Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /home/cardelli/blog.artofcookery.com/wp-settings.php on line 472

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /home/cardelli/blog.artofcookery.com/wp-settings.php on line 487

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /home/cardelli/blog.artofcookery.com/wp-settings.php on line 494

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /home/cardelli/blog.artofcookery.com/wp-settings.php on line 530

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /home/cardelli/blog.artofcookery.com/wp-includes/cache.php on line 103

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /home/cardelli/blog.artofcookery.com/wp-includes/query.php on line 21

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /home/cardelli/blog.artofcookery.com/wp-includes/theme.php on line 623

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /home/cardelli/blog.artofcookery.com/wp-content/plugins/exec-php/exec-php.php on line 22

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /home/cardelli/blog.artofcookery.com/wp-content/plugins/exec-php/includes/manager.php on line 34

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /home/cardelli/blog.artofcookery.com/wp-content/plugins/exec-php/includes/manager.php on line 35

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /home/cardelli/blog.artofcookery.com/wp-content/plugins/exec-php/includes/manager.php on line 36

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /home/cardelli/blog.artofcookery.com/wp-content/plugins/exec-php/includes/admin.php on line 42

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /home/cardelli/blog.artofcookery.com/wp-content/plugins/exec-php/includes/admin.php on line 51

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /home/cardelli/blog.artofcookery.com/wp-content/plugins/exec-php/includes/admin.php on line 52

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /home/cardelli/blog.artofcookery.com/wp-content/plugins/exec-php/includes/admin.php on line 53

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /home/cardelli/blog.artofcookery.com/wp-content/plugins/exec-php/includes/ajax.php on line 63

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /home/cardelli/blog.artofcookery.com/wp-content/plugins/exec-php/includes/cache.php on line 33

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /home/cardelli/blog.artofcookery.com/wp-content/plugins/exec-php/includes/cache.php on line 42
Wine | blog.artofcookery.com

Cocktails anyone?

Posted by dynise | Posted in General, Wine

Yes, I know cocktails technically aren’t food.  But how many times does something not being essential for survival stop you from consuming it?  If you are like me, it’s pretty much never.  Whatever tastes the best among the options is what ends up in my mouth.

Cocktails in Italy are slightly different than the typical American options.  There are quite a few similarities as well, a Grey Goose and tonic is the same everywhere.  So to make it more entertaining, let’s imagine it’s Saturday evening, about 7:00.  You meet your friends for aperitivo to have a few bits and a drink before heading to dinner.  What is everybody drinking? A glass of wine is always a good choice, but you will also see a great deal of aperitif style cocktails.  Campari and soda, bellinis, spritzers and Negronis being the most popular.  Beer is also a common choice, especially when the weather is warm.  A martini here is not the same thing as an American martini, unless you are in a bar that caters to Americans.  The cocktails pre-dinner, tend to be fairly low alcohol, except for the Negroni, that one packs a punch. One other note, a huge proportion of even the medium priced bars here squeeze their own juices so if you like fruit, jump on in.

After everyone has enjoyed a cocktail and some of the aperitivo offerings. It’s time to head to dinner.  With dinner two options abound, red or white.  Here it’s wine with dinner, or beer if you are having pizza someplace casual.

After dinner even those that skip dessert, or pretend they are not going to take a bite of the dessert you ordered, will almost all have coffee and an after dinner drink.  After dinner drinks are led by Grappa and Limoncello, hands down the two top choices.  Many Grappas are actually quite strong, a little fact that the beautiful bottles seem to bely.  Limoncello in many restaurants is actually made on premises, many times from family recipes with generations of history.  Finishing the meal with a digestif, such as Fernet Branca, or something like a Grand Marnier is fairly common as well.  The popularity of single malt Scotch has not hit the feverish pitch in Italy that most large American cities have experienced, but it is becoming more popular, especially in winter.  What you will not see is [liquor name here] and coffee after dinner, here that is only for the morning after to “correct” the condition of your brain.

