Friday, May 5, 2017

Wine & Food of the Giro 2017 Stage 1: A Sardinian Surprise!

Stage 1

Where are we? The island of Sardinia, the second largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. 
Alghero is a medieval city and  the main resort in the northwest. Alghero was conquered by the Crown of Aragon in 1353, remaining under its influence for several centuries and signs are sometimes written in both Catalan and Italian.
From the official Giro site
Food: Capunara (seafood appetizer), bottarga (grey mullet eggs), favata (broad bean soup), sea urchin spaghetti, Alghero-style aubergines, peuxtus (lamb feet with spicy sauce), Catalan-style lobster, papassinos (raisin cookies)
Wine: DOC Alghero (white, red, rosé), Vermentino (white), Cannonau (red)

Olbia is known for the medieval San Simplicio basilica, and for cafes dotting central squares like Piazza Matteotti.
Giro food: Ortziadas (battered and fried sea anemones), mussels from the Gulf (eaten in soups, with pasta and green sauces, or as stuffing for warm fritters).
Zuppa gallurese (bread, cheese, broth), mazza frissa (fried semolina), sea urchins, botargo, mussels from the Olbia Gulf, the burrida (boiled gattuccio and flavoured with fish liver sauce), sea bass and oratas, crustaceans come sea cicadas, lobsters and sea goats, ortiadas (sea anemones or actinias breaded with semolina and fried in rosemary’s oil). As for dessert the seadas, formaggelle (casgiatine) or the tiliccas.

Wine: Vermentino di Gallura docg (white wine) of vineyards near Olbia and Monti, Tempio and Berchidda.

And here we are with the first grand tour of the season. The 100th Giro! Our first break of the race:

Happily, for those of us who have to build into our Giro form, today should be a sprint stage, so one would expect little drama early. While you have some time, I recommend Will's mountain stages preview on Podium Cafe. I learned a lot.
Seventy five kilometers to go and the gap was still over three minutes. 
Pretty day:

Really, this has been a nice tourist film for Sardinia today.

 Nearing the finish, the breakaway dangled for a very long time as the sprint trains set up behind. Some issues before three kilometers to go and there would be time gaps on the day. And at the end of the day, a surprise! Lukas Postelberger with a late attack managed to hold off the not quite organized sprint teams behind. I admit it, I had hoped for Greipel at the start of the day, but that was super fun to watch. Apparently I am not the only one needing a warm up stage.    


Wine: 2011 Tenute Dettori Ottomarzo from Biondivino

New grape alert! Pascale.
Tenute Dettori is an artisanal winery intrinsically tied to its territory, Badde Nigosolu, an amphitheater of 80 acres at 750ft of elevation facing northwest to the Golfo dell’Asinara in Sardinia.  
From the producer: Our wines are the fruit of a historical patrimony passed down to us by those who preceded us. They are made only from grapes that we grow in our historical and traditional vineyards. All of our wines are true “cru wines”: each vineyard yields its own particular wine, they are are monovarietals: 100% cannonau, 100% monica, 100% pascale, 100% vermentino, 100% moscato. From each individual vineyard we produce a specific wine. Dettori Bianco from vermentino; three separate cannonaus, Tuderi, Tenores, and Dettori; Chimbanta from monica; Ottomarzo from pascale; and Moscadeddu from moscato. Our annual production ranges from 20,000 to 45,000 bottles. In 2008, we made only 2,000 bottles, due to an attack by downy mildew; although we watched all of our fruit disappearing on the vines, we stayed faithful to our tradition: we use no poisons. It is better to lose a season’s grapes than to pollute our earth.

Tasting notes: Rich and round, but with some peppers and spice to balance it out. Really opened up over time: initially tasted thin, but after time, the fruit came out.

Food: Wine vinegar, because I could not resist the Alghero right there on the label. Wine vinegar from Canonau, one of the main grapes of the island. 

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