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Africa-Europe cookbook: the ultimate diplomatic tool to bring two continents to the table

The Delegation of the European Union to the African Union launches a book with 70 recipes from African and European countries, cooked up by AU and EU Commissioners and EU Member State Ambassadors.

What do Hungarian goulash, Spanish gazpacho and Congolese Saka Saka have in common? As typical recipes from their countries, they are unique expressions of diverse cultural identities, but there is something else: all of them share the magical power of food to create social bonds around a table. From Finish Lapland to South African Cape Agulhas, Europeans and Africans alike share the passion for good food. Then, why not use this “delicious” diplomatic tool to strengthen friendship and understanding between these two continents? That is exactly the intention of the Delegation of the European Union to the African Union: they have just published an Africa-Europe Cookbook with a selection of recipes from the two continents prepared by AU and EU Commissioners, AU and EU Member State Ambassadors and other diplomats based across Africa.

“Those who are engaged daily in the relationship between Africa and Europe see diversity as an attraction, not a challenge”, says Ranieri Sabatucci, the EU Ambassador to the African Union, who prepared himself a Lasagne al Forno to represent Italian cuisine in the cookbook. “Culture in general and food in particular are essential elements of this diversity. But food also has a unique ability to connect people, to make them feel closer. Complex negotiations and business deals always include a meal. It is on these occasions that trust, friendship and understanding are established”.

Food memories: a tasty way to get to know people

The cookbook is a collection of recipes from 70 African and European countries. The colour and flavour of each dish tells us a story, and it is not only about their places of origin, but also about the people who prepared it and their emotional attachments to food. For instance, those reading the book will find out that Commissioner Ansip cannot imagine summer in Estonia without picking wild chanterelle mushrooms, the same ones he used to cook a typical Kukeseenekaste (Chanterelle sauce). “Every family has their own secret places where to pick fresh chanterelle mushrooms – these places are guarded sacredly and information is not shared with just anybody”, he reveals.

For Commissioner Crețu, traditional Romanian Sarmale (cabbage rolls with pork and rice) works exactly as Proust’s famous madeleines did: “the smell of Sarmale emanating from a kitchen brings me back to my childhood years”, she says about a dish that her family used to cook for Christmas, weddings or birthday parties when she was a child.

EU Delegation to AU@EUtoAU

We’re thrilled to see all your positive reactions to our Africa-Europe Cookbook! Have you already tried our Ambassador @SabatucciEU ’s lasagne recipe? Buonissimo! bit.ly/2LVNBgd @eu_eeas

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Some delegations invited renowned chefs or other local personalities to cook the recipes together. Frédéric Bontems, Ambassador of France to Ethiopia, teamed up with Ethiopian chef Yohanis to prepare an orange-nigella religieuse, a French dessert fused with traditional Ethiopian ingredients. The cooking session took place at the global Goût de France / Good France culinary event, and was featured on Chef Yohanis’ cooking show on Ethiopian TV.

EU Ambassador to Nigeria, Ketil Karlsen, took the chance to invite Senator Binta Masi Garba, the only female senator from the 19 states of Northern Nigeria. They cooked Green Gazpacho, a cold soup prepared with local vegetables and herbs invented by Karlsen, and a pumpkin-less version of Miyan Taush, a Nigerian traditional soup.

These are just a few of the stories behind a book that will surely encourage Africans and Europeans to get to know each other better and realize that, beyond our cultural differences, we are all human beings who share a common passion no matter where we live: having a good meal!

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 Passopisciaro, Mount Etna Passorosso and Passobianco 2017

 

“The 2017 growing season was exceptionally hot, even on Mount Etna,” commented Andrea Franchetti, the oenologist who was one of just a handful of pioneers to recognise the winemaking potential of the volcano’s utterly unique soils and climate. His research led him to select 26 hectares of terraced vineyards that today constitute the Passopisciaro wine estate. “Nonetheless,” he continued, ”that intense heat, which continued unabated into September, with diurnal temperature fluctuations less marked than usual, had no negative impact at all on wine quality; rather, the marriage of the site’s unique conditions of sunlight, elevation and volcanic soils retained its determining influence and yielded wines of powerful character.”      

