Sunday, May 24, 2015

Wine & Food of the Giro 2015 Stage 15: Luxardo and Boozy Cherries

Where are we: Marostica - Madonna Di Campigli 165 KM - High Mountain

Marostica is a town in the province of Vicenza, Veneto, It is mostly famous for its living chess event and for the local cherry variety. Marostica bills itself as the 'City of Chess': every two years a medieval-themed festival is held here, when a giant chess game is enacted with human chess-pieces. The organization's website tells me that "The story of Game dates back to 1454 when Marostica was one of the Venetian Republic. It happened that two noblemen, Rinaldo D'Angarano and Vieri da Vallonara, Lionora fell in love with the beautiful daughter of Taddeo Parisio Marostica's castle, as was the custom of those times, they challenged in a bloody duel. Parisio was a great Humanist and forbade the two ardent lovers to joust for his daughter’s hand, and suggested instead that the contest should be resolved by a game of chess. Both young man were experts et the game; to console the loser Parisio promise to allow him to marry his sister Oldrada."

Madonna di Campiglio is a village and a ski resort in Trentino-Alto Adige.   The village lies in the Val Rendena at an elevation of 1,522 m above sea level, and has approximately 1,000 inhabitants.
The ski area around Madonna has 57 lifts and 150 km (93 mi) of ski runs.
Madonna is the main point of access to the Brenta Dolomites, with its famous via ferrata, with the ski lift to the Passo Groste taking one directly to the northern end of the via ferrata network. 

The stage: Up they go! But first, our start town looks beautiful:
Our break of the day contained Visconti, Rosa, Intxausti, Zakarin, Siutsou, Montaguti, Dupont and Paulinho, With 78.5km to go they  had 1'52" over the peloton. 
It is really a beautiful part of the world.


On the road, with about fifty kilometers to go, the break had come apart, leaving Bookwalter, Siutsou, Dupont and Visconti up front. They had about three minutes on the main peloton. They would start Passo Daone with 2'37 on the peloton. 
Thirty seven kilometers to go and Richie Porte was dropped. He may very well head home on tomorrow's rest day. Uran was also distanced. The lead group was rapidly shrinking. Up front, Bookwalter had been dropped from the lead group. 
As they reach the top of the Passo Daone climb, the lead group was down to about thirty riders, with Contador isolated. A fast descent on small roads was ahead. Down on the road Atapuma. Twenty five kilometers to go and the gap to the lead three was around one minute. The pink jersey group was very small, with five Astana riders at the front. 

Twenty kilometers to go and the gap to the lead three had dropped to under thirty seconds. The pink jersey group had about fifteen riders. Sixteen kilometers to go and Dupont was solo out front with an eighteen second gap. 

Fourteen kilometers to go and Dupont had been caught. Five kilometers to go and the lead group was down to Kruijswijk, Konig, Contador, Aru, Landa, Kangert, Amador, and Trofimov. Three of the eight were Astana riders. Just under three kilometers to go and it was Contador and Landa surging ahead. Aru was dangling with Trofimov slightly behind. Two kilometers to go and an attack from Aru, but Contador went with him. After another Landa attack, Trofimov was dropped, but bounced back and passed them with one kilometer to go. As Contador and Aru chatted, he sailed away. At the end though, Landa flew by him. 



Wine: Luxardo  From FranklyWines

From the producer: Maraschino Luxardo 

Luxardo Maraschino follows the original recipe from 1821 and requires four years to produce this specialty.  Marasca cherries are harvested from Luxardo’s own trees and the solid components are then infused in larchwood.  The product is distilled in small copper pot stills.  Finally a combination of sugar and water is added before bottling.  

Alcohol strength: 32% alc vol.  

Perfume: typical of marasca distillate, with an excellent intense aroma, fine and well amalgamated, without any aggressive note. 

Taste: smooth but sharp, a sweet liqueur unusual for the punch of the distillate, which can be clearly perceived in spite of the moderate alcohol content. A rounded taste and a surprisingly persistent aroma.

Food: There are plenty of cocktails that one can make with Luxardo, but I generally use it to make boozy cherries.That said, there is an extensive list here of cocktails featuring Luxardo.

I have a post here on my boozy cherry making process.  But it is essentially as simple as washing your cherries, removing any leaves, placing them in a large jar and covering with Luxardo. You can use either sweet or sour cherries. These will keep in your fridge for quite a long time.

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