Thursday, May 24, 2018

Wine and Food of the Giro 2018: Stage 18: Abbietagrasso to Prato Nevoso

Where are we?
Abbietegrasso: To Milan we go or at least 14 miles away to a comune and town. The Giro tells me that: A centre of very old origins, namely Celtic and then Roman, Abbiategrasso has been under the Visconti’s domination for a long while. The town is connected to Milan by the Naviglio Grande, one of the major waterways for centuries.

Giro regional specialties: Gorgonzola cheese, Casseola (braised pork and cabbage) with polenta, Brasato (wine-braised meat), traditional cold cuts from Parco del Ticino, rice specialties.

Prato Nevoso:  A ski resort in Piedmont.The Giro tells me that:
Located in a privileged position, thanks to the mild slopes facing south, Prato Nevoso is a skiing resort framed by the magnificent Maritime Alps in the province of Cuneo. At an altitude of 1,500 m, included in the municipality of Frabosa Sottana (CN), it is easily accessible because of its optimal location: it can be reached from the main cities in Piedmont and Liguria in just over one-hour drive.

Giro regional specialties:  Chestnuts, chestnut ravioli, Mondolé cheese, honey.

The stage:  
Up they go again, starting three days of uphill stages. Tomorrow and Saturday are brutal, so it may be a day for the break. Maybe. The break of the day:

There are no gc challengers in the break, so they will give them some rope. The focus is likely to be on the gc race behind. Eurosport posits that both Froome and Dumoulin may challenge a bit later in the day. Eighty five kilometers to go and the gap was 13:22.


Fifty kilometers to go and the gap was about fourteen minutes. That gap was continuing to go out as they approached the final climb.

Under twenty kilometers to go and the break group was about ten kilometers ahead on the road. It was time for them to start attacking each other. Indeed, soon enough the group would fall apart. Looking good at the front of that group Cattaneo, Schachmann and Pfingsten. Yo-yoing from that group, Plaza.
Two kilometers to go and it would be Cattaneo and Schachmann alone at the front.
Way behind, Wout Poels and Ben O'Connor jump. Time for some action there.
Meanwhile up front, Plaza reappears. Great riding from him on the day.
Schachmann!  Now time to turn back to the gc group. Attacking from that group "Superman" Lopez. Many other attacks would follow.
Dumoulin! Followed by Pozzovivo and Yates. Passing them, Froome. He would be followed by Dumoulin and Pozzovivo. Yates having a bad moment, his first one of the race. He would lose twenty seven seconds on the day. 


18th stage 2018

1. Maximilian Schachmann (ger)
2. Ruben Plaza (spa) + 0.10
3. Mattia Cattaneo (ita) + 0.16
4. Christoph Pfingsten (ger) + 1.10
5. Marco Marcato (ita) + 1.26
6. Michael Mørkøv(den) + 1.36
7. Vyaecheslav Kuznetsov (Rus + 1.52)
8. Jos van Emden (nld) + 3.22
9. Alex Turin (ita) + 3.29
10. Davide Ballerini (ita) + 5.09

GC after the 18th stage
1. Simon Yates (gbr)
2. Tom Dumoulin (nld) + 0.28
3. Domenico Pozzovivo (ita) + 2.43
4. Chris Froome (gbr) + 3.22
5. Thibaut Pinot (fra) + 4.24
6. Miguel Ángel López (col) + 4.54
7. Rohan Dennis (aus) + 5.09
8. Pello Bilbao (spa) + 5.54
9. Richard Carapaz (ecu) + 5.59
10. Patrick Konrad (aut) + 7.03

Wine: Poderi Colla Barbera d' alba 2015
From the producer: Part of the vineyard, located in Barbaresco, was planted in about 1930: this is one reason for the wine's intensity and concentration, velvety and with a fresh and pleasant acidity. 
1700-1800: THE BEGINNINGS. Documents dating from 1703 mark the beginnings of the Colla family's history in wine making: Carlo Colla, together with his son Stefano, sold "barrels of Rosatello" and "casks of vino negro" produced on his land in Santo Stefano Belbo. In 1778 his grandson Pietro bought a farmstead with vineyards in San Giorgio (formerly Arzignano) di Castiglione Tinella and sold Moscatello.
1800-1900: THE MOSCATO AND VERMOUTH IDEA. In the 1700s, Carpano created vermouth, and Pietro Colla and his eldest son Giuseppe learned the art of producing this "aromatic muscatel." Thanks to his wisdom and skill, Giuseppe became Carlo Gancia's trusted associate, whilst the Colla family continued to produce their own wines in Castiglione Tinella, as local wine growing and production increased.
1900-1994: SPARKLING WINES AND CRUS. Two members of the Colla family stand out from the rest: Pietro (Giuseppe Colla's grandson) and Beppe (Pietro's eldest son.) These two wrote the history of wine making in Piedmont. Having learned the difficult art of Méthode Champenoise from Giuseppe Gallese, who had imported it from Champagne several decades earlier, Pietro Colla, born in 1894, propagated the art and quality of Spumante Metodo Classico through his work for Gancia and his purchase of prime vineyards in Moncucco di Santo Stefano Belbo. Respected and admired, his opinion was sought by major firms of his day, he was made a member of the newly-formed Asti Consortium (in 1932) and he sold his wines both in Italy and abroad.

Food: Brasato From Epicurious:
Yield Makes 4 servings
Active Time 50 min
Total Time 3 3/4 hr


    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 (3- to 3 1/2-pound) boneless beef chuck roast
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1/4 pound sliced pancetta, finely chopped
    • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
    • 1 medium carrot, finely chopped
    • 2 celery ribs, finely chopped
    • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
    • 4 (4- to 6-inch) sprigs fresh thyme
    • 2 (6- to 8-inch) sprigs fresh rosemary
    • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
    • 2 cups Barolo or other full-bodied red wine such as Ripasso Valpolicella, Gigondas, or Côtes du Rhône
    • 2 cups water
  1. Special Equipment
    • a 4- to 5-qt heavy ovenproof pot with lid


    1. Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 325°F.
    2. Heat oil in pot over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking.
    3. Meanwhile, pat meat dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
    4. Brown meat in hot oil on all sides, about 10 minutes total. (If bottom of pot begins to scorch, lower heat to moderate.) Transfer to a plate using a fork and tongs.
    5. Add pancetta to oil in pot and sauté over moderately high heat, stirring frequently, until browned and fat is rendered, about 3 minutes. Add onion, carrot, and celery and sauté, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened and golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Add garlic, thyme, and rosemary and sauté, stirring, until garlic begins to soften and turn golden, about 2 minutes. Stir in tomato paste and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add wine and boil until liquid is reduced by about half, about 5 minutes. Add water and bring to a simmer, then return meat along with any juices accumulated on plate to pot. Cover pot with lid and transfer to oven. Braise until meat is very tender, 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
    6. Transfer meat to a cutting board. Skim fat from surface of sauce and discard along with herb stems. Boil sauce until reduced by about one third, about 5 minutes, then season with salt. Cut meat across the grain into 1/2-inch-thick slices and return to sauce.
Cooks' note:
• Beef improves in flavor if made 3 days ahead. Cool completely in sauce, uncovered, then chill in sauce, covered. Reheat, covered, in a preheated 350°F oven until hot, 25 to 30 minutes, then slice meat.

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