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Issue 35, November 2005
Contents


Editorial    Summary of Editorial column
 Even Young People Like Good Wine
The fact the world of wine is not having a truly happy time concerning consumptions, it certainly is not anything new. It is in times of crisis and recession the need of finding new solutions and ways, in order to limit the… [more]
 MailBox



ABC Wine    Summary of ABC Wine column
 Languedoc-Roussillon
The Languedoc-Roussillon
The wine region from which it is being produced more than a third of the French wine, was known in the past for its ordinary wines, a past which has been completely forgotten by the quality of its present… [more]



Wine Tasting    Summary of Wine Tasting column
 Italian Rose Wines
A moment of the comparative tasting of rose wines
This month let's fill our glasses with three samples of rose wines, a comparative tasting for the discovering of fresh and pleasing aromas of flowers and fruits… [more]
 Wines of the Month
Nebbiolo d'Alba Valmaggiore 2003, Sandrone (Piedmont, Italy)
Barolo Cannubi Boschis 2001, Nebbiolo d'Alba Valmaggiore 2003, Friuli Grave Rosso Rok 2001, Aglianico del Vulture La Firma 2003, Ninfea 2004, Il Rogito 2003, Friuli Grave Bianco Plui Vignis 2002, Barolo Vigna Bussia 2001… [more]



 Calatrasi
Domaine Neferis in Tunisia
The history of a dream which turns into reality in Sicily with vineyards capable of producing 276 different varieties of grapes and from which are being produced modern wines with the richness of an ancient land… [more]
 Cellar Journal


Events    Summary of Events column
 News



Corkscrew    Summary of Corkscrew column
 Matching Wine and Cereals
A cereal soup can be matched to rose wines as well
Among the most ancient foods known by humans, fundamental ingredients of the famous Mediterranean diet, cereals can be used in countless ways in cooking and are good allies of wine… [more]



 Beans
Beans: a rich and nutrient food
The most famous representatives of legumes, beans are rich in proteins and fibers, a tasty food and an important help for a correct nutrition… [more]
 Aquavitae
Grappa Petit Verdot, Casale del Giglio (Latium, Italy)
Review of Grappa, Distillates and Brandy, Grappa di Aglianico del Vulture Affinata, Grappa Petit Verdot, Grappa di Prosecco, Grappa di Arneis 2003, Grappa di Aglianico del Vulture Bianca, Grappa Riserva… [more]
 Wine Parade



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  Editorial Issue 35, November 2005   
Even Young People Like Good WineEven Young People Like Good Wine MailBoxMailBox  Contents 
Issue 34, October 2005 Follow DiWineTaste on Follow DiWineTaste on TwitterIssue 36, December 2005

Even Young People Like Good Wine


 The fact the world of wine is not having a truly happy time concerning consumptions, it certainly is not anything new. It is in times of crisis and recession the need of finding new solutions and ways, in order to limit the economic loss because of a lesser interest - or better to say - a lesser possibility of spending money, are mainly looked for. Despite wine is a heritage of high culture and tradition, the ones involved in its production must necessarily consider the profit they can get from their job, even when it is done with true passion. For this reason have been adopted new alternative solutions, new ways to promote and sell their products, occasions aimed to the stimulation of the interest in consumers. These are times in which efforts are mainly required for the improvement of product's image - and as far as wine is concerned, this is done on its hedonistic aspect - for its promotion and spreading, while trying to conquer new customers.

 In the past few years, the world of wine seemed to particularly concentrate its efforts on young people, by doing a right and responsible campaign on moderate consumption - and the pleasure of wine is always associated to moderation - with the evident hope to increase profits. After all, having responsible and intelligent consumers is also the primary interest of producers: an irresponsible consumer does not favor quality but quantity only, and, very likely, because of the severe damages for his or her health, sooner or later, he or she will be forced to stop the consumption of wine, even occasionally. More attentive, responsible, conscious and intelligent consumers ensure a more prosperous and lasting life to quality wine, therefore a better profit. And the category of consumers which is best suited to this type of investment are young people, in particular in case the promotional message is also made of winning factors associated to fashion and modernity.


 

 Fashion, modernity and spreading of the culture of moderate consumption, are not enough to fully convince young people to get into quality wine. This is not because young people are not interested in wine and in its world: the main cause - we think - is represented by the high price. In periods characterized by overall negative economic conditions - which certainly make difficult also the condition of adult people which usually have a “stable” professional and economic life - difficulties are mainly suffered by young people, which typically have a precarious job, therefore having a pretty limited possibility in spending money. Whoever is having a precarious economic condition, necessarily do choices drastically determined by life priorities. Despite this can be seen as an obvious assertion, this is however a condition which strongly determines the trend of marketing, wine included. As far as we are concerned, young people are very interested in the quality of wine, they can appreciate it and look for it passionately. There are many responsible and attentive consumers among young people, of course there are also some who are irresponsible and inattentive, after all, the same can be said for adult consumers as well.

 Even young people like good and quality wine: whenever they could - just like anyone else, of course - they would frequently buy quality wine and they would drink it with pleasure. It is too obvious saying everyone likes the good and is not disposed to accept compromises in order to have it. Everyone prefers the good to the bad, provided one can afford it. Young people get informed about the world of wine, they are interested in new products and - as far as we are concerned according to the letters we receive - they are attentive to what they read in wine magazines. Whether young people is getting more and more into the world of wine is absolutely evident, whether they are attentive to the price with which they have to confront themselves every time the decide to buy a bottle of wine, it is even more evident. A commercial strategy which seems to be successful with young people is wine served at the glass: with a relatively small amount of money, it is possible to appreciate a wine which would be too expensive in case a whole bottle would be bought.

 Making quality wine is expensive. We believe this is something everyone knows and something in which we all agree. The production of quality wine requires pretty high economic investments and the adoption of practices and technologies which are expensive as well. High costs required for the production of a quality wine must return by means of selling, from that it is expected - of course - a profit as well. However - like we said so many times in the pages of our publication - it should be done a distinction between the right profit and speculation. Perhaps it is the consciousness that wine is characterized by an evident speculation to keep young people away from buying expensive wines, not only the limited possibilities of spending money. After all, the market offers a wide selection of wines and, among the many bottles available, many of them are sold at a “reasonable” price, capable of offering a good quality as well and, in particular, an excellent good value wine.

 There is no doubt young people like good wine and quality wine, however - just like everyone else, no matter the age - are forced to see what they have in their pockets while trying to get the best benefit out from their possibilities. It is also known wine is not having a happy time and many wineries have the problem of unsold bottles which, more likely, will be shipped to distilleries. Whether it is necessary to have young people aware - the only thing which can ensure a future to any society - is true as well. In case we are successful to have young people aware of a responsible and conscious consumption of wine - however and always with moderation - as well as the capacity of offering wines sold at a reasonable price and suited to this type of consumers, we will be then successful in creating a profitable future for the world of wine. A future which can begin today, a future that many producers have understood already by offering good quality wines sold at reasonable prices. No one is stupid in this world and whoever is capable of recognizing what it is good, as well as recognizing to it a right value, young people included. Let's open a way for the future of young people and quality wine, sold at a reasonable price, hopefully.

 



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  Editorial Issue 35, November 2005   
Even Young People Like Good WineEven Young People Like Good Wine MailBoxMailBox  Contents 
Issue 34, October 2005 Follow DiWineTaste on Follow DiWineTaste on TwitterIssue 36, December 2005

MailBox


 In this column are published our reader's mail. If you have any comment or any question or just want to express your opinion about wine, send your letters to our editorial or fill in the form available at our site.

 

I would like to know more about fortified wines and how to make them at home.
Alberto Nunzio Bonadonna -- Butera, Caltanissetta (Italy)
The world of fortified wines is rich and charming. The production technique is always based on the same principle, that is adding alcohol or brandy during the vinification process. This operation - called fortification - can happen in any phase of the production, according to the type and style of wine to be made and its tradition. In fact, the fortification can be done both during the fermentation of the must - operation called mutage - as well as at the end of the vinification process. About fortified wines and their production, we invite you to read the article “Production of Fortified Wines” published in the issue 25 of DiWineTaste. Home made production of this type of wine is not difficult, however it should be remembered the production of a great fortified wine requires time, appropriate tools and conditions, such as barrels, favorable environmental conditions and the patience to wait for great things to happen. The production of fortified wines is not limited to the simple adding of alcohol or brandy: fortification represents just one of the many operations required to make a good product.



I recently tried to taste a Brunello di Montalcino in two different glasses. Whereas in the smaller glass the wine seemed to be pretty ordinary, in the larger one the wine was completely different. How can it be a glass is so important for the appreciation of wine?
David Ashley -- New York (USA)
Glass is a fundamental tool for the correct and profitable appreciation of wine. The development of aromas - for example - is strongly influenced by the shape and volume of the glass, in particular by the geometric ratio between the surface of contact of the wine to the air above it. The shape of the body of the glass also favors the perception of specific gustatory qualities of the wine while attenuating the strength of others, therefore contributing to the improvement of the gustatory balance, as well as of the organoleptic qualities of wine. It is certainly true every wine is better appreciated with the right glass: choosing a wrong glass - wrong size and shape - compromises the correct development of every wine's organoleptic quality. Choosing a right glass is therefore fundamental in order to better appreciate both a good wine as well as a mediocre one: the right glass allows the proper development of its good qualities. Concerning the choice of the right glass for a wine and its importance, we invite you to read the articles “Wine Glasses”, published in the issue 6 of DiWineTaste, and “Wine Glasses” available at our WEB site.



