangiovese, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc. After the release of Tignanello, other producers imitated Antinori and embraced the task of creating wines with these mixtures.

Although the first two super Tuscan were born in Bolgheri and the Chianti Classico area, they now have spread to all areas of Tuscany: Chianti Classico and other Chianti subzones, Brunello di Montalcino, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Bolgheri, Carmignano and Montecarlo. In areas such as Chianti, super Tuscans have become the cellars’ most important wines.

Super Tuscan wines are fine and highly rated wines. Some well-known in the world are: Sassicaia di Tenuta San Guido (developed by Marquis Mario Incisa della Rocchetta) and Gaja, from Felsina, among others.

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Tignanello 2011: a red wine from Tuscany DO of Antinori cellar with cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc of 2011 and 14º of alcohol strength.

 

 

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Brancaia Tre 2012 is a red wine with Tuscany DO based on the best of cabernet sauvignon and merlot from 2012.

 

Casavecchia: a grape of Italian origin conquering Argentina

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When we talk about grape varieties we tend to always think about the same, also depending on our place of origin: Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Pinot Grigio, Muscat… But we also must know that there are plenty of local varieties, little known, that throughout history have been widely cultivated but for one reason or another, have been moving gradually away until their almost complete disappearance.

This is the case of the Casavecchia variety, an extremely rare Italian grape that winemaker Martin Kaiser has begun to grow in the Los Indios vineyard for the Argentinian cellar Doña Paula. This grape, native to the region of Campania (near Naples), has a minimal presence in the transalpine country (100 hectares), and now they will start to produce on the other side of the world in order to use it with Malbec and Cabernet Franc varieties in the elaboration of new wines from the Argentinian wine producer.

According to Kaiser, “It is a very interesting variety for blending, due to its high tannins and perfume, unusual for a red variety, with a strong aroma of grapefruit”. The winegrower started its cultivation in 2006, on a small scale, and Doña Paula is the only producer that use it in the manufacturing process of wine on a regular basis outside Italy.

Due to its high tannins, Casavecchia requires at least three years in barrel to soften its characteristic flavour and aroma, and is expected to gradually extend its use, at least in the region of Altamira (Uco Valley), a wine zone of great importance in Argentina, with special climatic conditions that provide the grape varieties grown in it with high degrees of maturity and concentration of aromas, flavours and textures, that make it one of the most appreciated.

Who knows if in the coming years we will see other rare varieties rejoining wine production, whether in its industrial side or in small artisan and/or experimental productions.

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La Masserie Oblivium 2007: a red wine with Terre del Volturno DO from La Masserie cellar which blend contains casavecchia of 2007 and has a volume of alcohol of 13º. 

 

 

 TAGS:Della Valle Jappellj Casavecchia Don Alfredo 2008Della Valle Jappellj Casavecchia Don Alfredo 2008

Della Valle Jappellj Casavecchia Don Alfredo 2008: a red wine with Campania DO based on the best of casavecchia from 2008.

 

Great Italian white wines

 - Although Italy is renowned for its red and rosé wines, it produces also white wines. His most recognized appellations of origin produce high quality white wines, fresh, full-bodied and with a light touch of spicy flavor that usually fascinate the most demanding palates.

We have an example of this in Tuscany, a region famous for its Chianti and other red wines, which elaborates also white wines made with the Vernaccia grape variety. Their elaboration is mainly located on the famous medieval town of San Gimignano. 

Verona produces the soave, another of the most popular white wines. Made from Garganega and Trebbiano di Soave varieties, is usually somewhat dry and goes perfect with salads, fish and seafood. 

The Classic Orvieto, meanwhile, made in Umbria, is usually sweeter and somewhat dry, defining characteristic of most of the Italian white wine. The Orvieto provides transparent yellow color and a delicate scent, besides having a fresh taste and a bitter touch. 

In this review of Italian white wines, we can not miss the Frascati, which comes from the city of the same name within the region of Lazio, in central Italy. The Frascati wine is dry and intensely fruity. It is usually served cold to drink with appetizers before a meal and is made from Malvasia and Trebbiano grapes. 

Perhaps one of the most known Italian white wines is the Marsala, produced in the region surrounding the city of Marsala in Sicily, and it is one of the most exported to different countries. The Marsala is made with the white grape varieties Grillo, Inzolia and Catarratto. And it is also usually served cold with the first or second course, or even with desserts, because of its dry and sweet taste.

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Casa Sant’Orsola Moscato d’Asti 2011

 

 

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Planeta la Segreta Bianco 2011

Consumers stay home and drink wine

Good news for the wine industry: a recent survey shows wine has become consumers’ first choice in the US, UK, and Australia when they stay at home, which itself remains a strong trend as people seem reluctant to return to their pre-Crisis levels of spending on eating and drinking out.

The bad news for upper tier wineries is that the wines chosen remain on the lower end of the price scale in the US, Australia, and other countries like Italy and Austria. Only the UK is feeling optimistic- 30% are willing to pay more then $10 per bottle versus the $7 bottles selling in the other countries.

Red wine

What does this mean? In the short term wineries selling wines over $10 are going to continue to struggle for a while and wine flash sales and deals will continue- more of the same we’ve been seeing in the past year. But long term it means drinking habits are shifting from beer and spirits towards wine, which is considered better for your health, adds an additional level of pleasure to food, and has strong associations with sharing good times with family and friends. Even the Crisis has had one major upside, as in their search for values consumers have become more open to experimenting with new regions and varietals. This means once confidence is restored the industry may have its best moment yet- a wide wine drinking population, now open minded and with increased power to move up the price scale and searching for great finds at all levels. And with internet shopping for wine now more widely available, consumers will be able to take advantage of more choices than ever.