The latest news from the Italian market
Bruno Vespa, the renowned Italian television Journalist and presenter, chooses London to unveil his prestigious wine selection from his new company ‘Vespa vignaioli per Passione’.
The exclusive event took place at the Baglioni Hotel, presented by the Editor of GQ Magazine, Dylan Jones and organised by the famous creative director Angelo Galasso, was attended by many VIP and international journalists. 'Vespa Vignaioli per passione' produces 5 types of wines, all from Manduria Puglia, where Bruno Vespa and his sons own a colonial estate in a prime area of Primitivo.
An excited and cheerful Bruno Vespa welcomed every guest and found a moment to make small talk with every and each one of them. In a friendly and cosy atmosphere, during the evening the Top Chef Giorgio Locatelli (do you remember our video interview with him? Watch it here) presented a special menu, customized for the occasion in order to create a perfect match with the five wines presented.
The night started with a sparkling rosé Noitre – Spumante Rosè Brut from Negramaro grapes, served with “Patate, Riso e Cozze” (potatoes, rice and mussels).
'Capesante all’Aspretto di Zafferano' (scallops with saffron) were accentuated by Il Bianco dei Vespa, a Fiano Salento IGP.
Il Bruno dei Vespa, the first wine to be produced, was paired perfectly with the “Risotto al Rosso di Puglia, Lepre e Liquirizia” (risotto with hare and liquorice).
The Primitivo di Manduria DOC reserve Raccontami, was a match made in heaven with “Brasato di Agnello al Primitivo di Manduri, Peperoni e Polenta” (braised lamb made with Primitivo di Manduria wine, served with peppers and polenta).
Il Rosso dei Vespa was served with the dessert, which consisted of “Pera, Mousse al Cioccolato e Gelatine al vino rosso” (pears, chocolate mousse and red wine jelly).
The super-star stylist Angelo Galasso, global ambassador of Made-in-Italy, has followed Bruno Vespa’s wine project since its very beginning and has been amazed by the quality since the start, he said.
During the Bellavita Expo in Amsterdam Michelin Starred Chef Enrico Bartolini cooked a superb recipe.
Here's the description and the preparation method.
Enrico Bartolini is experienced chef and you can taste his creations at the 2 Michelin stars ‘Devero Restaurant’, close to Milan. In its cuisine his guests will have a chance to sense the right balance between tradition and innovation, all crafted with the finest ingredients.
4 sweet potatoes
150g Grana Padano 36 months
15g freeze dried raspberries
80g pigeon meat
Bake sweet potatoes in their skins, each wrapped individually in aluminum foil. When cooked, scoop out the potato taking care not to break the skin, and keep it in one piece. Dry the skins in the oven for 7 hours at 70 ° C. To make the waffles put the Grana Padano into a dry pan. Then add the freeze-dried raspberries.
Once the cheese is melted and the waffles are ready, put the pigeon on top and roll it up.
Fry the dried skins of the potatos and while still hot, roll them around the Grana waffles with pigeon.
Serve with a raspberry sauce, obtained by cooking raspberries, mixing them with a little sugar and salt.
Gardini’s score: 93/100
Unmistakable. A word that aptly describes both the character of the cru and the style of the winemaker - rare in an unconventional vintage like this 2011 Barolo. The wine is austere and powerful at the same time. The two year ageing process takes place in the same barrels where malolactic fermentation is done, giving the Barolo a softer, more refined taste. The nose shows the whole catalogue of cherries, from the morellos to the dark ones. The taste is mainly fruity due to the cherries, but is complex and elegant, rather than overpowering. The finish is all about licorice, vanilla, salt, and candied ginger. Silky tannins.
Luca Gardini was awarded World's Best Sommelier WSA 2010, and was trained in the school of Giorgio Pinchiorri. He collaborates with Divine Spirit, Gazzetta dello Sport and Panorama and he wrote a book with Luciano Ferraro. Luca is a good friend of Bellavita.
How long does wine need till it’s perfectly oxygenated? Is it one hour or more? What’s the secret to achieving the right balance between oxygen and wine? And how do we get the best aromas and flavours from each and every glass?
A Sommelier ought to know these things, but in restaurants, time is as precious as the wine itself, and the perfect ‘decanting-process’ is rather more delicate than we’d like to think. Plus, wine lovers are becoming ever more demanding.
A Chinese engineer, Eric Li, has taken the matter in hand and has moved to Bordeaux, in France, to develop his idea.
It’s an automatic high-tech decanter, only lacking in creativity in terms of a name … the rather bland-sounding ‘iSommelier…’
The machine is as smart as the 30 super-specialist-wine-and-technology-experts who made it, and it can decant wine perfectly within a few minutes, thanks to a process driven and controlled by a smart pitcher.
Fancy a spot of remote programming via smartphones?