 

Passorosso 2017

Passorosso 2017, 100% Nerello Mascalese, is an eloquent interpretation of its Etna home, and in particular of the villages of Malpasso, Guardiola, Santo Spirito, Favazza, and Arcuria, lying at elevations of 500 to 1100 feet. Soils in the highest zones are composed of large-size gravel, while those lower down are deeper and finer-grained, derived from ancient lava flows. In 2017, ripening in the vineyards was slow and gradual, and harvest arrived slightly early, between 20 and 29 October. Following fermentation in steel, Passorosso concluded malolactic in large oak ovals, where it matured over some 18 months. The wine boasts an ultra-crisp acidity and earthy minerality, impressive structure and body, and restrained alcohol.   

 

 

Passobianco 2017

The all-Chardonnay Passobianco 2017 is grown in four hectares at an elevation of 850-1000 metres, where the steep terraces in the Guardiola district offer loose, deep soils of lava derivation with high mineral content. During the 2017 season, the Chardonnay vines required spray irrigation at night to ward off heat stress, and harvest came early, between 13 and 30 August, bringing yields that were lower than normal but with concentrated fruit. The must fermented 20 days at around 23°C in steel, then Passobianco matured for 10 months in both concrete vats and large oak ovals. Today, it is crisp and zesty, with its prominent tropical fruit promising significant longevity.       

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When Andrea Franchetti met Mount Etna, the offspring of the encounter was Passopisciaro. In 2000, Franchetti began to reconstitute the terraced vineyards of Nerello Mascalese, successively planting new vineyards at densities of 12,000 vines per hectare and then restructuring a building, at 800 metres’ elevation, that would eventually become the Passopisciaro winecellar. Thus began Etna’s winemaking renaissance. Andrea Franchetti was likewise the proponent of the concept of the “vini di Contrada,” or wines reflecting the various individual districts, which today is celebrated by the international-level event “Le Contrade dell’Etna” that focuses on the Nerello grape.

Today, the Passopisciaro estate relies on 26 hectares of vineyards distributed over the north flank of Etna; most are planted to Nerello Mascalese, often un-grafted vines 80-100 years old, but there are Petit Verdot, Cesanese di Affile, and Chardonnay as well. Eight wines are produced. In addition to Passorosso and Passobianco, the portfolio boasts five crus: the contrade of Chiappemacine, Porcaria, Guardiola, Sciaranuova, and Rampante, plus the prestigious Franchetti, a marriage of Petit Verdot and Cesanese d’Affile. Andrea Franchetti is the owner of Tenuta di Trinoro as well, located at Sarteano (Val D’Orcia) in Tuscany, famous for its Bordeaux blend wine of the same name.

Début of Tenuta di Trinoro vintage 2017, flanked by a new Bianco

2017 was a challenging growing year. Even a unique environmental niche such as the Val d’Orcia had to confront, like the rest of Italy, three months of intense summer heat, made more severe by a lack of groundwater reserves, the result of the previous relatively dry winter. But the Tenuta di Trinoro team was successful in meeting the challenge, demonstrating determined, expert vineyard management that put into practice every tenet of the production philosophy of Andrea Franchetti, winery founder and creator of wines unique for their concentration, depth, and complexity.   

 

Thanks to the lengthy, hot season, there was certainly no lack of concentration in the fruit. At harvest, begun 27 September and concluded 13 October, the berries were small, with thick skins and little juice, and their wines emerged near-opaque, black, and concentrated. It required waiting some months before they could be evaluated properly and a final blend assembled, which privileged Cabernet Franc, at 69%, assisted by 23% Merlot and 8% Cabernet Sauvignon.   

Tenuta di Trinoro 2017 is full-bodied with fine depth, “and dense-packed, silky tannins; the palate showcases well-ripened plum and blueberry, with wild herb and iron-like impressions,” explained Franchetti. Some years of bottle-ageing will allow it to achieve full expression and “to lose those slight vegetal notes that, of course, are classic to the two Cabernets.”    

2017 also marks the debut—at least to the markets – of the Tenuta’s Bianco, a one-of-a-kind, 100% Semillon that grows in a tiny, sandy-soil parcel at an elevation of 630 metres and with a very tight, 1 x 1 metre layout. The pronounced aromatic qualities classic to the variety are nicely balanced in the grapes by a forward crispness and acidity, producing a wine that is concentrated yet taut, displaying great depth and promising significant cellarability.  