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  ABC Wine Issue 35, November 2005   
Languedoc-RoussillonLanguedoc-Roussillon  Contents 
Issue 34, October 2005 Follow DiWineTaste on Follow DiWineTaste on TwitterIssue 36, December 2005

Languedoc-Roussillon

The wine region from which it is being produced more than a third of the French wine, was known in the past for its ordinary wines, a past which has been completely forgotten by the quality of its present

 The wine history of Languedoc-Roussillon is very similar to a renaissance. This interesting French wine region - which is located to the southern part of the country in the Mediterranean coast - was known since tens of years ago for the pretty ordinary quality of its wines and for the fact it was the most productive region of France. In fact, even today, the Languedoc-Roussillon produces more than a third of the whole French wine and it is the region having the widest acreage of vineyards. The condition of our days however tells a truly different story. A new generation of producers and wine makers was capable of an extraordinary development, by improving the quality of grapes, the selection of the best vineyards, by adopting a scrupulous attention and modernization of wine technologies. Today Languedoc-Roussillon can be considered among the most interesting wine areas of France: not only for still being the most productive region, but also - and above all - for the high quality of its wines which are usually distinguished for the very good price to which are being sold.

 The wine region - which is today recognized as AOC (Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée) - is made of two distinct areas: the Languedoc, located to the east part of the region in mainly plain territory, and Roussillon, located to the southern part near the Pyrenees. The union of the two regions defines the Languedoc-Roussillon AOC area, sometimes called in short Languedoc. Today Languedoc-Roussillon has a strong fame for its quality wines and - in particular - for its Vin Doux Naturels, of which the most renowned ones are those produced with Muscat Blanc grape, and Banyuls, mainly produced with Grenache Noir. In the region are also produced other styles of wines, of which the most representative ones are red - mainly produced with Carignan, Grenache Noir, Mourvèdre and Syrah grapes - as well as the Crémant de Limoux, an interesting classic method sparkling wine produced with Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc and Mauzac grapes. Despite Languedoc-Roussillon is defined as AOC, in this region there is also a considerable production of Vin de Pays.


The Languedoc-Roussillon
The Languedoc-Roussillon

 In the Languedoc-Roussillon region is also produced most of France's vin de table and the quantity of vin de pays is of about 80%. As for red dry table wines, the main production is about red wines, mainly produced with Grenache Noir, Carignan, Cinsaut, Mourvèdre and Syrah grapes. The production of white wines - although it is increasing - represents a pretty modest part, as well as for the production of rose wines, pretty marginal and mainly destined for local consumption. Languedoc-Roussillon - besides being the first French region for the widest vineyards acreage among the AOC areas - is also the region in which, according to historical records, viticulture is among the most ancient ones of France. It is in fact believed the first vineyards were planted in these areas since 125 b.C. by Romans in the areas near the colony of Narbo - in the places where today is found the city of Narbonne - the same areas in which are today found the AOC areas of Corbières, Minervois and Coteaux du Languedoc.

 Despite historical sources agree on the fact the introduction of the vine in this area is dated back to Roman times, some hypothesis support the idea Celts were already involved in the cultivation of vine, as well as it is believed Greeks were responsible for the introduction of vines. Suppositions apart, it is known in the colony of Narbo was produced wine which was then transported to the Garonne river and from there to the Roman legions in Aquitaine, as well as to the Gironde where it was shipped to other countries. It seems the high wine production of Languedoc-Roussillon was already a problem during Roman times: historical sources tells in this lands was produced more wine than it was exported. The wine making and viticulture of Languedoc-Roussillon had a further development during the Middle Age. In this region - just like in all the other wine areas in Europe - thanks to the establishment of monasteries and therefore to the work of monks, viticulture benefited from a higher attention and with that the production of wine as well.


 

 The commercial development of Languedoc-Roussillon began since the seventeenth century and in particular with the export of wine to the Netherlands, including the picardan, a sweet wine produced with Clairette and Picpoul grapes, and, in later times, of brandy. Concerning this aspect, an important role was played by the port of Sète, from which was shipped wine to the Netherlands and England. The tradition of sweet wine production in this region is in fact very old, a tradition which still today distinguishes Languedoc-Roussillon in the worldwide wine scene. Among the first production areas for sweet wines to become famous, it certainly is mentioned Frontignan, whose vin doux naturels produced with Muscat Blanc grape are appreciated and looked for still today. An important event for the commercialization of wines in this region was represented by the construction of railways - in 1855 - which allowed a rapid shipment of wines to the northern areas of France. This event made increase of four times the production of wines in Languedoc-Roussillon.

 This positive period was suddenly stopped - just like in any other wine country of Europe - with the arrival of phylloxera. Even in finding a remedy for this vine parasite, Languedoc-Roussillon has a record: the vineyards in this region were in fact the first ones to be restored after the devastation. This was possible thanks to experimentation and to the use of grafting, as well as to the introduction of new hybrid varieties, including the varieties created by Bouschet. The rapid reconstruction of vineyards allowed Languedoc-Roussillon to become, at the end of the nineteenth century, the main producer of wines in France with a percentage of 44%, almost the half. The production was mainly about light and ordinary wines, a characteristic which was common in Languedoc-Roussillon until the beginning of the 1990's. The productive system of the region was mainly regulated by wine cooperatives - there were more than 500 and most of them was established during the 1930's - a phenomenon which drastically reduced, by leaving the scene to private producers, when it was fully understood the importance of quality production which also corresponded to the drastic reduction of the production of vin de table.

 

Classification of Languedoc-Roussillon

 The wine region of Languedoc-Roussillon is recognized by the French system as AOC (Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée, Appellation of Controlled Origin), however most of the wine produced in this region belongs to the Vin de Pays category, of which are being defined more than 60 denominations. The production of wines belonging to this category represents about 70% of all the Vin de Pays produced in France. The production of wines in Languedoc-Roussillon is about white, rose, red, sweet and sparkling wines. The AOC areas defined in this region are: Clairette du Languedoc, Collioure, Corbières, Coteaux du Languedoc, Côtes du Rossillon, Côtes du Roussillon-Villages, Faugères, Fitou, Limoux, Minervois and Saint-Chinian. An important role in the wine production of Languedoc-Roussillon is played by vin doux naturels, mainly produced with Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains and Grenache Noir grapes. The AOC vin doux naturels produced with Muscat grapes are Muscat de Frontignan, Muscat de Lunel, Muscat de Mireval, Muscat de Rivesaltes and Muscat de Saint-Jean-de-Minervois. The ones produced with Grenache Noir are Banyuls, Banyuls Grand Cru, Maury and Rivesaltes.

 

Production Areas

 Languedoc-Roussillon is among the French wine regions having the widest acreage destined to vineyards and which mainly goes from the western Mediterranean coast to the feet of the Pyrenees. Most of the vineyards are cultivated along the arc of territory coasting the Mediterranean, however quality wines are produced from the vineyards planted in the high plates found at the feet of the Pyrenees or in Cévennes mountains. The climate is of Mediterranean type with temperatures that in summertime are higher than 30°C (86°F) and with pretty scarce rains. The composition of the soil is pretty varied, from alluvial soils of the territory in the coast, to limestone, chalk and gravelly soil, typical of the internal areas. Before the arrival of phylloxera, in Languedoc-Roussillon were cultivated more that 150 different varieties; today the quantity is drastically reduced and mainly concentrated to the typical varieties of France also known in other countries. The main white berried grapes cultivated in Languedoc-Roussillon are: Bourboulenc, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Clairette, Grenache Blanc, Marsanne, Mauzac, Muscat of Alexandria, Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains, Picpoul, Rolle, Roussanne, Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier. The main red varieties are: Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignano, Cinsaut, Grenache Noir, Lladoner Pelut, Merlot, Mourvèdre, Picpoul Noir, Syrah and Terret Noir.

 

Dry Table Wines

 In Languedoc-Roussillon the production of dry table wines is mainly done by cooperatives from which come most of the total production. The quality of these wines certainly is not very interesting: the best production of this region comes from small and private producers. Among the areas recognized as AOC, the ones worth of higher attention are Corbières, Faugères, Minervois, Saint-Chinian and Coteaux du Languedoc. Corbières is the most renowned area for dry wines in Languedoc-Roussillon and the production is mainly about red wines. Located in the western part of Languedoc-Roussillon - near the Pyrenees - the wines of Corbières are mainly produced with Carignan, Syrah and Mourvèdre grapes and - marginally - with Grenache Noir, Cinsaut and Terret Noir. In the appellation of Corbières and with the same grapes is being produced a small quantity of rose wines, whereas for the production of white wines - produced in even smaller quantities - are used Bourboulenc, Clairette and Grenache Blanc grapes.

 Faugères - located in the center of Languedoc-Roussillon - produces red wines only. In this appellation is the Carignan grape to dominate vineyards and with which are being produced good wines only in case the yield in vineyards is pretty low. In the area of Faugères are also cultivated Syrah, Mourvèdre and Grenache Noir grapes, usually blended to Carignan. Minervois is another interesting area for the production of red wines, in particular the ones from the Livinière district. The rich and robust wines from Minervois are mainly produced with Carignan, Grenache Noir and Syrah grapes. With the same grapes are also produced rose wines. Even in the area of Saint-Chinian the production is about red wines only, mainly from Carignan grape, however in recent times Syrah, Mourvèdre and Grenache Noir are getting more and more common in the area. In the Coteaux du Languedoc area, the production is mainly about ordinary red wines, however from here also come good surprises, in particular from the districts of Pic Saint-Loup, La Clape, Picpoul de Pinet, Montpeyroux and Saint-Saturnin. A particular mention goes to sparkling wines Crémant de Limoux and Blanquette de Limoux. Crémant de Limuox is produced with Mauzac grape to which is added Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc, whereas Blanquette de Limoux is produced with the classic method, sometimes with the traditional méthode rurale as well, mainly from Mauzac grapes - locally known as Blanquette - to which can be added Clairette, Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay grapes.

 

Vin Doux Naturels

 The most renowned wines of Languedoc-Roussillon certainly are the ones belonging to the category of Vin Doux Naturels, naturally sweet wines. Despite the name, sweetness in these wines is obtained by means of fortification - that is the adding of alcohol - during fermentation. The adding of alcohol stops the effect of yeast, while increasing the alcohol volume in the wine. This process - which is called mutage - allows the keeping of a high quantity of sugar which will give the wine its typical sweetness and an alcohol by volume from 15 and 18%, which sometimes can reach 21%. The wines are then aged according to the style. The white ones - produced with Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains or Muscat of Alexandria grapes - are aged in the cellar while avoiding the effects of air, therefore they are bottled in order to keep the freshness of aromas. Red wines - mainly produced with Grenache Noir grape - generally undergo oxidative and reductive processes, a fundamental and indispensable operation in order to develop complex aromas such as - for example - dried fruit, vanilla, coffee and honey.

