Sunday, May 27, 2018

Wine and Food of the Giro 2018: Stage 21: Rome!

Where are we? Rome
 Giro regional specialties: Pasta dishes (gricia, amatriciana, carbonara, cacio e pepe), Abbacchio (roast lamb), Coda alla vaccinara (oxtail stew), carciofi alla giudia e alla romana (respectively, deep-fried and braised artichokes), Saltimbocca (veal escalopes), Supplì (stuffed and deep-fried rice balls).

The stage: On what should be a ceremonial stage, except for the sprinters, much talk on Eurosport about complaints about the road surface. So, indeed, after much discussion, the race has been neutralized for the gc riders, although the breakaway artists and the sprinters will race for the stage.

There were attempts to make a breakaway stick, but given the power of the sprint teams, they all had a feeling of desperation. Perhaps the anticipated challenge of Viviani versus Bennett one more time?
Hey, Tony Martin in a breakaway with Mullen, Senechal, and Danny VanPoppel. They had nine seconds with eight kilometers to go. Bridging to them Cattaneo.
Sean Kelly still says sprint so that is what I'd expect. Indeed 3.5 kilometers to go and there was the catch. 
One kilometer to go and there was Quick Step in perfect position. 
Bennett! Lovely sprint coming past Viviani just at the last second. Apparently he read the "Go Full Gas Sign" they passed under.
Goodbye Giro, we'll miss you.

Results 21st stage 2018 Giro d’Italia

1. Sam Bennett (irl)
2. Elia Viviani (ita) s.t.
3. Jean-Pierre Drucker (lux) s.t.
4. Baptiste Planckaert (bel) s.t.
5. Manuel Belletti (ita) s.t.
6. Sacha Modolo (ita) s.t.
7. Niccolo Bonifazio (ita) s.t.
8. Clement Venturini (fra) s.t.
9. Paolo Simion (ita) s.t.
10. Fabio Sabatini (ita) s.t.

Final GC 2018 Giro d’Italia

1. Chris Froome (gbr)
2. Tom Dumoulin (nld) + 0.46
3. Miguel Ángel López (col) + 4.57
4. Richard Carapaz (ecu) + 5.44
5. Domenico Pozzovivo (ita) + 8.03
6. Pello Bilbao (spa) + 11.50
7. Patrick Konrad (aut) + 13.01
8. George Bennett (NZL) + 13.17
9. Sam Oomen (nld) + 14.18
10. Davide Formolo (ita) + 15.16
11. Alexandre Geniez (fra) + 17.30
12. Wout Poels (nld) + 17.40
13. Sergio Henao (col) + 29.41

The wine:Monastero Suore Cistercensi  Benedic
From the importer: Fate can have lovely consequences. Our fortuitous encounter with the Bea family of Umbria of course led to the unearthing of one of the great domaines of Italy. But, we have been additionally blessed as we marched together with Giampiero Bea as he made the acquaintance of the Sisters of the Cistercian order living and working at their monastery in Vitorchiano, ninety minutes or so north of Rome in the Lazio district. Here at this quiet religious outpost eighty women of this religious order work vineyards and orchards and gardens organically. Under the guidance of Bea, they produce two wines as honest and sympathetic and gracious as they are.
The vineyards are planted to a series of four essentially local white grape varieties: Malvasia, Verdicchio, Grechetto and Trebbiano.
The sisters produce a scant amount of red wine: a charming blend of equal parts Sangiovese and Ciliegiolo called “Benedic.” Despite a two-week maceration, “Benedic” is typically a beautifully pale, translucent wine. Registering just 11% alcohol, its color is calm, soft, and almost coppery—one can sense its gentle nature just from looking at it. A pure, honest nose of red licorice, dried leaves, and fresh pipe tobacco introduces an ethereal caress of a palate with almost no detectable tannins. “Benedic” is a pretty, tasty, plain-speaking wine with no makeup and no pretension, and its softly floral edge puts one in the mind of springtime. Those expecting power may be disappointed, but a wine this guileless is nearly impossible to dislike.