 

Tenuta di Trinoro. Located near Sarteano, at the entrance to the Val d’Orcia, in southeast Tuscany, the estate boasts 16 vineyard parcels, totaling some 25 hectares, planted at elevations of 450-650 metres. Tenuta di Trinoro is a Bordeaux-style cuvée that has always been the estate’s keystone wine. Its portfolio also includes Le Cupole, a younger and more accessible wine from the estate vineyards; I Campi, from three parcels of Cabernet Franc; the all-Merlot Palazzi; and, debuting with the 2017 vintage, Bianco di Trinoro.      

Veneroso Terre di Pisa from Tenuta di Ghizzano

The “Tenuta di Ghizzano” (Ghizzano Estate) is one of the oldest farms in the area and also one of the most innovative. Today it is made up of about 350 hectares of which 20 dedicated to vines, 20 to olives, 150 hectares of cereal and the remaining 150 is made up of woods and poplar groves.

The family settled in Ghizzano towards the end of the 14th century. The winery and oli mill are both situated right next to the tower built in 1370 by Venerosi Pesciolini ancestors. Grapes and Olives, and the production of wine and oil, have been at the heart of family’s activities and have encompassed the whole of the Estate as it is today. Ghizzano is a small hilltop village, about 200m above sea level, not far from the Tuscan coast.. The landscape is gentle and the climate mild, thanks to the sea breeze, and without extreme temperatures or great risk of springtime frosts. The land has an interesting makeup.

We tasted: Veneroso doc Terre di Pisa 2015

Il Veneroso, the historical and most representative wine of the estate, was named after Veneroso Venerosi who was the first to dedicate his passion to the land and wine-making. The intuition and courage that Pierfrancesco showed in his ambitions for the Estate have been fully repaid over time.  This wine is produced by 70% Sangiovese e 30% Cabernet Sauvignon.

This wine has a ruby red, lively and bright color. We found notes of cherry and blackberry jam, mint, chocolate and tobacco blend on slightly spicy, mineral and smoked traces. It has rare complexity, excellent acidity and dense and very fine tannins. In the mouth has long persistence of ripe fruit, it is a full-bodied wine of great softness and elegance with a well supported shoulder.

Food pairing: It is a red wine that is enhanced with particularly seasoned meats, but also with a mushroom sauce and seasoned cheese.

 

MASSETINO A ‘SECOND VIN’ BORN AFTER THE SELECTION MADE FOR MASSETO

 

Massetino 2017 the ‘second vin’ of Masseto will make its début in October 2019 and will be available to selected accounts in Italy and the US during its first vintage release.

 

“Massetino comes from a strict selection from the estate vineyards made during blending” says Axel Heinz, Estate Director.

 

The 2017 vintage was hot and dry, requiring a very accurate selection. Less Masseto was produced, so it was considered the right moment to bottle Massetino. 

 

Giovanni Geddes, CEO Masseto comments: ‘It seems to be a natural development for the Masseto Estate to produce a ‘second vin’ and the 2017 vintage proved to be the right time to do it.  It is an exciting moment for the Masseto Estate and the new winery provides us with the right environment to pursue this new project’.

 

2017 will be remembered as one of the hottest and driest vintages in recent history. Due to an unusually mild winter with temperatures 3°C above average, budbreak occurred two weeks earlier than usual. Apart from a brief period of cold weather towards the end of April, the entire growing season was dominated by warm and dry weather, leading to a reduced development of the canopy.

As a result, Massetino 2017 represents the characteristics of this vintage: dark in colour with rich and ripe aromatics, dominated by ripe plums and blackberries. The palate is broad and rich, with a remarkable freshness and firmness of structure. 

 

Only a very limited number of bottles have been produced in this first vintage and distribution has therefore been concentrated to selected accounts in Italy and in the US.

Casa do Capitão-Mor Reserva Alvarinho

Quinta de Paços Sociedade Agrícola, Lda. is a family-based company driven by inemaker Luís Cardoso Meneses   which exploits its agricultural patrimony aiming to produce high-quality wines with a distinctive personality, resulting from a special emphasis on their natural and authentic character in Portugal.

