Wednesday, November 25, 2009
1 Ajello /Grillo-Catarratto/ 2008
2 Cusumano /Nero d'Avola / 2006 / 3 Glasses
3 Micelli / Moscato di Pantelleria /Tanit
4 San Giusto a Rentennano/Chianti Classico/2007 /2 Glasses
5 Boscarelli/ Vino Nobile di Montepulciano / 2006 /2 Glasses
6 Poggio Antico / Brunello di Montalcino / 2003
7 Poggiarellino / Brunello di Montalcino / 2004 / WS 91 pts
8 Ferrero / Rosso di Montalcino / 2007 / 2 Glasses
9 Col di Bacche / Morellino di Scansano / Rovente / 2006 / 2 Glasses
10 San Polino / Rosso di Montalcino / 2007
11 San Polino / Brunello di Montalcino / Helichrysum / 2004/ 2 Glasses
12 Collemattoni / Rosso Toscano/ 2007
13 Collemattoni / Rosso di Montalcino / 2007
14 Collemattoni / Brunello di Montalcino / 2004 /2 Glasses /WS 95 pts
15 Collemattoni / Rosso di Montalcino / from stainless steel tank /2009
16 Collemattoni / Brunello Di Montalcino / from tank / 2009
17 Casali di Bibbiano / Casalone / 2006
18 Poggiarello / Rosato / 2008
19 La Doga / Morellino di Scansano / 2006
20 La Canonica / Orcia DOC / Assoluta / 2007
21 Boscarelli / Rosso di Montepulciano/Prugnolo / 2007 / 2 Glasses
22 Colombaio /Rosso Di Montalcino / 2007
23 San Giorgio / Brunello di Montalcino / Ugolforte / 2004 / 3 Glasses
24 Campriano / Chianti Colli Senese / 2005
25 Campriano / Chianti Colli Senese / Reserva / 2001
26 Campriano / Vin Santo / 2003
27 Casanova di Neri / Brunello di Montalcino / 2000 / 3 Glasses
28 Verbena / Grappa di Brunello /
29 Wine Circus / Davide e Golia / 2007
30 Guicciardini /Massa di Mandorlaia / Morellino di Scansano / Reserva /2003
31 Giocciardini / Massa di Mandorlaia/ Morellino di Scansano / Reserva /2004
32 Tenute Nardi / Moscadello / 2006
33 Lungarotti / Aurente / 2007/ 2 Glasses
34 Avignonesi / Nobile di Montepulciano / 2006/ 2 Glasses
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Guided by my father-in-law, Dino, we arose early one morning to help ourselves to nature's bounty. We walked down to the private beach and proceeded to gently press our feet into the wet, rocky sands on the shore. A jet of spitting water signaled the point of attack. Here within six inches of the surface we found all the steamer clams we could hope to eat. Next we started to search for mussels, which was even easier to harvest as they had attached themselves to almost any surface around including the small pebbles that make up the bulk of the material of the land there.
Back at home, we made our feast. Delicious! The steamers were the freshest I have ever eaten. They were soft with a complex flavor of sea and shellfish without grit, dipped in the briny juice they made when cooked. There was also a small dish of melted butter to trawl them through before tasting. I did some butter trawling, but really I ate most of them butter free and when there were no more clams to eat, I drank the broth. Then I looked over at Maddine's plate, and ate some of the clam’s thick feet that she had declined.
Next were the mussels. Cooked with some garlic and fresh tomatoes salt and pepper along with some parsley and a little white wine served on a bed of al'dente spaghetti, they could not have been any better. These were simple clear flavors blending enough but not too much. Oh yeah!