The food: Carbonara!
Possibly my favorite comfort meals in San Francisco involves sitting at the bar at Locanda with a Manhattan, a dish of fried olives and their carbonara. 
San Francisco magazine offers an almost recipe:
Locanda chef Anthony Strong takes a few road trips a week to visit the specialty purveyors who fill out his menu. You could call them mini vacations, but Strong deeply values the connections he forges with the people like Dawn Dolcini, the owner of Tully Dolci farm in Petaluma. Strong turns out about 35 carbonara pasta dishes for each dinner service. To make its addictive, creamy sauce, Tully Dolci eggs are key.
“We obsess over our eggs,” Strong says. “Ingredients are so important, especially with carbonara. It’s the sum of its parts. You can’t screw with it.” Every Locanda carbonara has two Tully Dolci egg yolks (about $1.10 worth) whisked into the sauce. “It needs to be dark and full of protein, but also silky and sweet. Other egg yolks aren’t as dense and don’t deliver the same richness.” 
Every Thursday at the San Rafael farmers' market, Dawn Dolcini hands off 30 dozen of her eggs—the bulk of her farm’s supply for the day—to Strong. He’s been using her eggs since 2009, when Dolcini first started. Back then, Locanda wasn’t yet open, but Strong cracked these vibrant beauties onto pizzas and into soups at sister restaurants Delfina and Delfina Pizzeria.
“We call these our fancy eggs,” Strong said. As such, the eggs make limited appearances only where they matter most: in Locanda’s carbonara, and egg-centered stracciatella soup. For every other egg application, Strong uses free-range organic eggs from Dolcini’s neighbor, Wyland Orchards.
Last week, Strong drove 45 miles out of the San Francisco mist to the dry hills of Petaluma to visit Dolcini for the very first time on her 60-acre farm. Strong pulled off the long dirt road onto the farm slowly, hunched over the steering wheel, mouth agog. It was his first time, and he was already in love. Dolcini hugged Strong and he handed her his house-cured guanciale (that's pig jowl), some pecorino romano, and his recipe for his carbonara—for which she exchanged a fresh pig liver.
We chatted with a sheep farmer driving through to his land higher up on the hill, and then began our quest for eggs. It was desert-mirage hot and the hens scattered into the shade as we approached. Strong slowly crept behind them, phone camera ready, like a boastful parent on a playground. He asked Dolcini more questions than I did: How many birds are there? —About 350. Do they all lay eggs with the dark, thick yolk? —Most do because of their high protein and high soy diet, but the Rhode Island Reds are most reliable.
Dolcini let Strong and me amuse ourselves on an Easter-like egg hunt, but she knew we were too early in the day. She usually doesn’t collect eggs until late afternoon when all the hens have laid. We passed hours aimlessly meandering through the farm, birds darting about our ankles, before heading back to the city where crates of Tully Dolci eggs awaited us.
In the kitchen at Locanda on a Saturday night, Strong prepares for the night by cutting a 12-pound block of pecorino Romano cheese into chunks the length of his forearm before grating. He carves the house-cured guanciale into imperfect squares the size of his thumb “to give it more character.” He separates the eggs' yolks with his hands, mixes in the cheese, and purees boiled-down guanciale skin.
Carbonara usually relies on a long noodle, but Strong and his team tested different shapes until they found a better vehicle for the sauce. Strong landed on rigatoni—per Osteria di San Cesario where he staged in Rome—because the hole in the pasta tube is a tasty hiding spot for the sauce.
Over on the line, the constant rattle of pots and pans, and the sound of pork popping around in its own fat (with a bay leaf and onion petal) signifies that fewer than ten minutes until dinner service begins. “Low and slow,” Strong repeats. "Low and slow." He drains the guanciale, adds the cooked pasta and the egg sauce, all the while loosening the sauce with pasta water from a bubbling row of pots at his hip.
Staring at the final dish, I notice the velvety cohesion delivered by the egg sauce, and the richness of the yolk is evident, gushing out of the rigatoni tube. Still, the scene-stealers are the ten or so bits of guanciale, composed of a top layer like pork rind and a squishy middle. I stab around the bowl to see what texture I’ll catch next.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Wine and food of the Giro 2018: Stage 20: Susa to Cervinia

Where are we?
Susa:Michelin tells me that:
Susa owes its nickname, "Gateway to Italy", to its strategic position at the junction of two roads to France. The Savoy Gate, the symbol of the town, dates from the late 3C-early 4C, when the ramparts were built. Next door stands the cathedral, flanked by a magnificent Romanesque bell tower. The enchanting country town of Susa is home to an Arch of Augustus (8C BC) and an amphitheatre (1C-2C).

