Wine Reviews

Brut Nature, Christophe Mignon

Dear readers,

Today we’re talking about tasting and we could not miss this terrific Champagne, the Brut Nature by Christophe Mignon, currently one of my favorites, also for a high price quality ratio.

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Obtained from Pinot Meunier in purity, this Brut Nature by Mignon is very interesting because it represents a rarity in the “landscape” of Champagne.

Pinot Meunier is a grape variety that generally gives softness and roundness to the Champagne and rarely we get interesting Champagnes from Pinot Meunier in purity: this grape is considered minor by purists of Champagne, because is often used to correct the imperfections of the vintage and it can not be compared to the two Champagne vine princes, the elegant and fine Chardonnay and the powerful and structured Pinot Noir.

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The Brut Mignon has a creamy mousse and a really amazing sap. The effervescence is fine and not aggressive, the bubbles are fine, numerous and well defined.

At the nose, aromas of fresh, soft and fluffy fruits, yellow flowers, yeast, butter and brioche.

On the palate, a lovely and embracing sap, an excellent freshness and a balanced equilibrium in hardness.

Enchanting in pairing with seafood appetizers, fried and grilled shellfish, pasta with seafood based sauce and white meat (great with chicken!).

A masterpiece!

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Recipes and wine pairing

Brandacujun (Ligurian Stockfish Traditional Recipe)

Dear readers,

Here we are at the end of this week and I thought of a tasty and traditional recipe, still unknown to many Italians, the Bradacujun.

The Brandacujun is a traditional recipe of the Ligurian cuisine, made with potatoes and stockfish (or cod): the name comes from one phase of the preparation, in fact, the name is compound by “brandato”, which means “shaken vigorously” until the mixture is well mixed.

Ingredients

300g of Stockfish (or salted codfish, already soaked in water) (10.5 oz)
300g of potatoes (10.5 oz)
A clove of garlic
Juice of half a lemon
Half glass of warm milk
The right amount of parsley, salt and pepper
Olives (the “Taggiasche” if you find them)

Preparation

Wash the potatoes, peel and cut them into very small pieces.

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Cut the stockfish into strips and place them in a pot with the potatoes over medium-high heat: since the mixture will begin to boil, let it cook for 1 hour, until the potatoes and the stockfish will be soft.
After a few minutes, the mixture should form a foam; remove it with a ladle and cover the pot so as to facilitate the cooking.
At this point, after it is boiled for one hour (from the time that the water in the pot began to boil), drain it and let the mixture cool.

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Next, remove the thorns of the stockfish and, in the meantime, put a clove of garlic to fry in the pan for 5 minutes.
Although the compound, by tradition, should be “crushed” by hand with a mortar, to speed up the preparation of Brandacujun, I recommend using an electric mixer to mix the potatoes with the stockfish.

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Later, once removed the garlic from the pan, put the mixture in the pan and fry it for 5 minutes. Add the lemon juice, pepper, half a glass of warm milk and keep it in the pan for another 3-5 minutes, until the mixture will be solid.

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Finally, add extra virgin oil, parsley and olives.

Conservation

You can store the Brandacujun for a maximum of two days in plastic or glass sealed jar in the refrigerator.

And the wine?

For Brandacujun I chose a classic, Alma Brut Cuvée by Bellavista, a fabulous bubble of Franciacorta.
With an excellent flavor and effervescence, this Metodo Classico (Champenoise method) matches perfectly with the creaminess and the softness of the Brandacujun.
At the nose, fresh and intense perfumes of ripe citrus, slightly sweet ripe pear and delicate notes of vanilla and chlorophyll.
On the palate it is fresh and tasty and you feel a good match between the perfumes at the nose and the aromas in the mouth.

If you cannot find it, I recommend other Italian Metodo Classico or a Champagne, even better if they’re made only from Chardonnay grapes.

And now, enjoy!

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Recipes and wine pairing

Baccalà Mantecato (Salted Creamed Codfish)

Dear readers,

Today I thought about another simple traditional recipe, with a delicate flavor, the Baccalà Mantecato.

You will need a few ingredients, and to speed up the preparation, you can use the salted codfish already soaked in water.