One home gathered meal was not enough. We went to the same beach another day late in the afternoon to arrive with the evening tide. We carried a couple of light fishing poles and some frozen octopus. Dino said that the best fish to catch here were the small bluefish that eat along the grass near shore, but the fish that were biting that day were the porgy. It is also known as Scup and for the scientists here (Stenotomus chrysops). Having not fished in quite a while, I found it not only fun, but a good excuse to enjoy a beautiful afternoon outside. More than once while closely watching my red and white bobber my eyes would drift over the quiet scene and I would think that we could have still been in 19th century from the evidence right at hand. I wished I had more time and my paints with me. Back home with the fish, we wrapped them in foil with some oil and lemon and put them on the grill. On opening the foil we were seduced by the first wave of steam coming off the fish. Tender white meat with a very delicate flavor made a very satisfying meal and very complete day. Ok there are small bones in the porgy but that just made it more of a slow food type of thing.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
It is a hot sweaty business, crawling around the boulders under that scorching (I'll not say it!) sun until you have gathered enough so you can swim back to the beach area and get under the umbrella again with my big hat. When it is time to leave for dinner that steep downward path is now a vertical and it is a hard third of a mile climb. I do like the exercise, it is a bonus for the day. By the top, I am in drenched in perspiration. Gripped by thirst I swallow way too much water until I feel like a cloud has descended over me and then the nausea hits. Uh Oh, this is the condition of heat exhaustion, not eating salt and sweating and drinking too much water lowers the amount of salt in the cells and creates this dangerous condition. Though sort of wobbly we arrive at our reserved table at Cavaliere a nice seafood restaurant in Orbitello Scalo. A day later I feel better and we have our hoard of salt! Did I say that I don't eat it?
Thursday, August 27, 2009
The other day, we were painting views of Monte Oliveto from Chiusure. We noticed on the drive up there were still lots of wild fennel growing beside the road. We had been late getting our flowers this year and some of the plants that we had seen were well past their prime. Years ago, we met a man in a 3 wheeled Ape which was overflowing its cargo area with bushes of the wild finocchio. When asked what he would be doing with this harvest, he said that he would take the flowers and rub it on meat before grilling. Ever since, Maddine and I have been collecting our own bunches of flowers and found that it tastes particularly good on grilled pork steaks.
When we arrived at our destination there was a middle aged man in no shirt, beard, and straw hat making his way along the road cutting fennel. After we parked, and before I painted I began to search a previously visited field for any of the flowers. I found that not only our bearded harvester was tramping these open spaces for the uncultivated Foeniculum vulgare. Someone had collected here in mass.
Fortunately they missed some, plenty for me and the next five collectors as well. Bag filled, I went on to paint for the rest of the day. At the end of our painting session, we cleaned ourselves as best as possible and made it to town. Maddine had made reservations for dinner at Il Pozzo. After glancing at the menu I made my selection for my primo, fresh pici with a sauce of sausages, small fresh tomatoes and chopped fresh wild fennel.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
The other day Maddine and I were in front of the freezer unit, getting our almost daily fix. Maddine got a small cone of After Eight and Coffee gelati. I got my usual of Cioccolato and Nocciola (hazelnut). Even though it is very warm outside we usually go Crema vs Frutta. We sat down under an umbrella enjoying the shade and the ice cream. Ah, there is a copy of La Nazione I saw spread upon a table, and leisurely thumbing through it found the following article, for which the owner was nice enough to provide the scissors and gave us the piece of his paper. The story is about the final report regarding the investigation of grape content in Brunello and Rosso di Montalcino, which began in the spring of 2008 .
I went home and on the web found this in English from Wine Spectator.
Pretty much the same as what the Italian paper said except that La Nazione breaks the numbers down by saying that 1.300,000 liters of Brunello di Montalcino was reclassified to I.G.T. Toscana Rosso and 500,000 liters of Rosso di Montalcino to I.G.T. Toscana Rosso. There were also 150,000 liters of Chianti reclassified to I.G.T. Toscana Rosso and 100,000 liters of I.G.T. Toscana Rosso sent to the distillery, I presume to make Grappa. This has been an ongoing investigation for over a year. I think that one of the good things to come out of it is that the Consorzio di Brunello di Montalcino has confirmed in a vote to continue the tradition of making the wine from 100% Sangiovese grapes.
I've had Sangiovese grapes baked into a desert, or Brunello must flavored Pecorino (sheep cheese), but I've never had Brunello flavored gelato. Although at Sergio's in San Gimignano there was a Vernacia flavored gelato along with a flavor to honor the local saint, Santa Fina. And now we have a very good gelateria in Buonconvento, located in the southwest corner of the wall.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009