Giro regional specialties: Traditional soup: Soupa grasa
Cured meats: Susa Valley prosciuttello, bondiola, bacon, juniper-flavoured lard
Desserts: Susa’s sweet focaccia, Lose Golose, Pan della Marchesa

Cervinia: Time to ski, again. Michelin tells me that: Breuil-Cervinia is one of the Valle d'Aosta ski resorts that, thanks to its prime location, affords splendid panoramic views and proves to be a real paradise for downhill skiing enthusiasts. Situated at an altitude of 2 050m, the resort is also the starting point for a cable car excursion to Plateau Rosa and Mt Furggen (altitude: 3 491m).
Giro regional specialties:  Cheese: Fontina DOP, Fromadzo DOP.
Charcuterie: Lard d’Arnad DOP, Jambon de Bosses DOP, mocetta.
Specialties: Fonduta with Fontina cheese, carbonada (stew of adult bovine cooked in the wine) with polenta, tegole (typical hazelnut cookies).
The stage: Have we recovered from yesterday? No. Guessing the riders have not recovered as well. 

Forty one kilometers to go and Pinot was struggling. And by struggling, it looked like he had completely hit the wall. Hard to imagine him getting back on. As they continued on, there were perhaps thirty-five riders left in that main peloton.

Thirty two kilometers to go and Nieve was alone out front, hoping to celebrate his birthday with a stage win. He had 6:40 over the main peloton. Poor Pinot, by the way, was over eleven minutes down on that group.

Nieve was looking good for the stage win, though we had not seen time gaps in quite a long while. The question: would we see attacks from the gc riders in the main peloton. Did Dumoulin have any confidence that he could take time on Froome?
Just under six kilometers to go and the first attack was launched by Formolo. Here we go. So nice to see Dumoulin giving it a real try. Many punches and counter punches. Just under five kilometers to go and Dumoulin was struggling.  At the front of that group: Froome, Carapaz and Lopez. Not completely gone, Dumoulin. He would keep at his own pace and make it back to the group. Also back oomen and Poels, so they would have helpers.
Ahead, happy birthday indeed for Nieve as he takes the stage win easily.
Three kilometers to go: Carapaz and Lopez attacking. This is a fight for both gc placement but also the white best young riders jersey.
Behind it looked like Dumoulin was riding for Oomen's gc placing and had given up on attacking Froome.
Foome in! Barring anything insane on the road to Rome tomorrow, that is the Giro. 

General Classification after stage 20
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky86:11:50 
2Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Sunweb0:00:46 
3Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team0:04:57 
4Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar Team0:05:44 
5Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Bahrain-Merida0:08:03 
6Pello Bilboa (Spa) Astana Pro Team0:11:50 
7Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe0:13:01 
8George Bennett (NZl) LottoNL-Jumbo0:13:17 
9Sam Oomen (Ned) Team Sunweb0:14:18 
10Davide Formolo (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe0:15:16 

The wine: Chateau Feuillet Torrette Superiore  from Dig
From the importer
Maurizio Fiorano grew up outside Turin and moved to Milan for his studies, but his life took an unexpected turn when he married and moved with his wife to her hometown of Saint Pierre in the Valle d’Aosta. Fiorano continued his work as a surveyor, but his long commute became burdensome when the two of them started a family. By the time their second child came along, Maurizio had had enough and left his old job for good. He didn’t have any definite plans and he knew that his wife’s business of running a small inn was not for him. But she had inherited vineyards from her family, so why not make wine to serve in her restaurant? The idea suited him perfectly, and he went to work in the vines. In the beginning his production was tiny: he signed up to show his first vintage at VinItaly but arrived at the gargantuan expo with just four bottles! Today his production remains small, but he is careful to export to many different markets. He may not be born and bred, but Maurizio says he feels like a Valdostano, and this is his way of showing off the local products all over the world. 
• From a southeast-facing vineyard
• Harvested in late October
• Alcoholic fermentation lasts 10-15 days in stainless steel
• Aged in 300-liter French oak barrel for 90-100 days

