Recipes and wine pairing

Tagliatelle with shrimps and sun-dried tomatoes

Dear readers,

This time I thought of a delicious recipe and very easy to prepare, the Tagliatelle with shrimps and sun-dried tomatoes!

Are we ready to go?
Here’s what we need.

Ingredients (for 2 people):

200 gr of Tagliatelle (7 oz)
50 gr of fresh shrimps (1.8 oz)
Half an onion
Half a stalk of celery
Half a carrot
A knob of butter
6 sun-dried tomatoes (or “semi-secchi” “semi-sundried”, as I prefer)
Salt q.s.

Preparation

Boil the water in a pot, so as to be able then to “sauté” the Tagliatelle in the “hot” sauce. I recommend you to use long pasta such as Tagliatelle or Fettuccine, because these kinds “capture” the sauce very well!

A tip: if you want to sauté the pasta in the sauce, you should cook one minute less than indicated in the package. In this way the pasta will have a perfect consistency and will be not too soft and overcooked.

Now, wash the shrimp, dice the onion, carrot and celery and then put the vegetables to fry for 5 minutes in a pan with a knob of butter.

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After the vegetables “reach” a golden color, sauté the shrimps in the pan at medium heat.
Add the sun-dried tomatoes and sauté it for a few minutes.
Then, add salt: if the pasta is ready, drain it and sauté in the pan (with the sauce) at medium heat for a minute and serve.
Vice versa, turn off the heat and wait for the pasta to be ready, then sauté the pasta in pan at medium heat for a minute.

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We’re done!

And the wine?

In Pairing with Tagliatelle with shrimps and sun-dried tomatoes, I chose a Blanc de Blancs Champagne, the Brut Réserve Sélection produced by Michel Turgy.

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This Blanc de Blancs (Champagne made exclusively from Chardonnay grapes) has a foam that lasts two minutes: really impressive!
It has a very dense, persistent and very defined Perlage and it well matches with the shrimp, the main character of our recipe.

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At the nose, fresh perfumes of citrus peel, lemon, lime, green apple and a hint of honey.
On the palate, this Champagne is soft, creamy and you can feel the classical slightly almond note in the end.

If you can not find it, I recommend you other Blanc de Blancs Champagne or Metodo Classico (Franciacorta or Trento DOC) which have a good sap, freshness and effervescence.

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Recipes and wine pairing

Tagliatelle with Porcini mushrooms and Guanciale (jowl bacon)

Dear readers,

we’re back to our weekly recipe and, this time, I propose a fast recipe, suitable for this winter season, the Tagliatelle with porcini mushrooms and Guanciale, which is similar to jowl bacon.

You will need only a few ingredients and very little time!

Ingredients (for 2 people):

80 gr of porcini mushrooms (2.8 oz)
75 gr of diced Guanciale jowl bacon (or bacon) (2.8 oz)
200 gr of Tagliatelle (7 oz)
A clove of garlic
A knob of butter
The right amount of parsley and salt

Preparation

Peel a clove of garlic, prepare mushrooms and dice the Guanciale (or bacon).

If you use dried porcini mushrooms, wash them, so that they can be added later in the cooking; if you have them frozen, you can put them directly in the pan.
Meanwhile, put to boil the water in the pot, so as to be able to sauté the pasta in the still hot sauce. I recommend you to use long pasta such as Tagliatelle or Fettuccine, because these kinds “capture” the sauce very well!

A tip: if you want to sauté the pasta in the sauce, you should cook one minute less than indicated in the package. In this way the pasta will have a perfect consistency and will be not too soft and overcooked.

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Heat the butter in a pan and saute the peeled clove of garlic at medium heat.
Add the mushrooms, let them cook alone for a few minutes and then add the Guanciale cutted into cubes.
At this point, after 6/7 minutes, add the parsley and the salt: if the pasta is ready, drain it and sauté in the pan (with the sauce) at medium heat for a minute and serve.
Vice versa, turn off the heat and wait for the pasta to be ready, then sauté the pasta in pan at medium heat for a minute.

We’re done!

And the wine?

For the Tagliatelle with porcini mushrooms and Guanciale, I chose a Champagne with a significant body and character, a Pinot Noir in pureness, the Brut Blanc de Noirs by Henriet Bazin.

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Very intense in taste and of remarkable body, this Pinot Noir by Bazin has a good creaminess in the mouth, a good sap and roundness. These features make it very suitable in pairing with a recipe “greasy” and tasty enough, like ours.

At the nose, aromas of small red berries, fresh raspberries, yeast.
On the palate, it feels much the intensity of Pinot Noir, its power and its persistence.

If you can not find it, I recommend other Blanc de Noirs Champagne (Pinot Noir in pureness) or Metodo Classico (Franciacorta or Trento DOC) that has a good high percentage of Pinot Noir. If you love Rosé, I recommend the Cruasé of Oltrepò Pavese.

Have a nice preparation and a good weekend!

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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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Art & Wine, Music & Wine

La Belle Époque, Emile Gallé & Duke Ellington: a bottle story

Dear readers,
today I will tell you the story of the “Belle Époque” bottle, a story which links art, music and Champagne!

The “Belle Époque” is produced by Perrier-Jouët, one of the most famous Champagne Maison: the name probably will be known as the beauty of the bottle symbol, the white anemones designed by the artist Emile Gallé.

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The famous design of the “Belle Époque” bottle.

It all began in 1902 when the famous Maison commissioned Gallé, already an icon of Art Nouveau, the design of the bottle which will contain the precious Cuvée: he was asked to use his glass art techniques in order to be able to reflect in the bottle design the spirit and the vibrations of that era, the Belle Époque.

Portrait of Emile Gallé at work.

Portrait of Emile Gallé at work.

Gallé drew the white Japanese anemones on four magnum size bottles, but initially the design was not appreciated due production costs: so, the four bottles were well hidden in the cellar of the Maison for over 60 years.
In 1964, the cellar master at that time, André Baveret, found these precious bottles and the Maison finally decided to bottle their Cuvée in the bottles designed by Gallé. Indeed, the design was considered so beautiful and charming enough to be paired with the prestige of the Cuvée.

Birthday of a Jazz Legend, Duke Ellington partying at L'Alcazar, Paris.

Birthday of a Jazz Legend, Duke Ellington partying at L’Alcazar, Paris.

So, after 67 years from the original conception, exactly with the seventieth birthday of the American Jazz legend Duke Ellington, the Maison released to the public the “Belle Epoque” in Paris, at the L’Alcazar restaurant.
Five hundred vintage 1964 magnum size bottles were reserved for special customers and the rest was exclusively sold at Maxim’s and Fauchon food store, always in Paris.

The first "Belle Époque" vintage, the 1964.

The first “Belle Époque” vintage, the 1964.

Since 1964, Perrier-Jouët still bottles in “anemones” his most precious versions of its Champagne, the Millésime, making Emile Gallé name last forever.

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