Friday, May 6, 2016

Wine and Food of the Giro 2016: Stage 1 Bols Genever and Leyden Cheese

Here we are back in the Netherlands. As regular grand tour followers may remember, the 2015 Tour de France started there. This time, the Giro begins with 3 days there before heading home to Italy next week. 

A couple of housekeeping notes. For excellent stage previews, great conversation and all around Giro info, check out Podium Cafe.
Like last year, I'm pairing both wine (or alternate alcohols) with food. Scroll down if the cycling portion of things are not of interest.
Finally, I'm including some content here from the official Giro site. They have conveniently listed food and wine notes on each stage. Sometimes I've followed them, often times, not. 

Where are we?
Appledoorn: From the Giro site:
It is one of the major centres of the province of Gelderland. Main landmarks include the “Het Loo” Palace, an outstanding example of Dutch Baroque. The palace and its landscape park used to be a royal residence, while its finely frescoed rooms now house a state museum. Apeldoorn is also a major sporting centre, as reflected in the construction of the new velodrome and sports arena, the Omnisport Apeldoorn. 

COOKING Gelderse rookworst (smoked sausage), Gelderse Stimp Stamp (smoked sausage stew)

WINE The Netherlands produces 900,000 litres of red and white wine overall. Classic grape varieties, such as Pinot blanc, Pinot gris and Chardonnay, are grown along with “newer” varieties, such as Regent, Cabernet Cantor, Pinotin, Riesel and Cabernet blanc. The territory of Groesbeek, at the heart of the Province of Gelderland, is considered as one of the most promising on the European scale.

The stage:  An ITT (individual times trial) to start things off, 9.8 kilometers this time. Normally we'd be thinking of Fabian Cancellara as a favorite for the day, but he has had the flu and the team has said that he is not fully recovered. Early best time of 11.17 for Braendle. Eventually, Ludvigsson would take over the lead at 11.11. Next in the hot seat, the rather unexpected Roglic with a time of 11.03. Next in the hot seat, Tom Dumoulin and he would stay there, taking the opening stage win.

Top 10 on the day:

1Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Giant-Alpecin0:11:03 
2Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNL-Jumbo  
3Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar Team0:00:06 
4Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe) Giant-Alpecin0:00:08 
5Marcel Kittel (Ger) Etixx-QuickStep0:00:11 
6Moreno Moser (Ita) Cannondale0:00:12 
7Bob Jungels (Lux) Etixx-QuickStep0:00:13 
8Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Trek-Segafredo0:00:14 
9Matthias Brändle (Aut) IAM Cycling  
10Silvan Dillier (Swi) BMC Racing Team0:00:16    
Wine/alcohol: Bols Genever  What is Genever? Perhaps it is easiest to think of as an ancestor of gin. Read more here
Why I'm having it here:
Genever can only be made in The Netherlands and a few nearby areas, since it is a protected spirit category

Why Bols? : "Bols began distilling genevers – The Netherlands’ national spirit category – in 1664, a proud tradition that continues to this day. Bols Master Distillers have since perfected the art of distilling genever over the centuries. In 1820, Bols introduced a revolutionary new genever recipe with a more subtle taste, as a result of a better balance of malt wine, neutral grain alcohol and botanicals." 

What I'm doing with it: Dutch Negroni  for a Dutch-Italian "mash-up."  The traditional cocktail with Genever subbing for the usual gin. 

Food: I admit it, I had trouble sourcing Gelderse rookworst. 
So instead: cheese. In this case, Leyden a semi-hard, cumin and caraway seed flavored cheese made from cow's milk. It is made both in factories and on farms, historically in the Leiden area.

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