 The cultivation of Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains grape was already common during Roman times and it is still widely practiced in this territory. There are five AOC Vin Doux Naturels produced with Muscat grape in Languedoc-Roussillon: Muscat de Frontignan, Muscat de Lunel, Muscat de Mireval, Muscat de Rivesaltes and Muscat de Saint-Jean-de-Minervois. These wines are all produced with Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains, with the only exception of Muscat de Rivesaltes - the wine which is produced in higher quantities of the five - which is mainly produced with Muscat of Alexandria. Red Vin Doux Naturels are represented by Banyuls, Banyuls Grand Cru, Maury and Rivesaltes. Of them, the most renowned one certainly is Banyuls, mainly produced with Grenache Noir grape in the area near the eastern feet of Pyrenees. Banyuls is produced in the sweet and dry styles, it is aged in casks for a period which can also reach 30 months for Banyuls Grand Cru. This wine is also produced in the rancio style, in which the oxidation is favored by exposing the casks to sun rays during summertime. Banyuls is characterized by its complex and rich aromas of raisin, dried fruit, vanilla, coffee and tea leaf.

 




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  Wine Tasting Issue 35, November 2005   
Italian Rose WinesItalian Rose Wines Wines of the MonthWines of the Month  Contents 
Issue 34, October 2005 Follow DiWineTaste on Follow DiWineTaste on TwitterIssue 36, December 2005

Italian Rose Wines

This month let's fill our glasses with three samples of rose wines, a comparative tasting for the discovering of fresh and pleasing aromas of flowers and fruits

 The world of rose wines, like we already said other times in the pages of our publication, is not very considered and not very attractive to consumers, the scarce interest for this wine can also be seen on its marketing. Whether rose wine has been subject to deprecable speculations in the past it is certainly true: not very scrupulous producers - probably attracted by the easy profits some fashions can ensure - were successful in demolishing the image of a wine which would certainly deserve a better attention. There are many good rose wines, as well as there are many mediocre and bad rose wines, but - after all - this consideration is valid for every type of wine, even for red wines, usually considered - at least in these times - wines par excellence. Despite the efforts of some associations and serious producers for the revaluation of rose wines, consumers still have a pretty marginal interest, considering them - like everyone knows - as wines being in the middle, neither whites, nor reds.

 In fact, rose wine is neither white nor red; it simply and legitimately is rose wine, that is a wine having a proper and specific identity and - in particular - represents an amazing world impossible to find in other categories of wines. Moreover rose wines have an excellent versatility in the enogastronomical matching: whenever a white wine is “too little” and a red wine is “too much”, rose wine represents most of the times the right solution. Italy - just like other wine countries of the world - has an interesting production of rose wines, from north to south, the choice of pink bottles is pretty vast and it is not difficult to find very good wines even in this category. Central-southern Italy is the area offering most of the production of rose wines - in particular Abruzzo with its Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Cerasuolo and Apulia with the roses of Salento - however even in the northern areas can be found good bottles, in particular near the lake of Garda and in the Alto Adige with the very good Lagrein Kretzer.

 

The Wines of the Tasting


A moment of the comparative
tasting of rose wines
A moment of the comparative tasting of rose wines

 Rose wines offer their best qualities during youth, therefore - just like for most of white wines - allowing the aging in bottle is never appropriate, indeed, the risk of losing their best qualities is pretty high. It will right on these young wines - the ones belonging to the most recent vintages - we will concentrate our comparative tasting about rose wines. The production of rose wines in Italy is common in almost every region of the country, however the main areas from which these wines come, are concentrated in the central-southern regions, in the lake of Garda and in some areas of Alto Adige. The most typical region, the one which has been the first to be successful in the production of rose wines, is Apulia and in particular the Salento area. It is right in this area which is found the highest number of DOC areas (Denominazione d'Origine Controllata, Denomination of Controlled Origin) which provides, among the other styles, the production of rose wines.

 The wines selected for our comparative tasting about rose wines come from the most representative regions of central-southern Italy: Abruzzo, Apulia and Calabria. All the three wines are being vinified in inert containers, according to the most typical production system for rose wines which does not generally make use of cask or other wood containers. The first wine we selected is Cataldi Madonna's Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Cerasuolo Pie' delle Vigne, an interesting wine produced with 100% Montepulciano grape. The second wine is Salento Five Roses Anniversario from Leone de Castris - one of the most renowned rose wines of Italy - produced with Negroamaro and Malvasia di Lecce grapes. The third wine is Librandi's Terre Lontane - one of the most interesting roses of Calabria - produced with Gaglioppo and Cabernet Franc grapes. The three wines will be tasted in three ISO glasses and served at a temperature of 14°C (57°F), in order to favor both the development of aromas and the right perception of all the other organoleptic qualities.

 

Appearance Analysis

 The color of rose wines depends on the production technique and - in particular - on the time of maceration of the skins in the must, a time which is measured in hours instead of days, as it is usually done for red wines instead. According to the Italian law, rose table wines - it should be remembered - can be produced with red grapes only and it is forbidden the blending with white wines. The only exception is represented by sparkling wines where it is allowed the blending of white and red wines in order to make the base wine or cuvée. Besides the maceration time of the skin, another fundamental factor for the determination of the color in rose wines is represented by the coloring capacity of the grape, a quality which is however regulated by the maceration time: the longer the maceration time, the higher the extraction of coloring substances. For this reason, the color of a rose wine can range from pale pink, sometimes with evident gray nuances, up to showing hues resembling ruby red.

 The first wine we are going to examine is Librandi's Terre Lontane. After having poured the wine on the first glass, we will evaluate the color of its mass: it will be noticed an intense cherry pink color and - by tilting the glass over a white surface - it will be noticed nuances of the same color. The second wine of which we will evaluate the color is Salento Five Roses Anniversario from Leone de Castris. By observing the mass, it will be noticed an intense cherry pink color, deeper than the previous wine, and by tilting the glass over a white surface, it will be noticed nuances of pale cherry pink. Let's now examine the third and last wine, Cataldi Madonna's Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Cerasuolo Pie' delle Vigne, and let's observe its color: in this case the pink hue gets a deeper color, very similar to ruby red: despite of this strong color, the wine however belongs to the category of rose wines. By tilting the glass it will be noticed nuances of intense cherry pink.

 

Olfactory Analysis

 The world of rose wines is made of flowers and fruits expressing all their exuberant freshness. This probably is the most contradictory aspect of rose wines: the color resembling too much a red wine and the aromas very similar - for quality - to the ones of white wines. Whoever expects from a rose wine the strength and the power of red wines, can be easily disappointed; whoever expects the freshness of white wines transformed into red flowers and fruits, have in rose wine his or her best companion. The aromas of rose wines represent a world of its own, as well as a world of its own is represented by any other style of wine. The aromas of rose wines can be defined as the gentle expression of red grapes: whereas in red wines the aromas are strong and full, in rose wines produced with the same grapes, the aromas are more gentle and fresher, in other words, they express a polite dimension which in red wines is characterized by a more robust body.


 

 The first wine we will examine for the evaluation of aromas is Librandi's Terre Lontane, mainly produced with Gaglioppo - the most renowned red berried grape of Calabria - to which is added a part of Cabernet Franc. By holding the glass in vertical position - and without swirling - let's begin the evaluation of the opening aromas. The first smell will reveal aromas of cherry and raspberry, two qualities we will frequently find in many rose wines. After having swirled the glass in order to favor a proper oxygenation, we will do a second smell which will reveal aromas of strawberry, blueberry, plum and peach followed by flowery aromas recalling cyclamen and rose. Despite Gaglioppo and Cabernet Franc grapes are the protagonist of red wines having full aromas, whose fruits mainly recall the black berried ones, in rose wines are red berried fruits to prevail.

 The second wine of which we are going to examine aromas is Cataldi Madonna's Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Cerasuolo Pie' delle Vigne, the only wine of the three produced with a single grape - Montepulciano - whereas the others are the result of two different grapes. By holding the glass still, we will do the first smell in order to perceive opening aromas. Even in this case it will be possible to perceive aromas of cherry and raspberry as well as strawberry. After having swirled the glass, it will be done a second smell from which will be perceived aromas of blackberry and plum followed by aromas of peach and almond. The latter two aromas - despite they are frequently found in white wines - are typical in some rose wines as well. The last wine of which we will examine aromas is Salento Five Roses Anniversario from Leone de Castris. Opening aromas recall cherry, raspberry and strawberry: a quality we already found in the other two wines as well. After having swirled the glass, the second smell will reveal aromas of rose, peach and - like the previous wine - a pleasing hint of almond.

 

Gustatory Analysis

 The main gustatory qualities of rose wines are represented by crispness - also typical in white wines - to which is added a higher structure. This structure - of course - will never be full like the ones of red wines, however it certainly is superior than most of white wines. In the taste of rose wines will also be found flavors of the fruits generally perceived to the nose: a quality - together with crispness and structure - which is very useful in the enogastronomical matching. Let's begin the gustatory evaluation with Librandi's Terre Lontane. The first quality to be perceived in the mouth is represented by crispness, something which directly recalls white wines. The pleasing crispness is supported by a good structure which is also strengthened by a slight - and however perceptible - astringency, result of the maceration of the skin in the must. Astringency in rose wines will never be strong like the ones of reds: the tactile perception - in particular in the gums and in the internal side of cheeks - is so weak which usually requires a higher attention of the taster.

 The second wine of which we are going to evaluate its gustatory qualities is Cataldi Madonna's Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Cerasuolo Pie' delle Vigne. Even in this case the attack in the mouth is pretty crisp. As opposed to the previous wine, it will be noticed a fuller structure and a higher roundness, factors which efficiently contribute to the good balance of the wine. Interesting is also the evaluation of the alcohol and its role in the balance. Let's now examine the third and last wine, Salento Five Roses Anniversario from Leone de Castris. Even the attack of this wine is characterized by a pleasing and evident crispness. Just like in the previous wines, astringency - although it is light - is however perceptible and well balanced by alcohol. Finally, it should be noticed how the structure of this wine is fuller than the previous ones. Despite the main quality of the three samples is represented by crispness - a typical quality in rose wines - it should be noticed how the structure and the astringency change according to the type of grapes used for the production of each wine.

