MAY 2017 – ITALY THEME

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BREAD
1. Burratta, Ciabatta, Balsamic and Tomatoes, Giavi Emma Prosecco.
2. Buffalo Taleggio, Toasted Bloomer, Olives, Amacord Gradisca Beer, Tosolini CiVidina Grappa.
3. Fontina, Saltless bread, Mushroom and Rocket, Olinito Chianti.
4. Young Pecorino, Carte di Musica, Artichoke and Lemon Tapenade, Fasoli Gino Pieve Vecchia Soave.
5. Gorgonzola Dolcetta, Sour Cherry Brioche, Pears and Figs, Biscardo Neropasso.
CHEESE

Fontina Val d’Aosta

Fontina is a classic Italian cheese made in the Aosta Valley since the 12thcentury. There are many Fontina cheeses made with alternative names such as “Fontinella”, “Fontal”, and “Fontella” but the Italian Fontina, Fontina Val d’Aosta, identified by a Consorzio (Consortium) stamp is the original and most famous. The other versions are much milder than the original Fontina. There is also a Danish version which can be recognized by the red wax rind. Italian Fontina has a natural rind that turns tan to orange-brown with aging.

Fontina Val d’Aosta is traditionally made from unpasteurised milk of the Valdaostan Red Spotted cows grazing on the plains of Aosta Valley. The texture and flavour of Fontina depends on how long it has been aged. The texture can vary from semi-soft to firm and the flavours from mild and rich to more robust and overpowering. Usually, fontina is aged for 90 days.

The interior of fontina is pale cream in colour and riddled with holes known as “eyes”. With a fat content of 45%, the cheese is very rich and creamy which gets nuttier with aging. This versatile cheese can be used to make fondues, and similar Italian dishes. Nebbiolo, a red wine with wild cherry and truffles is a match for Fontina.

Burrata

Burrata, meaning “buttery” in Italian is a fresh cheese made from a mix of mozzarella and cream. The outside thin shell is a pasta filata curd made of buffalo and/or cow’s milk mozzarella while the insides contain a soft, doughy, stringy, mixture of curd and fresh cream. The cheese originated in the Apulia region of Italy known for sheep farming and agriculture. It is sold traditionally in asphodel leaves with a polyethylene plastic bag over it. The green colour of asphodel leaves is an indicator of the freshness of the cheese.

When you cut open a Burrata, it oozes with buttery and creamy pannacontaining scraps of mozzarella. The cream has a rich flavour and has to be eaten immediately since it is a fresh cheese. Burrata is usually served fresh at room temperature and beyond 48 hours, it is considered past its prime. The taste of Burrata goes well with salads, crusty bread, and prosciutto, fresh tomatoes with olive oil and with spaghetti.

Quadrello

Quadrello di Bufala is a water buffalo milk cheese produced by the Caseficio Quattro Portoni Company in the Lombardy region of Italy. Made from pasteurised milk, Quadrello di Bufala is a washed-rind cheese high in fat and protein. It shares several attributes with Taleggio or Brescianella Stagionata, except that it is made from the milk of water buffalo.

The texture of Quadrello is deliciously creamy, sticky and elastic with small holes and softness near the crust. Its semi-soft paste is straw yellow in colour, while the pale orange rind is dotted with occasional white mould and deep incisions that occur because of drying on straw mats. The flavours are sweet and grassy with aromas of earth, mushroom and strong pungency. Quadrello di Bufala pairs well with Riesling, Cider, Farmhouse Ales and Malbec.

Marzolino

All the cheese produced in spring when the sheep could finally feed on fresh grass, was once known as Marzolino (made in March).   This cheese is now produced all year round so the name now identifies a specific type of cheese with a specific shape (each producer may make it in a different shape), rather than its period of production. The shape of our Marzolino varies from piece to piece as it is totally handmade.
The cheese making process is identical to that of fresh pecorino cheese but the real difference is in the salting stage and in the turning over of the pieces. In fact, they are placed next to each other and in the first two days they are turned over 6 times to ensure they take their particular shape, which is their unique characteristic.
Finally, a light ageing process, which ranges from 5 to 10 days or more, takes place at room temperature and controlled humidity. This depends on the period and desired “abbucciatura” (rind consistency).