Ingredients:

400g of salted codfish already soaked in water
50ml of liquid fresh cream
50ml of fresh whipped cream
150ml of milk
Extra virgin olive oil
Seed oil
A tablespoon of chopped parsley
A clove of garlic
The right amount of Salt and pepper
Toasted Bread for the serving

Preparation

Place the salted codfish (already soaked) in the milk, in a heated pot over low heat.

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Mix it slowly and let it boil for 10 minutes, until it is soft.
Drain the salted codfish and kept the warm milk for the final step.

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Place the salted codfish in a blender, making sure to add gradually a bit of vegetable oil, then a bit of olive oil and the warm milk previously used.
Add a tablespoon of chopped parsley, salt, pepper and let cool the mixture.
At this point, making sure that you have previously cooled enough the mixture, whip the cream and add it to the mixture and stir gently.

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We’re done!
You can taste the Baccalà Mantecato on toasted bread as in figure!

Conservation

You can store the Baccalà Mantecato for a maximum of two days in plastic or glass sealed jar in the refrigerator.

And the wine?

For the Baccalà Mantecato I chose a Cruasé Oltrepò Pavese 2009 vintage, produced by Bruno Verdi.

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The Cruasé is a Metodo Classico sparkling rosé, obtained by vinification of Pinot Noir at least 85%.
From the beautiful grain and fine and persistent bubbles, this Cruasé Bruno Verdi has an excellent flavor, good freshness, good length and structure.
On the nose, aromas of lemon, lime and citrus fruits in general.
The palate is soft and has a good mousse that favors pairing with our recipe!

Bon Appetite!

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Recipes and wine pairing

Bignè with smoked salmon mousse

Happy new year and welcome back dear readers,

Today I thought of a super fast recipe that you can really prepare in 5 minutes and it will be ideal for your interesting starters, the Bignè with smoked salmon mousse.
If you do not have available the Bignè, you can spread the salmon mousse on a classic sandwiches or toasted bread, much easier to find.

And now we start!

Ingredients:

100g of mascarpone cheese (or philadelphia cheese or cream cheese) (3.5 oz)
100g of smoked salmon (3.5 oz)
50g of fresh whipped cream (1.7 oz)
the right amount of pink pepper and salt
15/20 empty Bignè

Preparation

Cut the salmon into thin slices and add the mascarpone.
Started to blend the mixture with the mixer, taking care to add gradually milk to facilitate the blending.

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Add salt, the pink pepper and whip the fresh cream with the electric beater.
Add two tablespoons of whipped cream, stir the mousse, fill the Bignè and we have finished!

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Conservation

You can store the smoked salmon mousse for a maximum of two days in a sealed plastic or glass jar in the refrigerator.

And the wine?

For the Bignè with smoked salmon mousse I chose a Cruasé Oltrepò Pavese 2009 vintage, produced by Bruno Verdi.

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The Cruasé is a “Metodo Classico” (also known as Champenoise method) rosé, obtained by the vinification of Pinot Noir grapes, at least 85% of the total amount.

With a beautiful grain and fine and persistent bubbles, this Cruasé Bruno Verdi has an excellent flavor, good freshness, good persistence and structure.

At the nose, aromas of lemon, lime and citrus fruits in general.
On the palate is quite soft and has a good mousse that favors the pairing with our recipe!

And now, Bon Appetit!

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Archive, Art & Wine, Music & Wine, Recipes and wine pairing, Sport & Wine, Wine Curiosity, Wine Reviews

Merry Christmas!

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Dear readers,

Here I am wishing you a very special and serene holiday for this Christmas!

Enjoy traditional and new recipes, drink good wine, eat great food and don’t forget to do what you want to do!

 

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Recipes and wine pairing

Vin Brulé (Italian Mulled Wine)

Dear readers,

we are very close to the Christmas holidays and I could not miss the recipe for the Christmas wine par excellence, the Italian Vin Brulé.

Easy to prepare, Vin Brulé is a good hot drink to deal with icy days and has deep roots in European history: is known as Glühwein in Germany, as Vin Chaud in France and as Mulled Wine in UK.