 

Final Considerations

 In the last phase of the tasting - besides evaluating the good taste-olfactory persistence of the three wines - it is interesting to pay attention on the organoleptic sensations which develop in the mouth after having swallowed the wine. The finish of Librandi's Terre Lontane will be characterized by flavors of raspberry, cherry and plum, whereas in Cataldi Madonna's Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Cerasuolo Pie' delle Vigne we will find flavors of raspberry, strawberry and peach. Finally, Salento Five Roses Anniversario from Leone de Castris will be characterized by flavors of strawberry and raspberry and a hint of almond. In all the three wines will be found a fresh and acid taste - absolutely coherent with the type - a precious factor for the enogastronomical matching. The final sensations of rose wines will always recall flavors of red fruits - of which the most frequent ones are raspberry, cherry and strawberry - organoleptic qualities which anticipate their presence in the aromas and that make rose wines extremely pleasing and fresh.

 






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  Wine Tasting Issue 35, November 2005   
Italian Rose WinesItalian Rose Wines Wines of the MonthWines of the Month  Contents 
Issue 34, October 2005 Follow DiWineTaste on Follow DiWineTaste on TwitterIssue 36, December 2005

Wines of the Month


 

Score legend

Fair    Pretty Good    Good
Very Good    Excellent
Wine that excels in its category Wine that excels in its category
Good value wine Good value wine
Prices are to be considered as indicative. Prices may vary according to the country
or the shop where wines are bought




Barbera d'Alba Vigna Preda 2003, Barale Fratelli (Piedmont, Italy)
Barbera d'Alba Vigna Preda 2003
Barale Fratelli (Piedmont, Italy)
Grapes: Barbera
Price: € 19.00 Score:
The wine shows an intense ruby red color and nuances of ruby red, little transparency. The nose denotes intense, clean, pleasing and refined aromas which start with hints of raspberry, blackberry and cherry followed by aromas of blueberry, plum, violet, cyclamen, violet, vanilla and pink pepper. The mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a tannic attack and pleasing crispness, however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors. The finish is persistent with flavors of cherry, raspberry and plum. A well made wine. This Barbera is produced with late harvested grapes, ages for 12 months in cask followed by 6 months of aging in bottle.
Food Match: Roasted meat, Stewed and braised meat with mushrooms, Hard cheese



Barolo Vigna Bussia 2001, Barale Fratelli (Piedmont, Italy)
Barolo Vigna Bussia 2001
Barale Fratelli (Piedmont, Italy)
Grapes: Nebbiolo
Price: € 39.00 Score:
This Barolo shows a brilliant ruby red color and nuances of ruby red, moderate transparency. The nose reveals intense, clean, pleasing and refined aromas which start with hints of cherry and raspberry followed by aromas of violet, rose, cyclamen, plum, licorice, cinnamon, pink pepper, vanilla and menthol. The mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a tannic attack and pleasing crispness, however balanced by alcohol, full body, intense flavors. The finish is persistent with flavors of cherry, raspberry and strawberry. This Barolo ages for 3 years in cask followed by 2 years of aging in demijohn.
Food Match: Game, Braised and stewed meat, Roasted meat



Oltrepò Pavese Buttafuoco 2004, Quaquarini Francesco (Lombardy, Italy)
Oltrepò Pavese Buttafuoco 2004
Quaquarini Francesco (Lombardy, Italy)
Grapes: Croatina (50%), Barbera (30%), Ughetta di Canneto (20%)
Price: € 4.15 Score:   Good value wine
The wine shows an intense ruby red color and nuances of ruby red, little transparency. The nose reveals intense, clean and pleasing aromas which start with hints of cherry and raspberry followed by aromas of strawberry, blueberry, cyclamen, plum and rose. The mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a slightly tannic and effervescent attack, pleasing crispness, however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors. The finish is persistent with flavors of cherry, raspberry and blueberry.
Food Match: Sauteed meat with mushrooms, Stewed meat



Oltrepò Pavese Pinot Nero Blau 2001, Quaquarini Francesco (Lombardy, Italy)
Oltrepò Pavese Pinot Nero Blau 2001
Quaquarini Francesco (Lombardy, Italy)
Grapes: Pinot Noir
Price: € 5.65 Score:
This wine shows a brilliant ruby red color and nuances of ruby red, moderate transparency. The nose denotes intense, clean and pleasing aromas which start with hints of cherry and plum followed by aromas of strawberry, raspberry, cyclamen, rose and vanilla. The mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a slightly tannic attack and pleasing crispness, however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors. The finish is persistent with flavors of cherry, raspberry and strawberry. This Pinot Noir ages in barrique.
Food Match: Sauteed meat with mushrooms, Roasted fish, Stuffed pasta



Salice Salentino Rosso 2002, Vecchia Torre (Apulia, Italy)
Salice Salentino Rosso 2002
Vecchia Torre (Apulia, Italy)
Grapes: Negroamaro (90%), Malvasia Nera (10%)
Price: € 3.80 Score: Wine that excels in its category  Good value wine
This wine shows an intense ruby red color and nuances of ruby red, little transparency. The nose reveals intense, clean, pleasing and refined aromas which start with hints of black cherry, blackberry and plum followed by aromas of blueberry, violet, vanilla, licorice and carob. The mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a slightly tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors. The finish is persistent with flavors of black cherry, blackberry and plum. This Salice Salentino ages for 6 months in cask.
Food Match: Roasted meat, Broiled meat, Stewed meat



Primitivo 2002, Vecchia Torre (Apulia, Italy)
Primitivo 2002
Vecchia Torre (Apulia, Italy)
Grapes: Primitivo
Price: € 4.00 Score: Wine that excels in its category  Good value wine
The wine shows an intense ruby red color and nuances of ruby red, little transparency. The nose reveals intense, clean, pleasing and refined aromas which start with hints of black cherry and plum followed by aromas of blackberry, blueberry, violet, vanilla and carob. The mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a slightly tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors. The finish is persistent with flavors of black cherry, plum and blackberry.
Food Match: Stewed and braised meat with mushrooms, Roasted meat, Hard cheese



Narciso dei Poeti 2003, Alcesti (Sicily, Italy)
Narciso dei Poeti 2003
Alcesti (Sicily, Italy)
Grapes: Nero d'Avola, Cabernet Sauvignon
Price: € 11.00 Score: Wine that excels in its category
This wine shows a brilliant ruby red color and nuances of ruby red, moderate transparency. The nose reveals intense, clean, pleasing and refined aromas which start with hints of blackberry and plum followed by aromas of black cherry, violet, vanilla, licorice, carob and tobacco. The mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a slightly tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, agreeable. The finish is persistent with flavors of plum and blackberry. Narciso dei Poeti ages for 6 months in barrique.
Food Match: Stewed and braised meat with mushrooms, Roasted meat, Hard cheese



Ninfea 2004, Alcesti (Sicily, Italy)
Ninfea 2004
Alcesti (Sicily, Italy)
Grapes: Chardonnay, Grillo
Price: € 11.00 Score:
This wine shows a brilliant straw yellow color and nuances of greenish yellow, very transparent. The nose reveals intense, clean, pleasing and refined aromas which start with hints of hazelnut, banana and grapefruit followed by aromas of acacia, hawthorn, passion fruit, apple, yeast, toasted, vanilla and praline. The mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a crisp attack and pleasing smoothness, however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, agreeable. The finish is persistent with flavors of banana, hazelnut and grapefruit. The Grillo grape used for the production of Ninfea ages for 6 months in steel tanks whereas the Chardonnay ages for 6 months in cask.
Food Match: Stuffed pasta, Roasted fish, Roasted white meat



Nebbiolo d'Alba Valmaggiore 2003, Sandrone (Piedmont, Italy)
Nebbiolo d'Alba Valmaggiore 2003
Sandrone (Piedmont, Italy)
Grapes: Nebbiolo
Price: € 25.00 Score: Wine that excels in its category
The wine shows a brilliant ruby red color and nuances of garnet red, moderate transparency. The nose denotes intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant aromas which start with hints of cherry and plum followed by aromas of raspberry, blueberry, violet, rose, vanilla, tobacco, licorice, cinnamon, pink pepper and menthol. The mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a tannic attack and pleasing crispness, however well balanced by alcohol, full body, intense flavors, pleasing roundness. The finish is persistent with flavors of cherry, raspberry, plum and blueberry. A well made wine. This Nebbiolo ages for 12 months in cask followed by an aging of 9 months in bottle.
Food Match: Game, Roasted meat, Braised and stewed meat



Barolo Cannubi Boschis 2001, Sandrone (Piedmont, Italy)
Barolo Cannubi Boschis 2001
Sandrone (Piedmont, Italy)
Grapes: Nebbiolo
Price: € 70.00 Score:
This Barolo shows an intense ruby red color and nuances of garnet red, moderate transparency. The nose reveals intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant which start with hints of cherry, plum and raspberry followed by aromas of violet, strawberry, blackberry, blueberry, vanilla, licorice, tobacco, cocoa, cinnamon, mace, pink pepper and menthol. The mouth has excellent correspondence to the nose, a tannic attack and pleasing crispness, however well balanced by alcohol, full body, intense flavors, pleasing roundness. The finish is very persistent with long flavors of cherry, plum, raspberry and blueberry. A very well made wine. This Barolo ages for 24 months in cask.
Food Match: Game, Roasted meat, Stewed and braised meat, Hard cheese



Sindrada 2004, Fattoria di Castel Pietraio (Tuscany, Italy)
Sindrada 2004
Fattoria di Castel Pietraio (Tuscany, Italy)
Grapes: Chardonnay (90%), Malvasia Bianca (10%)
Price: € 5.50 Score:   Good value wine
This wine shows an intense straw yellow color and nuances of straw yellow, very transparent. The nose denotes intense, clean and pleasing aromas that start with hints of plum, banana and peach followed by aromas of pineapple, broom, pear and acacia. The mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a crisp attack and however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors. The finish is persistent with flavors of plum and pear.
Food Match: Pasta and risotto with fish, Fried fish, Sauteed fish



