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Sweet wines: for meditation, at the end of a meal or as a cocktail? – Italian Cuisine

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A new Renaissance is being relived in the consumption of these wines, perhaps not in quantity, but the very way of consuming them is changing, enjoying them as a meditation or even in cocktails.




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Appreciated in all the European noble courts until the beginning of the twentieth century, sweet wines were the most drunk. In the last 15 years, consumption has suffered a seemingly unstoppable decline. The factors that have contributed are many: first of all the squeeze on the use of sugars (obviously they have a high sugar content), but also the rise in temperatures and the greater diffusion of heating in homes (they were wines also used in the past to "warm up" given the high alcohol content). At the base of this transformation there is above all a profound change of tastes in the use of wines, due to constant research in the oenological field, which has led to a greater variety and quality of products and which has ended up relegating the sweet ones to the moments of party or after a meal. The erosion of consumption in the Italian market is offset by exports, which instead is growing, reaching an average of 80% of total production. Fortunately, in recent years sweet wines are at the center of a new interest, which does not focus on quantities, but on how to use them and lives them rather as meditation wines or even as valuable ingredients for cocktail contemporaries.

What are the types of Italian sweet wines?
In the north-west, where they are born, we find Asti and Moscato d'Asti, in the north-east we find passito da Traminer and sweet wines from Friuli, such as Picolit. In the center, when we talk about sweet wine, we think above all of Vin Santo, in Tuscany, and passito wines, in Lazio. In the South and in the Islands, passito and fortified wines such as Marsala dominate. Sweet wines are usually tasted according to taste, that is in pairing with desserts or alternatively, alone, like wine at the end of the meal or, for those particularly fortified, for meditation. In recent years we have tried to rejuvenate these habits by including sweet wines in the cocktail menus, also to bring them closer to the world of young people. The first to promote this movement was Pellegrino Cellars with the one he called "Marsala Revolution".

The new life of Marsala in cocktails
Taking inspiration from this "revolutionary" wine, loved by Garibaldi, we tried to give new life to Marsala. "Each revolution aims to establish a different order, a contemporary, easy way of drinking, out of the ordinary, totally breaking with the one that remained in vogue for over a century until a few decades ago", he says. Benedetto Renda, director of Cantine Pellegrino. Old John, Bip Benjamin, Uncle Joseph, Horatio (names in honor of the great English entrepreneurs who sensed the commercial potential of Marsala in the nineteenth century and decreed its success) today have become a new line dedicated to mixology. These bottles want to tell the different styles of Marsala (Marsala Superiore, Marsala Superiore Riserva, Marsala Soleras or Vergine, Marsala Vergine Stravecchio or Riserva) to a young and less educated audience from the wine point of view. To complete the range there is also the Marsala Ambra Superiore 2012 Anita Garibaldi, dedicated to the woman who loved the revolutionary. From Grillo, Catarratto and Inzolia grapes, grown in the hinterland of Marsala and Mazara del Vallo, intriguing for its intense amber color, it is a versatile wine (the "lightest" of the team, a Marsala Superiore, with 18 degrees of alcohol and 24 months of barrel aging), with pleasant notes of apricot and carob, and slight hints of thyme and black pepper. And let's not forget that this wine is also often used in cooking: here is the recipe for sweetbreads with Marsala.

195062 "src =" https://www.salepepe.it/files/2022/01/stravecchio-di-asiago-ubriaco-al-torcolato-maculan-496-1.jpg "width =" 210The Torcolato of Braganze, a micro production that is produced on one striss of hilly land of about twenty kilometers, between the rivers Astico and Brenta, in the territory of Braganze, in the Vicenza area. It is first mentioned in 1754 when explaining the production process: the Vespaiola grape, native to the area, is put in the form of "torcolato" or the bunches are left in withering, twisted and hung with a rope from the beams of the barn (mainly to save space and protect the precious berries from possible rodents). During this period the berries lose much of the water they contain, favoring a high concentration of sugars, before being "pressed”And left to ferment in small oak barrels. Since 1996 the Doc has been recognized but since time immemorial we find the Magnifica Fraglia (Confraternita) del Torcolato to preside over the correct procedure. Among the major producers of this micro production to date we find Fausto Maculan with his daughter Maria Vittoria.

195079 "src =" https://www.salepepe.it/files/2022/01/RAIS-BAGLIO-DI-PIANETTO-1.jpg "width =" 210Ra'is Essence of Baglio di Pianetto represents the history of a people. Already known at in the imperial court of Frederick II, Moscato has become the wine par excellence for celebrations in Sicily from generation to generation, closely linked to the island's pastry tradition, where the intensity of flavors takes the form of baroque delicacy. P.rproduced from Moscato grapes harvested on the estate of Contrada Baroni in Noto, in the lands of white limestone, this Moscato tells of the favorite wine of Count Paolo Marzotto from a very young age. The name is inspired by the ltuna fishermen's net, because it is said that Muscat captures the Sicilian sunlight and spreads it among its golden and coppery reflections.