A link for recipes http://www.theitaliantaste.com/italian-cooking/cocktails/index_our_cocktail.shtml

Beaujolais Buster

Posted by dynise | Posted in General, Wine

If you have an appreciation for wine; but don’t always go for big tannic reds, like Cabernet or super juicy Rhone style wines, then Italy’s rendition of “new wine” may be just the thing for you.  Roughly 15 million bottles of Vino Novello are released every year on the 6th of November.  This was especially time appropriate this year.  If you have ever tried Nouveau Beaujolais in the autumn or winter then you are familiar with the concept.  This is very youthful, light red wine with very little of the tannic bite that so many of the big age-friendly reds have.  Vino Novello is a wine that is meant to be drunk immediately, no aging, no anticipation. Just buy, open and drink.

Whether Nouveau Beajolais came first or Vino Novello came first is one of those Franco-Italo wars, like Bechamel sauce, that will never be won, but each side will argue to their deaths that it had to be their ancestors that invented it.  I am just fine and dandy with the battle continuing as long as I get to keep eating Bechamel sauce and drinking Vino Novello, I’ll even judge the debates while eating a lasagne that is layered with the Bechamel sauce and drinking some Beajolais, just to show my impartiality.

One great thing about Vino Novello in this economy is that it actually has a reasonable price tag.  Another great thing is it has such an easy drinkability that it is one of the few red wines I will consume happily without having any food.  This is extra fun when you are cooking and waiting for guests and don’t want to disturb your artfully arranged antipasto platter.  Vino Novello is an easy companion to many foods, antipasto, pasta and lighter meats, especially poultry and lean pork. Keep it light as far as sauces that you serve with this wine as well, just like stronger meats will overpower the wine, so will a chunky ragout or anything really salty.  Vino Novello is also a great wine to introduce white wine drinkers to red wine, or the wine neophyte to the pleasures of Bacchus.

Enjoying Tuscan Wine

Posted by dynise | Posted in Wine

The wine of Italy is some of the most popular and famous in the world.  Wine has been a staple in Tuscany from the time of the extravagent Etruscans.  It is considered a part of the meal and is integral to Italian life and culture.  In Tuscany the predominant grape, but by no means the only grape, is Sangiovese.  Chianti must be a minimum of 80% Sangiovese and many wines are 100% Sangiovese.  It is not difficult to find Italian wines outside of Italy and with a few simple tips it is easy to be assured of finding a quality wine that will compliment the food you are serving.

A few basics.

  • Storage-it is always good to have wine on hand and the way it is stored is important. Keep the bottles on their sides to prevent the bottles from spoiling. If you do not have space for a small wine refridgerator find a space in your home that is cool and dark and does not have a lot of variation in temperature.
  • Glassware-if you are not an oenophile with a 5,000 bottle cellar a full collection of sommelier worthy glassware is and unnecessary expense and use of space.   That said, the glassware does make a difference in your wine. If you have a set of Bordeaux stems, Burgundy stems and a couple of Champagne flutes that will suffice for most wines.  A personal favorite is the Riedel Vinum series–best quality for the price and available everywhere.  A final note, all stemware should be color free.
  • Chianti-Chianti is by far the most popular of the wines in Tuscany.  Chianti is an A.O.C. regulated region, the same sort of designation as Champagne.  The region is in the heart of TUscany and the core of the region has been designated as Chianti Classico as of 1932.  When you buy a bottle of Chianti Classico, designated with a black rooster on the neck of the bottle, you are assured of a bottle of wine from one of the most ancient and successful wine producing regions in the world. Quality- there are 4 important quality designations. D.O. (Denominazione di Origine), D.O.C. (Denominazione di Origine Controllata), D.O.C.G. (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita) and finally, Indicazione Geografica Tipica. The first three categories are in ascending order of quality and the fourth is for high quality wines grown either outside of the designated regions or using different methods of production.  When you see these designations you will be enjoying a high quality wine.
  • Pairings- the general rules of tasting exist for a reason, through centuries of ever so enjoyable research people found that drinking wines in a certain order and with specific foods was the best way to bring out flavors and have a great meal.  Beginning with a sweeter, lighter white, progressing through richer whites, lighter reds, and finishing with full reds is the traditional progression.  Of course you will not in most dinners be going through four different types of wine so I will suggest types of wines that work well with posted recipes.

In vino veritas

blog.artofcookery.com Rss