Chianti Colli Senesi Castel Pietraio 2003, Fattoria di Castel Pietraio (Tuscany, Italy)
Chianti Colli Senesi Castel Pietraio 2003
Fattoria di Castel Pietraio (Tuscany, Italy)
Grapes: Sangiovese (95%), Canaiolo Nero (5%)
Price: € 5.50 Score: Wine that excels in its category
The wine shows a brilliant ruby red color and nuances of ruby red, moderate transparency. The nose denotes intense, clean and pleasing aromas which start with hints of plum and black cherry followed by aromas of violet, raspberry, blueberry and vanilla. The mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a slightly tannic attack and pleasing crispness, however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors. The finish is persistent with flavors of plum and black cherry.
Food Match: Broiled meat and barbecue, Sauteed meat, Stuffed pasta



Friuli Grave Bianco Plui Vignis 2002, Pradio (Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italy)
Friuli Grave Bianco Plui Vignis 2002
Pradio (Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italy)
Grapes: Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Tocai Friulano
Price: € 13.50 Score:
This wine shows a brilliant golden yellow color and nuances of straw yellow, very transparent. The nose reveals intense, clean, pleasing and refined aromas which start with hints of plum and hazelnut followed by aromas of pineapple, banana, yeast, hawthorn, broom, pear, apple, papaya and vanilla. The mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a crisp attack and pleasing roundness, however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors. The finish is persistent with flavors of plum, pineapple and apple. Plui Vignis ferments in barrique.
Food Match: Mushrooms and fish soups, Roasted fish, Stuffed pasta, Roasted white meat



Friuli Grave Rosso Rok 2001, Pradio (Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italy)
Friuli Grave Rosso Rok 2001
Pradio (Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italy)
Grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot
Price: € 15.30 Score: Wine that excels in its category
This wine shows an intense ruby red color and nuances of ruby red, little transparency. The nose reveals intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant aromas which start with hints of black currant, black cherry and plum followed by aromas of raspberry, blueberry, violet, vanilla, tobacco, eucalyptus, licorice and pink pepper. The mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors. The finish is persistent with flavors of black cherry, plum and black currant. A well made wine. Rok ages for 16 months in barrique.
Food Match: Roasted meat, Stewed and braised meat, Hard cheese



Il Rogito 2003, Cantine del Notaio (Basilicata, Italy)
Il Rogito 2003
Cantine del Notaio (Basilicata, Italy)
Grapes: Aglianico
Price: € 12.00 Score:
This wine shows a pale ruby red color and nuances of cherry pink, moderate transparency. The nose reveals intense, clean, pleasing and refined aromas which start with hints of cherry, raspberry and vanilla followed by aromas of strawberry, blackberry, plum, cyclamen and rose. The mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a crisp attack and however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, pleasing roundness. The finish is persistent with flavors of cherry, raspberry and blackberry. Il Rogito ages for 12 months in cask.
Food Match: Stuffed pasta, Roasted fish, Fish soups, Roasted white meat



Aglianico del Vulture La Firma 2003, Cantine del Notaio (Basilicata, Italy)
Aglianico del Vulture La Firma 2003
Cantine del Notaio (Basilicata, Italy)
Grapes: Aglianico
Price: € 32.00 Score: Wine that excels in its category
The wine shows an intense ruby red color and nuances of ruby red, little transparency. The nose reveals intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant aromas which start with hints of blackberry, black cherry and plum followed by aromas of violet, vanilla, tobacco, black currant, licorice, carob, black pepper, mace and menthol. The mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, full body, intense flavors. The finish is persistent with flavors of black cherry, plum and blackberry. A well made wine. La Firma ages in cask for 12 months followed by 4 months of aging in bottle.
Food Match: Braised and stewed meat, Roasted meat, Game, Hard cheese






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  Wine Producers Issue 35, November 2005   
CalatrasiCalatrasi Cellar JournalCellar Journal  Contents 
Issue 34, October 2005 Follow DiWineTaste on Follow DiWineTaste on TwitterIssue 36, December 2005

Calatrasi

The history of a dream which turns into reality in Sicily with vineyards capable of producing 276 different varieties of grapes and from which are being produced modern wines with the richness of an ancient land

 The story of Calatrasi winery - located at San Cipirello, few kilometers south from Palermo, Sicily - born by the intuition of a physician who, after a journey in California, realizes his land, Sicily, would have been capable of offering the same. That physician is Dr. Maurizio Miccichè, today passionate viticulturist and owner of one of the most important wineries of Sicily. Everything originated after a journey in California where he learns about the managerial methods of wine making: an union of enology, viticulture and marketing which convinces him to do same in his land. That was how in 1985 Maurizio Miccichè decided to start in the Valle dello Jato a winery near the one of his father, with the aim of making a consumer friendly wine, capable of giving emotions to the senses of consumers. That dream did not end in Sicily, and soon after those concepts and that way of making wine, was extended in Apulia and in Tunisia as well, where today Calatrasi winery owns domains and vineyards.


Dr. Maurizio Miccichè, chairman of
Calatrasi
Dr. Maurizio Miccichè, chairman of Calatrasi

 Calatrasi winery was established in 1980 by Giuseppe and Maurizio Miccichè brothers - who inherited from their father the passion for the world of wine - who started one of the most dynamic wineries of Sicily, and their wines are now renowned both in Italy and in other countries of the world. The winery's headquarter is located at San Cipirello, south from Palermo - among the green hills of Valle dello Jato - with an acreage of 25,000 square meters, a bottling system producing 12,000 bottles per hour and a cellar with 4,000 barriques of French and American oak, producing about 8,000,000 bottles per year. Thanks to the expansion which took place from 1986 on - an investment on technology and qualified personnel - Calatrasi winery had in 2004 a total income of 13 millions of euros and distributing its wine in more than 22 countries in the world while becoming one of the most important wineries of Sicily.

 The project has been expanded, going beyond the borders of Sicily and arrived in Apulia and Tunisia. The family estates are all located in Sicily at Campofiorito, with 264 hectares near Corleone, at Campo della Ginestra, 100 hectares between Cipirello and Piana degli Albanesi and, finally, at Mazara del Vallo with vineyards of 150 hectares. In the estates located in Sicily are being cultivated both autochthonous varieties - such as Catarratto, Grillo and Nero d'Avola - as well as international varieties such as Viognier, Chardonnay, Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. The estates in Apulia are located in the Salento area, with a fermentation cellar and 240 hectares of vineyards cultivated with Primitivo, Negroamaro, Syrah and Merlot grapes. The estate in Tunisia, called Domaine Neferis, is located between Tunis and Hammamet, has a cellar, a bottling plant and 200 hectares of vineyards cultivated with Carignan, Grenache Noir, Cinsaut, Syrah and Chardonnay grapes.


Domaine Neferis in Tunisia
Domaine Neferis in Tunisia

 With these premises born the project of Calatrasi winery, the one of realizing a cosmopolitan winery, not only in the richness of vineyards and of laboratories in which are being cultivated 276 different varieties of grapes, but also in the team of experts who work in the winery. Calatrasi is in fact supported by a team of expert agronomists and wine makers from many countries of the world, therefore becoming a pioneer of a new culture in the production of wine, where the ancient tradition of Sicily and south Italy offers its cultural heritage to advanced technology, meeting what is today called “the taste of the new world”. It is the will of realizing such a project which ensured Calatrasi the support of important wine professionals, such as Tamra Washington - in charge of wine production and wine quality control - the talented New Zealander wine maker who graduated in Wine and Vinification Science at Lincoln University, Canterbury (New Zealand), who then acquired experience in vinification and fermentation of wines in New Zealand, United States of America and Australia.

 Maurizio Miccichè's goal is to make quality wines capable of satisfying the need of a higher and higher number of consumers interested in the beverage of Bacchus. The productive and commercial philosophy of Calatrasi is summarized by Miccichè's words: «Even the ones who do not know anything about olfactory sensations and consistency, in front of a good glass no one should feel like an ignorant. Knowing the history of Charlemagne in order to recognize a French wine should not be necessary. We do not have noble titles to sell, we are happy not to have a catalog with elite products. We try our best in order to make a beverage which can be enjoyed with pleasure, offered at reasonable prices, ranging from 5 to 20 euros. We are ambassadors of a new south: this is how we want to introduce ourselves». A commercial philosophy which brought Calatrasi to sell its wines in every region of Italy, as well as in Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, England, Tunisia, Canada, Japan, Finland, Sweden, Russia, Poland, Turkey, Norway, United States of America, France, Denmark, Netherlands, Austria, Australia, Brazil, India and Ireland. Cosmopolitan, even in distribution.


 

 Calatrasi's wine show in the glass their convincing quality, wines capable of attracting the senses of consumers, also thanks to the successful union between tradition and innovation. Of particular interest are the wines of the D'Istinto range, such as Magnifico d'Istinto - produced with Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Syrah grapes - as well as the interesting and very good Ljetas d'Istinto, a pleasing white produced with Catarratto, Chardonnay and Viognier grapes. Also good the wines of the “historical” Terre di Ginestra range, in particular the ones belonging to the “651” branding, produced with grapes cultivated in vineyards at 651 meters of altitude. From the vineyards most exposed to the sun of Sicily, are being produced the wines of the Accademia del Sole range, with Viognier, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grapes. Wines produced in the estates of Apulia are commercialized with the Allora branding, currently made of two wines produced with 100% Primitivo and Negroamaro grapes. Finally, in Tunisia are being produced two wines - both belonging to the Selian range, the ancient name of Sahara desert - produced with Carignan and Syrah grapes.