195080 "src =" https://www.salepepe.it/files/2022/01/recioto_velluto.jpg "width =" 210The recioto della Valpolicella it is a wine with an ancient history, which dates back to Roman times. The vines used are indigenous, namely Corvina (in the measure from 45 to 95%), Rondinella (from 5 to 30%) and Corvinone (up to a maximum of 50%). In ancient times the drying came conducted on racks used for the cultivation of silkworm for about 3 months but today they are set up in suitable rooms (called fruit rooms), suitably ventilated. Finally it is aged for at least 3 years in small oak barrels. To this wine it is also dedicated a traditional and deeply felt festival, the Palio del Recioto which is traditionally held in the Easter period. One of the most historic wineries that produces it with all the trappings of the traditional method is the Meroni farm in Sant'Ambrogio di Valpolicella. It boasts among the ancestors of the Antonio Pesenti family, Italian economist and politician and member of the Constituent Assembly and a dedication, shown on the label, by the famous Veronese poet Berto Barbarani in a letter from 1943, where he appreciates this wine.

195081 "src =" https://www.salepepe.it/files/2022/01/benrye-2.jpg "width =" 210Among the heroic wines (i.e. produced in particularly adverse conditions and harvested exclusively by hand) one cannot but admire the tenacity of winemakers which produce the passito di Pantelleria. Among the most iconic labels with a strong allure, the Pantelleria Passito Ben Ryé 2016 Donnafugata, whichin Arabic it means "fwind chill". This is because, as the inhabitants of this impervious island like to say and which often suffers from severe droughts, the wind that blows between the grapes is a constant on the island. L'Author's label celebrates love, care and effort which is necessary to produce this wine on a unique and fascinating island.

January 2022
Camilla Rocca
Photo above of the Brembati Pastry Shop in Villa d'Almè (Bg)

Posted on 18/01/2022

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Treefolk's in Rome launches the Good morning cocktail list – Italian Cuisine

Treefolk's in Rome launches the Good morning cocktail list


The Trastevere gastropub has developed a cocktail list suitable for both a late breakfast and lunch, with low alcoholic drinks, hangover proposals and coffee-based mixes

Imagine New York at the turn of the sixties and seventies, the explosion of the advertising market and the enthusiasm of an economic boom. At that time it became customary to have a drink at lunch and the Martini was very popular, strictly with olive, as is done in the United States. It happened at the time that the "3 Martini lunch", the lunch based on three martinis, had even been the subject of a tax deduction as a business lunch. The assumption was that the topping olives had enough calories to be a meal replacement.

Over time, the habit of drinking alcohol at lunch, as well as during working hours, has been replaced by healthier fashions, but never underestimate the historical courses and resorts. And here is that in an era of pandemic and forced closure of premises after 6pm, the need for a drink has shifted. There are those who have replaced the appointment of tea with that of the aperitif, as well as those who have invented the cocktail menu for breakfast and lunch.

It is the case of Treefolk's, a beautiful gastropub opened in Rome, on Viale Trastevere, for a few months. He was not very lucky with the progress of the pandemic, having practically opened an epidemic already in an advanced state, however he had the ability to reshape his offer in an always innovative way.

And here he has been pulling a drink list called out of his hat a few weeks ago Good morning cocktail list, in short, a cocktail menu for lunch. Not just the hangover classics that are normally offered at brunch, such as the Bloody Mary, of which Michele Ferruccio, the bartender of Treefolk's, offers six versions, but also a variety of low alcoholic cocktails with coffee base, extracts, prosecco and fermented. The idea is to bring it to Italy British style that from 11.00 in the morning prefers the consumption of long drinks, beers and bubbles.

Among the low-alcohol cocktails, Ferruccio went to recover the memory of the great classics, such as Mimosa, which becomes Welcome Mimosa in its reinterpretation based on freshly squeezed orange juice, with the addition of ginger, bergamot, as well as prosecco: perfect to start the meal well, perhaps with a boiled meatball like the one they serve at Treefolk's, because we know that the bubbles degrease the frying. More refreshing is theExotic, a mojito with a carbonated taste, thanks to the fermentation of mint and ginger, mixed with Johnnie Walker Black Label.

Always fishing in the history of mixing, indeed going even further back in memory, Ferruccio proposes his version of punch in the menu of lunch drinks, the Real Punch, based on spices and fruit cider. The result is a light drink with a strong alcohol content and complex in taste, which takes you in a sip by a fireplace in Scotland on Christmas Day.

Then there are the drinks in which Ferruccio has put coffee as the protagonist, both because they are perfect at the end of a meal or for a slightly alcoholic coffee break, and because that of specialty coffees is another variation of the varied offer of this all day long venue. Given that in the evening menu one of the best sellers is the classic Espresso Martini, at lunch the game becomes even more serious, with a perfect drink for couples, the Cremini Martini. The customer is served a tray with a teapot containing a home-made coffee and whiskey-based liqueur, two glasses with ice, a portion of coffee cream and a mocha: the preparation of this decomposed Espresso Martini ends at the table and makes interactive and fun drinking.

Still on the “coffee drink” line, Ferruccio has put the Cold Brew Bourbon, a cocktail that combines the world of Specialty Coffee and that of blending. The whiskey is processed as a Cold Brew coffee, that is, through a cold percolation, it is left to filter through the finely ground coffee of Ethiopian origin. It is then mixed with a sugar syrup and banana flavorings. A drink that gives the right energy in the morning or is recommended to end the meal in joy.

The breakfast format that accompanies these cocktails features British-inspired dishes adapted to local raw materials. A selection of eggs, English Breakfast, avocado toast and a variety of club sandwiches, in addition to the most home-grown husbands, both in savory and sweet versions, and dishes of the day, which vary according to the shopping at lunchtime.

Photo by Alberto Blasetti.

Alpine Negroni Cocktail – Salt & Pepper – Italian Cuisine

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