Well now you can, with ‘iSommelier’. The machine is not just a decanter that breaks with the tradition of the long waits, but also a valuable tool so you can plan, remotely, using your smartphone and an app the perfect wine preparation time.
17 different patents come along with the technology inside iSommelier, which is also linked to the iFavine Network, a professional interactive platform that encourages the exchange of information between the different market players.
The machine can interact and gather information useful for identifying the type of wine, the area of origin, the harvest, and the valuable advice of the winemaker.
How do you use it?
Just pour the wine into the carafe on the base of the gadget, set the data on the display and the oxygenation process starts with a series of operations that purify environmental pollutants that are captured within the wine, separate the oxygen from the other gases, filter it, and send it to towards the bottom of the carafe as per the instructions from the manufacturer.
As it rises, the oxygen diffuses into the wine in a homogeneous way.
It’s possible that Instagram was created specifically with Emilia Romagna in mind - a place utterly devoted to food, and not just any food, the kind that caters to not just your stomach, but your very soul.Chestnut flour polenta with bacon and ravigglio cheese, earthy mushrooms and truffles, lasagne that’s nothing short of a labour of love. Even its provinces scream the word; Parma – with its mouth watering slices of perfectly cured ham. Modena - home to the black gold balsamic vinegar. Reggio and its powder soft flakes of Parmigiana. Even its capital, beautiful, seductive Bologna has given its name to a sauce, though one that you will never find eaten with spaghetti here. Its landscape meanwhile, though occasionally mountainous, is for the most part rolling plains with dead straight roads, broken by a scattering of fairy-tale villages with views all the way down to the crystal clear waters of the Adriatic.
To enjoy the region’s wine however may require you to challenge your preconceptions. It’s a fact that certain wines come with a side order of connotations; champagne, for instance, immediately conjures up thoughts of celebration, whilst mentioning Liebfraumilch to anyone over forty can cause them to recoil in pain and horror. Emilia Romagna’s dominant wine, Lambrusco, is just such a word, producing unfortunate images of a sweet and soulless sugar water, industrial both in scale and flavour, which is akin to licking farm machinery. But this is a complete tragedy as true Lambrusco is quite simply a revelation, though first you must accept that what was shipped out in the Seventies and Eighties to satisfy America’s astonishing thirteen million case a year habit is not the same as the dry, subtle, elegant product that the Emilia-Romagnans themselves enjoy.
Contrary to popular belief, Lambrusco is not a grape, but an extended family of them, some subtly different, others utterly different. Lambrusco Sorbara, the most common variety, ripens early and thrives in sandy soil, with a thick aroma of violet. Meanwhile, Lambrusco Grasparossa produces a rich, full-bodied, ruby red drink with flavours of plum and cherry, which ripens even at cool temperatures, making it ideal for the region’s hilly slopes. Lambrusco Maestrin - the darkest of all - has a creamy flavour of chocolate and a playful, candy-like aroma. And there’s more: Marani – floral, tanic and fruity, Salamino - with its full-bodied cherry flavour, spicy Vidanese and even Barghi, an exceptionally rare find and mostly seen in village tavola wine.
It isn’t all about poor, misunderstood Lambrusco, as the region also produces other, less well-known grapes; Pignoletto, most commonly seen on the green hills around Bologna, which produces a crisp white wine ranging from pale gold with tart lemon and apple flavours, to a rich, corn hue with a Tyson-like punch of peach and apricots. Malvasia di Candia Aromatica, a spicy variety with just a hint of tropical fruit that makes both a delightful bubbly and a honeyed pudding wine. Also worth keeping an eye out for is the the DOCG Albana di Romagna - the first white to reach that hallowed status, available in secco, amabile, dolce, and particularly the peach and magnolia fuelled passito, as well as absolutely anything made with Uva del Fantini – once thought lost, and still rarer than good reality TV, but gaining ground fast.
It’s truly hard not to envy this region, particularly around dinnertime when you can close your eyes and find a restaurant before you walk into anything pointy. Judging from the sense of contentment its people enjoy, I can only speculate that when a cure for depression is finally found, it will come out of Emilia Romagna, and probably have something to do with tomatoes.
Main City: Bologna
Size: 22,456 Square km (5/20)
Population: 4,450,541 (6/20)
Climate: Warm, humid summers and harsh winters
Approx area under vine: 58,237 Hectares
Primary grapes: Lambrusco, Pignoletto, Malvasia di Candia Aromatico
Other Notable Grapes: Sangiovese, Albana, Uva del Fantini
Trivia: Bologna has the oldest university in Europe.
by Dan Miles
Dan Miles - Formerly an award winning bartender, Dan Miles is the cult bestselling author of
Filthy Still - a tale of travel, sex and perfectly made cocktails.
Bellavita is proud to announce the complete list of the Bellavita Awards winners - Amsterdam 2015
This list is the result of the 2 days of tasting by a panel of 210 judges, made by buyers, experts, chefs and journalists.
Read also about the two Platinum winners here.