 




Score legend

Fair    Pretty Good    Good
Very Good    Excellent
Wine that excels in its category Wine that excels in its category
Good value wine Good value wine
Prices are to be considered as indicative. Prices may vary according to the country
or the shop where wines are bought




Accademia del Sole Viognier 2004, Calatrasi (Sicily, Italy)
Accademia del Sole Viognier 2004
Calatrasi (Sicily, Italy)
Grapes: Viognier
Price: € 7.60 Score: Wine that excels in its category
The wine shows a pale straw yellow color and nuances of greenish yellow, very transparent. The nose reveals intense, clean, pleasing and refined aromas which start with hints of peach and elder followed by aromas of acacia, pineapple, banana, litchi, apple and pear. The mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a crisp attack and however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, agreeable. The finish is persistent with flavors of peach, pineapple and pear. This Viognier ferments and ages in barrique.
Food Match: Roasted white meat, Roasted fish, Fish soups



Ljetas d'Istinto 2004, Calatrasi (Sicily, Italy)
Ljetas d'Istinto 2004
Calatrasi (Sicily, Italy)
Grapes: Catarratto, Chardonnay, Viognier
Price: € 4.80 Score: Wine that excels in its category  Good value wine
This wine shows a brilliant greenish yellow color and nuances of greenish yellow, very transparent. The nose reveals intense, clean, pleasing and refined aromas which start with hints of banana and pear followed by aromas of acacia, pineapple, hawthorn, apple and peach. The mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a crisp attack and however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, agreeable. The finish is persistent with flavors of peach, pineapple and pear.
Food Match: Pasta and risotto with crustaceans, Sauteed Crustaceans, Sauteed fish



Terre di Ginestra Catarratto 2004, Calatrasi (Sicily, Italy)
Terre di Ginestra Catarratto 2004
Calatrasi (Sicily, Italy)
Grapes: Catarratto
Price: € 7.20 Score:   Good value wine
The wine shows a brilliant greenish yellow color and nuances of greenish yellow, very transparent. The nose reveals intense, clean, pleasing and refined aromas which start with hints of pear, apple and broom followed by aromas of pineapple, hawthorn, orange blossom, chamomile, lemon, peach and plum. The mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a crisp attack and however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, agreeable. The finish is persistent with flavors of pear, peach and plum, This Catarratto ages for a short period in barrique.
Food Match: Fried fish, Pasta and risotto with fish and crustaceans, Broiled fish and crustaceans, Cereals and legumes soups



Sidi Salem Carignan Selian 2003, Calatrasi (Sicily, Italy)
Sidi Salem Carignan Selian 2003
Calatrasi (Sicily, Italy)
Grapes: Carignan
Price: € 11.50 Score: Wine that excels in its category
The wine shows a brilliant ruby red color and nuances of ruby red, moderate transparency. The nose reveals intense, clean and pleasing aromas which start with hints of cherry and blackberry followed by aromas of plum, vanilla, tobacco, rose and walnut husk. The mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a slightly tannic attack and pleasing crispness, however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors. The finish is persistent with flavors of cherry and plum. Carignan Selian ages for 8 months in barrique.
Food Match: Broiled meat, Roasted meat, Hard cheese



Terre di Ginestra 651 2002, Calatrasi (Sicily, Italy)
Terre di Ginestra 651 2002
Calatrasi (Sicily, Italy)
Grapes: Nero d'Avola, Syrah
Price: € 14.40 Score:
The wine shows an intense ruby red color and nuances of ruby red, little transparency. The nose denotes intense, clean, pleasing and refined aromas which start with hints of black cherry, plum and blackberry followed by aromas of violet, vanilla, carob, licorice, tobacco, mace, pink pepper and menthol. The mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, agreeable. The finish is persistent with flavors of black cherry, plum and blackberry. A well made wine. Terre di Ginestra 651 ages for 8 months in barrique followed by 3 months of aging in bottle.
Food Match: Roasted meat, Stewed and braised meat, Hard cheese



Magnifico d'Istinto 2002, Calatrasi (Sicily, Italy)
Magnifico d'Istinto 2002
Calatrasi (Sicily, Italy)
Grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Petit Verdot
Price: € 15.60 Score: Wine that excels in its category
This wine shows an intense ruby red color and nuances of ruby red, little transparency. The nose reveals intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant aromas which start with hints of black currant, plum and black cherry followed by aromas of blackberry, violet, vanilla, carob, licorice, tobacco, mace, black pepper and menthol. The mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, full body, intense flavors. The finish is persistent with flavors of black cherry, plum and black currant. A well made wine. Magnifico d'Istinto ages for 12-18 months in barrique followed by 3 months of aging in bottle.
Food Match: Game, Stewed and braised meat, Roasted meat, Hard cheese



Calatrasi - Contrada Piano Piraino - 90040 San Cipirello, Palermo, Italy - Tel. +39 091 8576767 Fax. è39 091 8576041 - Winemaker: Tamra Washington - Established: 1980 - Production: 8.000.000 bottles - E-Mail: info@calatrasi.it - WEB: www.calatrasi.it


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 In this section are published news and information about events concerning the world of wine and food. Whoever is interested in publishing this kind of information can send us a mail to our address.

 




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Matching Wine and Cereals

Among the most ancient foods known by humans, fundamental ingredients of the famous Mediterranean diet, cereals can be used in countless ways in cooking and are good allies of wine

 If we take a look at the past, to the origins of human nutrition history, cereals - in their humble and ancient shape - have always been present since the very beginning of humanity. Their nutritional importance has always been high even in later times: in every place of the world cereals have always played - and keep on playing - a fundamental role for the survival of human beings. Humble in their shape and in their nature, but big for what they can express with their small grains. Cereals keep intact their incredible richness still today, in these modern times of we civilized and evolved men who base our nutrition on disputable healthy nutritional values - but however well supported by marketing, fashion and frenzy of the society of which we all are responsible - in which the humble image of cereal does not have the important place it would deserve instead. With time, cereals have become an uncommon food and scarcely considered - even because of their humble fame - common in the nutrition of the lower social classes, of those people who, maybe, are still capable of being wondered in front of the simplicity of little but big things.

 With the exception of rice - which still today is highly considered in the gastronomies of the world - cereals are less and less used for the nutrition of western people, whereas they still play an important role in people of the rest of the world. Despite the campaigns for the support of cereals by institutions and the world of medicine - so many times they emphasized the importance of a correct nutrition in which should be present cereals as well - this category of food hardly have a place in nutritional customs, saved in the form of processed and more attractive foods in which are used other ingredients as well. Nevertheless, the cooking tradition and the culture of every country of the world is so rich of tasty recipes and preparations based on cereals that - this is the case to say - they would make happy even the most sophisticated and refined gourmands. For example, how many tasty and colored soups can be made with cereals? If we count - for example - the recipes of typical soups in the Italian cooking tradition, we can count tens of them.

 

An Ancient Food in a Modern World

 Cereals are herbaceous plants belonging to the family of gramineae, of which the main representatives are wheat, rye, oat, barley, rice, sorghum and corn. Despite its name can make think differently, buckwheat is not a cereal because it belongs to the family of polygonaceae. Since ancient times, the most frequent use of cereals was represented by the production of flour with which - after having been properly kneaded and shaped - were being obtained other foods, such as bread. Cereals are also consumed as whole grains - after having been properly processed in order to remove any non edible part - for the preparation of soups and salads. Thanks to their high content in starches, cereals are also used for the production of fermented beverages thanks to the action of yeasts which transform sugar into alcohol, such as in case of beer, the most common beverage belonging to this family and mainly produced with barley.


A cereal soup can be matched to rose
wines as well
A cereal soup can be matched to rose wines as well

 Cereals, besides playing a fundamental role in human nutrition since thousands of years, also have the important record for having originated agriculture, with which humans could ensure themselves a better and richer stock of food. Spontaneous gramineae - the species to which cereals belong to - could be easily harvested in the impervious areas in which they usually grew, and soon after their cultivation was organized in specific areas, therefore beginning agriculture and the development of whole civilizations. Maybe it was also because of their high adaptability in different soils and environments, as well as their countless nutritional uses, which allowed a fast and vast spreading of cereals, as their cultivation was pretty simple and did not require the use of particular techniques. Soon after, to the cultivation of cereals followed the one of legumes: a combination which is still found in every country of the world and still today - it is enough to think about the renowned Mediterranean diet - are the base of the cooking culture in these countries. Cereals, just like legumes, also offered another important advantage: they could be kept with relative simplicity and ensured a rich and abundant support for daily survival.

 Today, the most common varieties of cereals are wheat, spelt, corn, barley, rice, oat, millet and rye. All these varieties are used for human and animal nutrition, both in form of flour as well as whole grains. The most common cereal, mainly used in form of flour, is wheat. Original from the Southwestern Asia, wheat is a cereal belonging to the triticum genre, all being derived from triticum monococcum, that is small spelt. Wheat is classified as durum wheat (triticum durum) - from which is produced a flour called semolina, mainly used for the preparation of pasta - and common wheat (triticum vulgare), whose flour is used in bakery, pastry cooking and for the preparation of pasta. The use of the whole wheat grain is now pretty limited, sometimes used as an ingredient in some soups. The most important element of the triticum family, is spelt, one of the most important cereals in the past, which was even used as money in trades.

 Spelt - whose origin is believed to be the area of Palestine - was the most important cereal for ancient Romans and Etruscans, a tradition which is still alive today in the lands once inhabited by these two people. The most common varieties of spelt are small spelt (triticum monococcum), common spelt (triticum dicoccum) and big spelt (spelta triticum). Despite its cultivation is more difficult than wheat, spelt was recently revaluated after having faced a long time of oblivion, and today - as it was in the past - spelt is used for the preparation of tasty soups and, sometimes, as a flour as well. Corn is a cereal originated in Central America, known in two varieties: white corn and yellow corn. Of the two, the yellow variety is more common and both the varieties are mainly used in form of flour, however it is also common the consumption of the grains. Corn flour is typically used in Italy for the preparation of polenta and desserts.