Vin Brulé is great when accompanied by roasted chestnuts, chocolate sweets and desserts and biscuits (even better if they are made of shortbread pastry)!

Ingredients (for 2/3 cups):

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500ml of full-bodied red wine
a quarter of apple
Peel of half an orange
Peel of half a lemon
1 cinnamon stick
3 cloves
a little bit of nutmeg
70gr of sugar (2.5 oz)

Preparation

Wash the fruits, dry them and prepare the peel, the spices, the sugar and cut the quarter of apple into thin slices.
Pour the wine and the other ingredients into a pan.
Stir often, in order to mix the ingredients.

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Bring to boil the mulled wine, at low heat, so as to raise the intensity of the aromas of the peel and spices.
Once the mulled wine will begin to boil, let it boil for another 5 minutes.

Before serving, filter the mixture and the Vin Brulé is ready!

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And the wine?

For Vin Brulé recommend using a red wine that has a good body and structure: there are excellent wines from southern Italy, Negroamaro and Primitivo, which are full-bodied, soft and lightly sweet, or Barbera, if you are a traditional one. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel, Syrah, Grenache, Gamay are also suitable; the only important thing is they should have a good body.

Have a nice drinking and a nice holiday!

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Recipes and wine pairing

Spaghetti with Anchovies in olive oil and cherry tomatoes

Dear readers,

For this weekend I though about a very simple and quick recipe to prepare (5 mins), but so much tasty, the Spaghetti with Anchovies in oil and cherry tomatoes!

Ingredients (for 2 people):

100g of cherry tomatoes (3.53 oz)
2 cloves of garlic
Extra virgin olive oil
6 anchovies in oil

Preparation

Heat the olive oil in a pan and then put the two cloves of peeled garlic to fry.

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Meanwhile, wash and dry the tomatoes and cut them in half.
Put the six anchovies in oil in the pan and “mash” them until they are “dissolved” in the oil.

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Remove the two cloves of garlic from the pan and add the chopped cherry tomatoes.

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Let the cherry tomatoes cook for 5 minutes over high heat till they seem as in figure below.

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Serve the sauce on spaghetti: well, we’ve done!

Conservation

It’s better not to keep or store this sauce in the refrigerator: prepare it directly with the right doses!

And the wine?

For the Spaghetti with anchovies in oil and cherry tomatoes, I chose a simple wine, the Beaujolais Nouveau 2014 by George Deboeuf.

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This wine is rather rounded and it has good alcohol percentage, good intensity and delicate tannin: this means that it matches the intensity of the flavor of the anchovies, the oily sensation and the cherry tomato, a tough ingredient in pairing food and wine!

At the nose, intense perfumes of ripe banana and ripe strawberries.

If you can not find it, I recommend other Beaujolais Nouveau or rosé wines with the same characteristics mentioned above. If you opt for a white, I recommend one who has a good persistence and intensity.

And now, enjoy!

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Wine Curiosity

French bottles: Bordeaux, Burgonet & Alsatian

Dear readers,
Today, after having told you the story of the Albeisa bottle, I’m going on with the French bottles: the Bordeaux, the Burgonet and the Alsatian.


The Bordeaux is probably the most used ever, both for red and white wine: originally from Bordeaux, has very pronounced shoulder which comes in handy to hinder the escape of any deposits when pouring the wine, especially if the wine aged a long time inside the bottle.

There is also the “high shoulder” version, in a narrower and longer size. It is also called the “Bordeaux Goliath” and is used for the most valuable white and red.

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For the white wines, the Bordeaux is almost always transparent in color, while the red is mostly dark green or brown. Unfortunately, the transparent glass for white wines is absolutely not the most suitable color, in fact, the white wine is more delicate and sensitive to light and should be stored in bottles of a dark color.


The Burgonet is a native of Burgundy, the famous area for its greatest Pinot Noirs. Very similar to the Albeisa, it differs in the least shoulder pronouncement.

It is made of good thickness and is transparent in color for white wines and green or brown for red wines. For its weight and its ease of storage, Burgonet has spread all around the world, becoming a kind of bottle widely used especially for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, the two most representative wines of Burgundy.