Gorgonzola Dolce

Meaning “sweet” in Italian, Gorgonzola “Dolce” DOP is a soft, blue, buttery cheese made with uncooked cow’s whole milk. The cheese took its name from a small town in Lombardy near Milan, where it said to have been born in the 12th century. It has a white or pale yellow, buttery and melty paste speckled with a homogeneous distribution of blue coloured veins. The rind is compact, rough, hard and grey/pinkish in colour but not edible. Flavours are not very assertive but sweet, mild with notes of sour cream and lactic tang. It takes a minimum of 50 days ageing to let Gorgonzola demonstrate its unique characteristics.  The cheese pairs well with a Tuscan Vin Santo and Champagne

WINE
GIAVI EMMA PROSECCO
The life of the Giavi farm started as early as 900 AD and Prosecco has been made there since 1914. The vineyards cover an area of around 12 hectares on a hillside overlooking the town of Conegliano. Marco Cuscito worked tirelessly renovating the vineyards, and replanting the vines for Prosecco Superiore DOCG. 60% of the harvest is done by hand, and only estate grown grapes used, the quality of the resulting wine is high, full of purity and freshness of fruit, making these very much boutique wines. Fine mousse, fruity with apple and white fruit highlighted on the nose. Creamy and dry in the mouth with a crunchy, white fruit and apple finish.
AMARCORD GRADISCA
A group of young friends with a passion for beer and for their native land.

Rimini: a great city narrated by a great movie director. Amarcord: Federico Fellini’s great movie, an Oscar winner in 1975, and for us a story of fine traditional flavors, a brand and a production philosophy. From these simple ingredients the first Amarcord beers were created in the 1990s. After the success of the first few years, the time came to grow even further. We started looking for a water that would give our beers a truly unique touch, and in 2008 we found it in the heart of Italy’s Central Apennines at the foot of Monte Nerone, in the town of Apecchio.

Pure water and premium hops, tradition, artisan skills and technology have made Amarcord Italy’s most famous and widely sold craft beer brand. Quality beers for connoisseurs, without compromises.

TOSOLINI

Bepi Tosolini represents the highest expression of quality in the grappa sector.

The history of Tosolini grappa begins after World War II, when Bepi Tosolini dedicated himself to perfecting the art of grappa production. A passionate cultivator of his land’s traditions and a revolutionary in his field, Bepi was the first to obtain a clear, limpid distillate through an innovative ageing process in ash barrels. Using only the freshest premium grapes, Bepi achieved a final product with an exceptional aroma, flavour and smoothness that has forever transformed grappa into an elite drink for the most refined palates.

Located at the foot of the eastern Friulian hills, Tosolini’s modern facility maintains its original installations and ensures the authenticity of its product. The art inspired by Bepi Tosolini lives on in his successors, now third-generation distillers. His son Giovanni, along with his grandchildren Giuseppe, Bruno and Lisa, now carry on the Tosolini legacy. Together, they strive to keep the craftsmanship and excellence of Master Bepi alive through a relentless pursuit of quality and purity.

This Grappa is made from a mixture of different Marc’s or grape varieties by the head distiller at Bepi Tosolini. Light and crisp and fragrant with a hint of almond oil.

BISCARDO NEROPASSO

The Biscardo Family have been making wine from their base in Soave for over 150 years and are currently led by brothers Maurizo and Martino.
Ripe and healthy grapes are selected at the time of the hand picking. The thinnest bunches are chosen, with the berries not too close one to another, so that the air can circulate. The grapes are laid out in large perforated plastic boxes, to ensure excellent ventilation. The boxes are stacked in the fruttaio, a large airy room and the grapes are periodically monitored so that the Appassimento process takes place. A selection of the grapes are slightly wilted before the soft pressing. The wine is then aged partly in steel tanks and partly in Tonneaux.
Intense ruby red turning to garnet with ageing. Bouquet is spicy with hints of cherry, black cherry and plum compote. fine and velvety palate, persistent, with soft tannins at the end.
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