 

 Barley - among the most ancient and common cereals of the world - is known by humans since the stone and bronze age and it still plays an important role in human and animal nutrition. Barley is consumed both as in form of grains as well as in form of flour, moreover, the toasted and ground grain is used for the preparation of the so called barley coffee, a beverage still common today. Barley contains a high quantity of proteins - among the highest of all cereals - and its most classical use is for the preparation of soups. Moreover with barley sprouts is being obtained malt, from which is produced by fermentation beer and by distillation whisky and vodka. Rice - after wheat - is the most common cereal in the world, virtually present in every country, represents one of the main and most important sources for the survival of millions of human beings. The most common varieties of rice for human nutrition are oryza sativa japonica, typical in western countries, and oryza sativa indica, very common in Asian countries.

 The use of rice is extremely vast and its usage is not limited to nutritional purposes only. According to a nutritional point of view, rice is used both as in form of grains as well as in form of flour, it is also used in pastry cooking. Although today it is mainly used for animal nutrition, in past times oat was very used by humans for their nutrition. The most typical use of oat is in form of flour for the preparation of bread and biscuits, as well as in form of flakes for the preparation of soups, rarely, in form of grains. Very common in the countries of Northern Europe and in particular in Germany, rye is a cereal originating from Southwestern Asia whose cultivation is dated back to thousands of years ago. Because of the hardness of its grains, rye is mainly used as a flour for the production of bread, whereas from its fermented grains are being produced some distillates, such as rye whisky and vodka. Millet, once very common in Europe for the nutrition of humans, is now mainly consumed in Asia and in Africa. Whole grains are used for the preparation of soups, whereas millet flour is used for the production of bread and polenta.

 

Cooking With Cereals

 The use of cereals in cooking - or better to say, in the preparation of foods - is very vast and rich as they can be cooked in many ways and they can even be used as side dishes for other foods. Cereals are widely used in form of flour, both in bakery and pastry cooking, as well as a thickener for sauces and condiments because of their high content in starch. Cereal flours - properly boiled in water, milk or broth - can be used for the preparation of dishes, such as polenta or flour soups. Cereals are mainly used in form of whole grains for the preparation of soups, to which are usually added other ingredients in order to enrich their taste. In the preparation of soups are frequently used many varieties of cereals, therefore increasing the nutritional value of the dish as well as improving its taste. Moreover, cereals are good side dishes and make an excellent base for salads, boiled or steamed, then properly drained and seasoned with oil - as well as by adding other ingredients - can be used as appetizers.

 The cooking of cereals varies according to the variety and type. In general terms, for the preparation of soups are used dry cereal grains: it is in fact pretty uncommon to use fresh cereals, with the exception of corn. Cereals are usually boiled, frequently steamed - which have the advantage of keeping a higher quantity of nutritional principles - both by using a pressure cooker as well as by using a basket. Cooking times vary according to the type of cereal and - in particular - the hardness of the grain, the content in starches and proteins. Before cooking, it is advised to rinse cereals - with the only exception being represented by rice - in order to remove dust and any possible debris. It is preferable to avoid the soaking of refined cereals before cooking, with the exception of rye and oat. Soaking is advised for every whole cereal, with the exception of rice and millet. It is also advised to use - whenever possible and according to the recipe - whole cereals instead of the refined ones. In fact, whole cereals contain a higher quantity of fibers, useful for the bowl, which in our modern diet - mainly made of refined food and therefore having little quantities of fibers - can be very useful. In case are being used whole cereals, it is good to remember they require longer cooking times than refined cereals.

 

Matching Cereals and Wine

 Cereals can be used for the preparation of rich and complex recipes, such as certain coups, as well as simpler preparations in case they are served as side dishes. Cereals - consumed after being simply boiled - because of the high content in starch, have a basically sweet taste. This organoleptic quality would suggest the use of white or rose wines, as well as slightly sparkling wines or sparkling wines. This choice is usually appropriate, however it should be remembered cereals are rarely consumed after having being boiled and without adding any other ingredient. The most simple form of consumption - to be carefully evaluated - is represented by salads, where boiled and drained cereals make the main ingredient and to which are added, in lesser quantity, other ingredients. In this specific case seems to be appropriate the matching with a crisp and young white wine, as well as a sparkling wine produced with the Charmat method.

 The matching gets more complicated in case of soups, because - in general terms - these dishes are richer and more robust, in particular for the richness of ingredients used in the preparation. In soups - besides cereals - can also be added the most diverse ingredients, such as meat, fish, mushrooms and vegetables: factors which will be scrupulously evaluated and that will determine the matching. In soups is also good to consider the use of tomato that - with its basically acid taste - will require the matching with a white wine with a good body and roundness, or a full bodied rose wines, as well as an average bodied red wine. Soups with no tomatoes can also be matched with white and rose wines, as well as with sparkling wines, even classic methods. A tasty dish prepared with corn flour - both white and yellow - is polenta. Typical in the regions of Northern Italy, polenta is usually prepared with pretty rich, complex and succulent sauces and condiments, generally made of braised meat, as well as game. Polenta - a dish which can also be considered robust according to the condiment - can be well matched to full bodied red wines, whose astringency will be useful in balancing the high succulence caused by the condiments.

 




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Beans

The most famous representatives of legumes, beans are rich in proteins and fibers, a tasty food and an important help for a correct nutrition

 With the term bean it is intended a plant of the genus phaseolus belonging to the family of leguminosae. Beans are the seeds of these plants. There are more than 14,000 varieties of beans, most of them originating from South America, and of them, only twenty two are used in cooking. Moreover, there are beans varieties suited to be consumed as whole - that is with the pod - generally called green beans: in this case the bean must be consumed when it has reached full ripeness. Bean plants have in common the rounding shape of leaves and of flowers - white or pink - which bear pods, that is the fruits, with the characteristic stretched shape and at whose inside are found the seeds. The harvesting period varies according to the variety, generally from June to October.

 

Short History of Beans

 Beans were known by ancient Greeks and Romans, however these varieties did not belong to the species known today. Beans that were known in ancient times originated from Asia and Africa, they were what we know today as black-eyed beans, of small size, pale color almost white and a small black stain in the point where it is attached to the pod. The beans generally consumed today, originated from Central-Southern America and were introduced in Europe by Spaniard and Portuguese explorers around the sixteenth century, after having been discovered by the famous explorer Christopher Columbus during its second journey to Cuba. In Mexico beans are being cultivated and consumed for more than 7,000 years.


Beans: a rich and nutrient food
Beans: a rich and nutrient food

 In Europe beans are being consumed since the beginning of the 1500's: they were introduced in Northern Italy, in France and in Germany and it were Europeans to introduce beans in North America. The species of beans originated from South America are Lima bean and common bean. Whoever has the chance to travel to Mexico can notice in local markets are commercialized even twentyfive different varieties of beans. Lima bean was exported in Africa from America during the period of slaves. Spaniards, during the time of their explorations, introduced beans in Asia.

 Today beans are considered an ingredient of the poor man's cooking, whereas in the 1500's they were mainly consumed by rich and noble classes. Beans were in fact served in the tables of the most rich people and were also used as a gift in special or important occasions. In the Middle Age - when Europe was severely decimated because of famines and epidemics which affected thousands of people - in periods when people had problems in finding food, beans and legumes represented an important source of proteins which could revitalize people severely affected by famines. Legumes - easy to find, to cultivate, with a pretty low price and, in particular, rich in proteins - have literally saved whole generations, while making them more resistant to diseases. Legumes actively contributed to the repopulation of Europe.

 After the discovery of the New World, the family of legumes in Europe grew up with the arrival of beans. In a painting of Annibale Caracci (1557-1602), titled “il mangiatore di fagioli” (bean eater) and kept at Colonna gallery at Rome, is depicted a man of the people - sat down at a simple and poor table - eating beans. Even in America the importance of beans is strongly associated to the people: one of the 300 Indians tribes is in fact called Papago, that is “bean people”.

 

Properties of Beans

 Beans have many important properties, not only according to a point of view associated to human metabolism, but also according to an agronomic point of view. Cultivating a land with plants of beans, means enriching it with azote, an important element capable of improving the conditions and the characteristics of the soil. Beans are very nutrient and rich in vitamins A, B, C and E. Concerning vitamin C, it should be remembered it is considerably lost in prolonged cooking. Beans also contains mineral salts and oligo elements, such as potassium, iron, calcium, zinc and phosphor. Just like all the other legumes, beans are rich in lecithin, a phospholipid which favors the emulsion of fats, avoiding their accumulation in blood and therefore reducing the level of cholesterol.


 

 Beans are rich in fibers - in particular, soluble fibers - which favors a better digestion. One hundred grams of dry beans provide 24 grams of proteins and 2.5 grams of fats; the same quantity of meat provides 15 grams of proteins and 15 grams of fats. Despite its high nutritional value, it is always advisable to eat beans together with cereals. A given quantity of beans contains 23% of proteins, as opposed to 15-20% of fish and 10-20% of meat, however the proteins of beans, although being quantitatively higher, are qualitatively inferior, because they lack of some essential aminoacids. For this reason our ancestors were used to eat pasta and beans; they matched cereals and beans, which contain the essential aminoacids lacking in beans. The combination of beans and cereals therefore ensures the whole range of essential aminoacids. It should be remembered essential aminoacids are indispensable to our organism for the “construction” of proteins, a process which requires the availability of raw matters, represented by aminoacids.

 Our organism is capable of “constructing” only twelve of the twenty essential aminoacids, the others must necessarily be got from foods and for this reason are defined as essential. Bean's proteins lack of cysteine, tryptophan and metionine: for this reason they are considered poor, as opposed to the ones of meat which contains them all. However cysteine, tryptophan and metionine are contained in cereals: a quality which makes the matching of beans and cereals very important according to a nutritional point of view.

 Beans are made of 60% of starches and sugar, whereas green beans are made of 90% of water, therefore their content in proteines is lesser than beans, however they contain a higher quantity of mineral salts and vitamin A. Beans are useful for obesity as 100 grams provides the same calories of 80 grams of pasta and of 120 grams of bread and, moreover, they are richer in fibers. Beans help to recover kidney functions thanks to the oligo elements they contain. With bean's pods can be prepared a tisane which can help to reduce the cholesterol in blood and to lower blood pressure, as well as having an antibacterial effect.