The Rhine bottle, originally from the Rhine area, is often green in color (for wines from the Mosel) or brown, and it is used for white wines from Germany and many other areas of the world. Its main feature is the lack of the shoulder.

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In Alsace this bottle is called the Alsatian and differs slightly in shape. It is often colored green or brown.

breganzeA curious anecdote concerns the challenge between the wines of Bordeaux and Alsace: it is said the Alsatians went proud of their bottles without shoulder, as their red wines did not form sediments, making it qualitatively more clear than those of Bordeaux. However, we must remember in Alsace white wines are the majority, about 82% of total production, and red wines of Alsace are obtained predominantly from Pinot Noir grapes, which generally produces less sediment in the bottle compared to a Cabernet or a Merlot.

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Recipes and wine pairing

Pesto Hamburger filled with Asiago cheese

Dear readers,
Here we are with the recipe of the weekend!

For this weekend, I thought about a very tasty recipe, easy to prepare, the hamburger with Pesto, filled with Asiago cheese. If you want, for the Pesto, you can use my recipe which I have proposed in the previous posts, in order to prepare a totally homemade hamburger!

Let’s start!

Ingredients (for one burger):

150/200 gr of minced beef (5.3/7 oz)
20 gr of Asiago cheese (otherwise scamorza or provolone are the same) (0.7 oz)
1 teaspoon of Pesto (link to the recipe)
Half a tomato cutted in cubes
Buns

 

Preparation

Prepare the base for the burger: on a plate, spread and flatten the minced beef until you obtain a thin and compact base. Repeat the procedure for the upper base.

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Slice the Asiago cheese, spread it over the base and, later, spread a thin layer of Pesto on top of the cheese.
Put the upper base above and try to “seal” the two bases, helping with your fingers.
Meanwhile, prepare the tomato cubes and cook the burger on high heat.
The hamburger should not be cooked for a long time, so as to keep the juices inside the meat, however, cook it according to your preferences.
If you have a microwave oven, heat the buns for about 30 seconds, so as to make it soft and smooth.
Finally, put the hamburger in the buns, taking care to put a thin layer of pesto and tomato cubes over the meat (as in the figure below).

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And the wine?

For this Pesto hamburger filled with Asiago cheese I chose the barbera “Monella” 2013 by Braida.

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A lightly sparkling wine, with great personality, body and good freshness.
On the nose, aromas of red fruit and cherries in brandy.

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“Monella” is perfect in pairing with the Pesto Hamburger, thanks to the soft bubbles that help to “clean” and “degrease” the palate from the cheese and to the body and intensity which do not dominate and vanish in comparison with the meat.

If you can’t find it, I suggest a sparkling red wine with the same characteristics like Lambrusco di Gasparossa or Barbera. Even a Brut Rosè would be perfect, if you prefer an elegant pairing.

And now, enjoy!

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Wine Reviews

Beaujolais 2014

Dear readers,

Today we will talk about the 2014 Beaujolais vintage, the French famous “new wine” made from Gamay grapes.

This wine is well characterized by simplicity, freshness and red fresh fruit perfumes at the nose and is great to be served in pairing with winter dishes and not only: it is a good companion of roasted chestnuts, soups, vegetable soups, white meat, fresh cheese, mushrooms, vegetables, fish and pizza.

I’ve tried three Beaujolais, to get an idea of what we can expect from this 2014 harvest.


George Dubœuf

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Purple in color, this Beaujolais is characterized by a good freshness and a delicate tannin.

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It is a balanced wine and quite fine. At the nose, rounded and intense perfumes of ripe banana and ripe strawberries.


Protheau et Fils

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Similar perfumes as the Dubœuf Beaujolais, although a bit more pungent.

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On the palate, it is perceived more freshness and a slight hint of bitterness which characterizes the final. Good balance too.


Florence Vinaton

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The color is more lively and has a remarkable smoothness on the palate, in which is perceived more tannin, although it remains delicate.

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At the nose more floral notes, including fresh violets, and the banana perfume is more attenuated, donating more finesse to the wine perfume.

Did you try other Beaujolais or the same? Comment and share your opinion!

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