The society’s patrimony comprises an area of around 200 hectares, divided into five estates in the municipality of Barcelos – Casa de Paços – Quinta de Paços, Prazo da Cotovia, Morgadio do Perdigão, Quinta de Vila Meã and Morgadio de Real – and one in the municipality of Monção – Casa do Capitão-Mor – Quinta da Boavista.

In the municipality of Barcelos, Casa de Paços – Quinta de Paços has remained a property of the same family for more than 400 years and 15 generations, maintaining a tradition of expertise on wine making in the region of Minho lasting for more than 4 centuries.
We tasted: Casa do Capitão-Mor Reserva Alvarinho 2016
This wine is produced on granitic calcareous covered by a land terrace of rolled pebbles. It is about 900m from the river Minho, and his average altitude is 60m high in a flat terrain.
The weather transition between continental and seashore climate, with mainly cold winters with no snow or frost, and hot summers whose temperatures reach 40o Celsius, this is the main secret of this Alvarinho.
The grapes are hand harvested, destemmed, and all of them are submitted to pellicular maceration for five hour, with temperature control. After being decanted. The must is fermented in stainless steel at low temperature and the wine stays on top of the slim lees with “batonnage” until bottling. Ages 6 months in bottle.
This wine has good citric color. It has a fruity aroma, soft, fresh. In the mouth has flavors citrus fruit, woodland cherries, fresh almond and peach, elegant and a pleasant finish in an outstanding balance.
Ideal with grilled fish, white meat and seasoned cheese. 
This wine is among 50 Best Portuguese Wines.

Fresh toasts to Col Vetoraz’s summer, where harmony is at home

 

The welcome wine par excellence knows how to adapt to every season of the year but you know, in summer it more easily recalls the desire for liveliness, joy, lightness and sharing in friendship. And what summer would it be without exchanging toasts and smiles? Col Vetoraz puts his answer in the glasses giving for the most beautiful season of the year so much lively freshness, but without forgetting the notes of elegance and harmony that have always been the distinctive feature of his sparkling wines.

In line with the desire for pleasantness typical of these months of the year, among the labels of the company from Santo Stefano di Valdobbiadene we specially choose two wines at the antipodes in terms of taste; Valdobbiadene DOCG Brut for dry palates and Valdobbiadene DOCG Extra Dry for those who prefer more sweet tones.

The first is obtained from grapes from the hillside vineyards exposed to the west where ripening is ideal to produce this specific type, suitable for palates that prefer dry, intense and dry taste without sharpness but at the same time gives delicate aromas. It can be enjoyed on fish starters, mixed fried fish, aged cheeses, even processed vegetables, first courses with seafood and baked fish dishes. The second, friendly that immediately invites you to taste is the true prince of aperitifs. It is obtained thanks to a careful selection of the grapes that grow in the exclusive area of ​​Valdobbiadene, has a balanced taste and elegant tones whose moderate residual sugar contributes to obtaining a great harmony of the whole. The delicately fruity aromas recall the rose, the acacia flower, the delicate vine flower, the white peach, the pear, and a slight citrus fruit. It can also be paired with meats, croutons, fresh cheeses, salmon canapés or smoked sturgeon, or with pasta dishes such as cold or legume soups or with raw fish, lobster, scampi and seafood salads accompanied with side dishes. potatoes and herbs.

Always at the forefront of the most accredited wine competitions, here are the awards obtained in the last period by the company’s wines. The International Wine and Spirit Competition 2019 awarded the Silver Medal to Valdobbiadene DOCG Superiore di Cartizze with 92 points and Valdobbiadene DOCG ‘Dosaggio Zero’ with 90 points while the Bronze Medal at Valdobbiadene DOCG Brut 2018, at Valdobbiadene DOCG Extra Dry 2018 and Valdobbiadene DOCG Dry Millesimato 2018. A Bronze Medal at Valdobbiadene DOCG Extra Dry was received at the International Wine Challenge 2019.

There are instead five Silver Medals awarded by the XIII International Wine Competition “Città del Vino”, Forum Spumanti (formerly Mayor’s Selection) to all five types of sparkling wine.

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