Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Wine & Food of the Giro 2015 Stage 4: Punta Crena and Trofie

Where are We: Chiavari - La Spezia 150 kilometers

Chiavari is a small town, best know for the Chiavari chair designed in 1807 by a local, Giuseppe Gaetano Descalzi. The chair was a success and led to the opening of many factories in Chiavari and surrounding towns.

Located only 25 km from the region of Tuscany, La Spezia it is on the eastern end of Liguria. The Gulf of La Spezia is also called the Gulf of Poets. Hemingway described La Spezia this way: “The streets are wide and the houses are high and yellow.” 
La Spezia also has a place in the world of Opera. "The story related by Wagner in Mein Leben concerning the musical inspiration for the opening of the Ring is well known. Lodging in La Spezia in September 1853, Wagner took to his hotel bed, tired and debilitated by dysentery. He fell into a trance-like sleep and it was in that state that he thought he heard rushing water that gradually coalesced into E-flat arpeggios. This, he claimed, marked the inception of Das Rheingold, though scholarship has sometimes taken a more skeptical view. "

The stage:  First a Pozzovivo update can be found here. He reports "“I’m ok but it was a very heavy fall,” Pozzovivo said. “I don’t remember what happened because I fell. I remember that the descent was difficult and maybe my wheel slipped. I wanted to finish this Giro well and it pains me to leave the race."

Also, as I mentioned the grupetto yesterday, you can read more about it in Chad Haga's rider diary here

Off they go, with full stage television coverage. The break of the day, in picture form:

Behind them, a chasing group of fourteen. With that large a gap, it seemed possible that they could make it to the finish today. To the surprise of everyone, Tinkoff-Saxo was helping with the chase behind.

Halfway through the stage and the chasing group had caught the leaders. The huge group our front contained: Davide Formolo (Cannondale-Garmin), Tom Danielson (Cannondale-Garmin), Franco Pellizotti (Androni Giocattoli), Simon Clarke (Orica-GreenEdge), Amaël Moinard (BMC), Andrey Zeits (Astana), Arnaud Courteille (FDJ), Simon Clarke (Orica-GreenEdge), Chad Haga (Giant-Alpecin), Matteo Montaguti (AG2R-La Mondiale), Martijn Keizer (LottoNL-Jumbo), Sonny Colbrelli (Bardiani-CSF), Mauro Finetto (Southeast), Tsgabu Grmay (Lampre-Merida), Andrey Amador (Movistar), Yonathan Mosalve (Southeast). Roman Kreuziger (Tinkoff-Saxo), Darwin Atapuma (BMC), Davide Malacarne (Astana), Eduard Michael Grosu (Nippo-Vini Fantini), Salvatore Puccio (Team Sky), Kanstantsin Siutsou (Team Sky), Esteban Chaves (Orica-GreenEdge), Sylvester Szmyd (CCC Sprandi), Simone Stortoni (Androni Giocattoli), Pavel Kochetkov (Katusha), Pieter Weening (Orica-GreenEdge), Eduardo Zardini (Bardiani CSF) and Maxime Monfort (Lotto-Soudal). 

As that group started breaking up, word came that Gianni Meersman had abandoned the race. That is the second Etixx rider out of the race, following Serry's early injuries. That is not good news for Rigoberto Uran. 
With fifty three kilometers remaining, that gap had dropped to 7:45. 

Only twenty riders were left in the main peloton containing the main GC contenders, with fifty kilometers left in the stage. That was unexpected. Forty four kilometers to go and that gap had dropped to under six minutes. With thirty six kilometers to go there was a lead group of 15, with the reduced peloton at 5:25. The grupetto appeared to be at least another five minutes behind. Thirty kilometers to go and that gap to the main peloton was down to around three minutes.
Further behind, concern for the grupetto:

Twenty kilometers to go and the gap to the peloton was down to two minutes. Fifteen kilometers and at 1:48. The pink jersey, Michael Matthews, was back on the grupetto, at least twelve minutes back, so there would be a new race leader at the end of the day. 
With just about ten kilometers to go and an attack by Aru, with him Porte and Contador. Distanced behind, Uran. In front, Formolo was solo, with about thirty seconds over the GC group. Three kilometers, twenty two seconds. 



Stage: Davide Formolo

Wine: Punta Crena Pigato Riviera Ligure di Ponente Vigneto Ca’ da Rena 2013
From Dig

From the importer:
The tiny village of Varigotti sits on the Mediterranean, just a few rows of houses and restaurants on a pristine beach, with its back against steep hills. Climb up into the hills and you will discover neatly terraced vineyards on the slopes and in hidden clearings further up on the peaks. The Ruffino family has been tending these vineyards for over 500 years, hardly changing a thing as they pass their knowledge and wisdom from one generation to the next. Today the estate is run by four siblings: Tommaso, the eldest, is the winemaker; Paolo is the salesman; Anna handles logistics; and Nicola helps out in the vineyards and winery. Their mother, Libera, was a strong businesswoman who revolutionized sales by dealing directly with clients rather than working with the merchants who controlled the market at the time; but today she stays in the background, happily cooking for the constant flow of guests and tending the home-grown vegetable stand in the courtyard as her numerous grandchildren scamper around her. These unpretentious people are firmly rooted in Varigotti, and the wines they craft are infused with local tradition and character.

Ask Paolo if the family follows organic methods in the vineyards and he’ll laugh. We’re not “organic,” he says as if you had asked about some crazy new technology. We just do everything the same way our ancestors have for hundreds of years. They even build their stone terraces by hand, using the method established here three thousand years ago. The vineyards of Punta Crena (which is named for a large promontory jutting into the sea at the edge of the village) are all within 1200 meters of the water and enjoy sea breezes that help keep the grapes healthy and happy.  They believe that their only job after the harvest is simply to avoid ruining their lovely fruit as it turns to wine. These are light, fun wines with no pretension.

I say: Well aren't we pretty. Light and easy to drink, more round and less acidic than I expected. Stone fruit with mineral notes and some salt.

Food: Trofie. So here we put it all together, serving our pesto with handmade pasta, known as trofie, a short, thin hand-rolled pasta form the area. The dough is made simply with flour and water and does not include egg. It was simple to make and the rolling and twisting is a fun cooking with K sort of project. You can find a recipe here. The most common recipe found features trofie, pesto, green beans and potatoes.

It turns out that K was much better at forming the shapes than I was. When I asked her why, she said "I used to really like play-doh." 

Our recipe came from a book that will make several appearances here, the wonderful Pasta By Hand, by Jenn Louis. Focusing on pasta that can be made without specialized equipment and with recipes divided by regions, it is a perfect food of the Giro book. Highly recommended.

No comments:

Post a Comment