 

Main Varieties of Beans

 The number of beans varieties used for human nutrition is pretty high. Following is a short list of the most common varieties:

 

  • Borlotto Bean - of brown-red color, is used for the preparation of soups and creams, it has a more intense flavor than the other varieties
  • White Bean of Spain - suited for the preparation of salads and stews, it is characterized by a pretty delicate taste
  • Cannellino Bean - with a characteristic cylindrical shape, it is suited to be dried or canned. It is one of the most valued varieties.
  • Toscanello Bean - very valued variety, small sized and with a white color
  • Lamon Bean - produced in the countryside of Belluno (Italy), it is particularly appreciated for its thin skin and the soft pulp
  • Scottish Bean - of white color and violet stains
  • Sarconi's Bean - cultivated in the Agri valley (Basilicata, Italy), it has been recognized as IGP (Indicazione Geografica Protetta, Protected Geographical Indication)
  • Black-eyed Bean - of cream white color, it can be recognized for the characteristic black ring located in the point where the seed is attached to the pod, it is mainly commercialized dried
  • Lima Bean - of white or violet like color, with green flowers and high trunk, this variety originated from South America and it is particularly appreciated for its taste
  • Black Bean - of brilliant mahogany color
  • Roviotti's Bean
  • Vigevano's Bean

 

Cooking Beans

 Beans are usually commercialized both fresh and dry, or canned. Whenever possible, it is always suggested the consumption of dry beans - although this requires the necessary operation of soaking - because they have a better and superior taste than canned beans. Fresh beans, in order to keep their organoleptic qualities, must be removed from the pod soon before being cooked. This operation avoids - of better to say, limits as much as possible - the contact of the skin with the air therefore avoiding its hardening. Fresh beans can be kept in the freezer after having been put in boiling water for some minutes. Fresh beans are cooked by pouring them in cold water, the pot will be then covered and allow water to boil: cooking times will vary according to quality. Dry beans are usually commercialized without pods. In order to soften the skin, it is appropriate to soak them for about 12-24 hours in lukewarm water. During the soaking, water should be replaced two times and it must not be used for cooking. Green beans can be boiled in abundant boiling water for a time usually from 20 and 30 minutes.

 Cooking methods for beans and basically two: stewing and boiling. Cooking times are pretty variable. Borlotto bean requires about 40 minutes of cooking time, Spanish beans requires about one hour and a half, whereas dried beans requires about two or three hours. These are - of course - indicative times and that can change in case of particular recipes. Dry beans, before being cooked, must be selected, every extraneous body should be removed, including the ones showing holes or wrinkles, a characteristic which could signal the presence of parasites. Moreover, it is good to check for the absence of humidity because beans kept in wet places can develop toxic molds. Beans can be kept up to one year and in dry places, shielded from light. After this period, beans will begin to lose their best organoleptic and nutritional qualities.

 Beans have disappeared from the table of our times because of the annoying “side effect” of bowl meteorism, a characteristic which deprived modern nutrition of important supply of fibers and proteins. Meteorism is caused by bean's fibers - which are not absorbed by the organism - and when they are in the bowl produce gas. For this reason, the consumption of beans is not advised to anyone suffering of this problem. A method to avoid meteorism, consists in sieving part of the beans. It is enough to sieve just a part of them because in the skins are found enzymes useful for digestion, moreover it is advisable to cook beans with thyme, cumin, laurel and onion, that is the herbs which have the effect of promoting digestion and the expulsion of intestinal gases. The consumption of beans it is not suggested to anyone. In case of arthritis, arthrosis, gout, kidney stones and excess of uric acid, it is always recommended to limit or avoid the consumption of beans. In this cases can be consumed green beans, which contains a lot of water and a low quantity of proteins. Finally, it should be remembered beans are generally consumed cooked because some varieties - in case they are consumed raw - can have toxic effects.

 



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Aquavitae

Review of Grappa, Distillates and Brandy

 

Distillates are rated according to DiWineTaste's evaluation method. Please see score legend in the "Wines of the Month" section.



Grappa di Aglianico del Vulture Bianca, Cantine del Notaio (Basilicata, Italy)
Grappa di Aglianico del Vulture Bianca
Cantine del Notaio (Basilicata, Italy)
(Distiller: Distillerie G. Bertagnolli)
Raw matter: Pomace of Aglianico del Vulture
Price: € 25.00 - 50cl Score:
This grappa is colorless, limpid and crystalline. The nose reveals intense, clean and pleasing aromas of blackberry, raspberry, prune, hazelnut and walnut husk, with almost imperceptible alcohol pungency. In the mouth has intense flavors, good roundness, perceptible alcohol pungency which tends to dissolve rapidly, agreeable and balanced sweet hint. The finish is persistent with flavors of prune and blackberry. This grappa is produced with bainmarie discontinuous steam operated alembic still. Alcohol 42%.



Grappa di Aglianico del Vulture Affinata, Cantine del Notaio (Basilicata, Italy)
Grappa di Aglianico del Vulture Affinata
Cantine del Notaio (Basilicata, Italy)
(Distiller: Distillerie G. Bertagnolli)
Raw matter: Pomace of Aglianico del Vulture
Price: € 31.00 - 50cl Score: Wine that excels in its category
This grappa shows an intense amber yellow color, limpid and crystalline. The nose reveals intense, clean, pleasing and refined aromas of vanilla, chocolate, caramel, prune, hazelnut, almond, honey, black cherry and tobacco, with almost imperceptible alcohol pungency. In the mouth has pleasing roundness and intense flavors, perceptible alcohol pungency which tends to dissolve rapidly, good correspondence to the nose, pleasing and balanced sweet hint. The finish is persistent with flavors of prune, licorice, almond and honey. A well made grappa produced with discontinuous method in steam operated alembic stills and aged in barrique for about 30 months. Alcohol 42%.



Grappa di Prosecco, Carpenè Malvolti (Veneto, Italy)
Grappa di Prosecco
Carpenè Malvolti (Veneto, Italy)
Raw matter: Pomace of Prosecco
Price: € 11.00 - 50cl Score:
This grappa is colorless, limpid and crystalline. The nose reveals intense, clean and pleasing aromas of pear, apple, hazelnut, wistaria and banana, with almost imperceptible alcohol pungency. In the mouth has intense flavors, with perceptible alcohol pungency which tends to dissolve rapidly, good correspondence to the nose, good roundness, pleasing and balanced sweet hint. The finish is persistent with flavors of pear, apple and banana. This grappa is produced with steam discontinuous alembic still. Alcohol 40%.



Grappa Riserva, Carpenè Malvolti (Veneto, Italy)
Grappa Riserva
Carpenè Malvolti (Veneto, Italy)
Raw matter: Selection of aged grappas
Price: € 11.00 - 70cl Score: Wine that excels in its category
This grappa shows a pale straw yellow color, limpid and crystalline. The nose reveals intense, clean and pleasing aromas of pear, vanilla, hazelnut, honey, licorice and banana, with almost imperceptible alcohol pungency. In the mouth has intense flavors, with perceptible alcohol pungency which tends to dissolve rapidly, good correspondence to the nose, pleasing and balanced sweet hint. The finish is persistent with flavors of licorice and hazelnut. This grappa is distilled with steam operated discontinuous alembic still and ages in cask. Alcohol 40%.



Grappa di Arneis 2003, Santa Teresa Marolo (Piedmont, Italy)
Grappa di Arneis 2003
Santa Teresa Marolo (Piedmont, Italy)
Raw matter: Pomace of Arneis
Price: € 26.00 - 70cl Score:
This grappa is colorless, limpid and crystalline. The nose denotes intense, clean and pleasing aromas of hazelnut, pear, broom, dog rose, peach and banana, with almost imperceptible alcohol pungency. In the mouth has intense flavors and pleasing smoothness, perceptible alcohol pungency which tends to dissolve rapidly, good correspondence to the nose, agreeable and balanced sweet hint. The finish is persistent with flavors of hazelnut and pear. This grappa is distilled in bainmarie discontinuous alembic still. Alcohol 42%.



Grappa Petit Verdot, Casale del Giglio (Latium, Italy)
Grappa Petit Verdot
Casale del Giglio (Latium, Italy)
(Distiller: Distilleria Pilzer)
Raw matter: Pomace of Petit Verdot
Price: € 12.00 - 50cl Score:
This grappa shows a pale amber yellow color, limpid and crystalline. The nose reveals intense, clean and pleasing aromas of vanilla, licorice, hazelnut, prune, honey, raspberry, walnut and honey, with almost imperceptible alcohol pungency. In the mouth is agreeable and has intense flavors, with perceptible alcohol pungency which tends to dissolve rapidly, good correspondence to the nose, pleasing roundness, balanced sweet hint. The finish is persistent with flavors of honey, licorice and prune. This grappa is distilled with bainmarie discontinuous alembic still and ages in cask for some years. Alcohol 43%.





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Wine Parade


 

The best 15 wines according to DiWineTaste's readers. To express your best three wines send us an E-mail or fill in the form available at our WEB site.


Rank Wine, Producer
1 Palazzo della Torre 2000, Allegrini (Italy)
2 Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Riparosso 2001, Illuminati (Italy)
3 Aglianico del Vulture La Firma 2002, Cantine del Notaio (Italy)
4 Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos 2002, Domaine Billaud-Simon (France)
5 Riesling Cuvée Frédéric Emile 1999, Maison Trimbach (France)
6 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 1998, Santa Sofia (Italy)
7 Trento Talento Brut Riserva Methius 1998, Dorigati (Italy)
8 Colli Orientali del Friuli Rosazzo Bianco Terre Alte 2002, Livio Felluga (Italy)
9 Harmonium 2001, Firriato (Italy)
10 Riesling Central Otago 2004, Felton Road (New Zealand)
11 Edizione Cinque Autoctoni 2001, Farnese (Italy)
12 Brunello di Montalcino 1999, Castello Banfi (Italy)
13 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2000, Zenato (Italy)
14 Riesling Spätlese Nierstein Brudersberg 2003, Weingut Freiherr Heyl Herrnsheim (Germany)
15 Conte Bolani 2001, Tenuta Ca' Bolani (Italy)

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