Sunday, July 24, 2011

Insalata di trippa



Piacevole domenica estiva passata fuori dalla città'.
Un posto fresco, gli amici e una bottiglia di buon vino, cosa volere di più'?
All'ombra di un pergolato abbiamo cominciato il pranzo con una serie di antipasti da intenditori: fiori di zucca, dell'orto di Angelo, fritti in modo insuperabile da Lino, melanzane grigliate condite con pomodorini secchi preparate da Alberta e poi, avete mai provato l'insalata di trippa?
Si, lo so, che molti storceranno il naso, ma vi consiglio di provarla almeno una volta.
Ecco la ricetta per i piu' coraggiosi: 500 gr. di trippa cotta, 1 cipolla rossa, 1 cuore di sedano, 250 gr. di pomodorini, sale, pepe e olio d'oliva. Mescolate tutto e lasciate riposare al fresco.

...And then the question of which wine to go with it...any Chianti Classico or pure Sangiovese for a typical Florentine meal however the Primitivo di Manduria (yes, someone brought wine with a label!) was most welcome and received few complaints.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Vintage Italian Cars Day.

Something a little different this week. When a friend Riccardo suggested we take a couple of classic Italian cars out for a tour, how could we refuse?
The baby-blue Fiat 127 and navy Alfa Romeo Alfetta are both in pristine condition and stepping inside takes you suddenly back to a by-gone era. No satellite navigation, radio or airbags here...though both are fitted with the latest up-to-date safety features of their belts. The air-conditioning is operated by rotating a small handle attached to the door which lowers or raises the side windows. But we're not here for modern gadgets: it's the feel of these cars and their ability to raise a smile wherever they go that makes it an unforgettable day.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

It is time to replace the barrels at the vineyard. At Montefioralle only French Oak is used for producing Chianti Classico, and never fresh 'first cycle' barrels which would impart too strong a flavour on the wine. After the barrels have be used to store a more robust grape variety, say Cabernet Sauvignon for the first cycle, they are then ready to be used for the Sangiovese.
The barrels then undergo several cycles; a year for the regular Chianti Classico, two years for the Chianti Classico Riserva. At the end of the their lives the barrels may find a life of retirement by being sawn in half and used as flower planters....if not, they become some of the most costly firewood know to man.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

View from Panzano

The Piaggio Ape is one of Italy's best loved vehicles. Designed in the immediate post war days of frugality the Ape sneaked into the workaday life of Italians through its economy, practicality and durability...and found itself taken into the heart of Italian culture.

Ryan and Patricia it was great meeting you both. I hope you enjoyed your day in Tuscany. Now get back to those 14 hour days selling superconductors!!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Wine tasting amidst the Olives.

Between the olive trees, under the shade of the vine canopy we start the slow day with Fernando explaining his wines and how they are made here in Chianti. The backdrop of Montefioralle provides the perfect setting.

Cat, Troy and Daniela learnt how each wine varies from year-to-year; more so for the smaller vineyards as smaller volumes of grapes prove more susceptible to climatic variation. The larger vineyards blend more grapes in the wine making process leading to a more homogenized product - great if you want a standardized product on the supermarket shelf, but less so for those interested in the variations between vintages. For wine-lovers small really is beautiful.