The Food: Pan della Marchese from

The "Pan della Marchesa" is a cake obtained using as ingredients soft wheat flour 00, sugar, honey, butter, eggs, hazelnut flour, almond chips and toasted hazelnuts, milk, rum, chocolate chips, baking powder (bicarbonate of ammonium) and flavorings (vanillin).
The butter and sugar are assembled in the planetary mixer until a soft cream is added to which eggs, honey, hazelnut paste, milk and rum are added. The hazelnut flour and chocolate chips are added to the mixture. Stirring by hand, wheat flour, bicarbonate and vanillin are still added.
The dough is placed in a pastry bag and the round, previously buttered molds are filled. The cake is covered with almond flakes, toasted hazelnuts and granulated sugar. The cake is placed in the oven at a temperature of 180 ° C for about twenty minutes.
Once cooked, the cake temperature is quickly brought to +3 ° C. The cake undergoes a vaporization treatment with ethyl alcohol and is immediately packaged manually with a first waxed paper and then with another metallized paper.
The "Pan della Marchesa" must be kept in a cool and dry place and consumed within twenty days of production. Numerous tests have shown that even after two months the product still retains acceptable organoleptic characteristics, however, with partial loss of aroma and fragrance.

Production area The "Pan della Marchesa" is produced in Susa (To).
Equipment used For the preparation of the mixture the planetary mixer is used, while the cooking, in special molds, is carried out in a traditional oven. For the package we use a sheet of wax paper, and a sheet of metallized paper appropriately labeled according to the law.
The source that documents the production of the "Pan della Marchesa" is in a manuscript recipe book of a confectioner from Susa, dated 1958.
Initially, the cake had a donut shape and was packaged in a transparent wrapping. From 1987, on the occasion of the first "Historical Tournament of the Villages of Susa", it was proposed in the form of a cake with the name "Pan della Marchesa", in honor of Adelaide, Marquise of Susa.
This dessert is one of the products chosen and included in the "Paniere di Susa Galupa", a food and wine association for the promotion and promotion of typical products of the Valle di Susa.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Wine and Food of the Giro 2018: Stage 19: Venaria Reale to Bardonecchia

Where are we? 
Venaria Reale: Time to visit a palace:
La Venaria Reale is a grandiose estate just outside Turin. In comprises 80,000 square meters of floor surface in the Reggia and 60 hectares of Gardens, adjacent to the 17th century ancient village of Venaria and the 3,000 fenced hectares of the Park of La Mandria. It is a natural and architectural masterpiece that was declared part of the World Heritage by UNESCO in 1997. It reopened to the public in 2007 after completing the EU’s largest cultural restoration project to date.
The monumental palace or Reggia boasts some of the finest examples of universal Baroque: the elegant Hall of Diana designed by Amedeo di Castellamonte, the solemn Great Gallery and the Church of St. Hubert, the imposing complex of the Juvarra Stables designed by Filippo Juvarra in the 18th century, the sumptuous decorations and the spectacular Fountain of the Stag in the Court of Honor and the spectacular Fountain of the Stag in the Court of Honor provide a unique setting for the Theater of History and Magnificence, the permanent display - almost 2,000 m long - devoted to the House of Savoy, that spans from the basement level to the piano nobile of the Reggia.

Giro regional specialties: Typical local appetizers, such as hand-chopped Fassona meat, Olivier salad, vitello tonnato, bell peppers and lingua in salsa verde (veal tongue with a parsley sauce), Bagna cauda, Agnolotti (with tomato sauce, truffle seasoning, or roasted meat sauce), boiled and wine-braised meats, Turineisa (meat-stuffed courgettes), breadsticks, chocolate (the world-famous Gianduiotto), Bonèt (pudding).

Bardonecchia: Bardonecchia is in the Valle di Susa in north west Piedmont on the border with France Another ski town! The Telegraph calls it: one of Italy’s best-kept secrets.

Giro regional specialties: Cabiettes (potato, nettle, onion and rye flour dumplings), Grisa (breadstick, bacon, broth, cheese and egg soup), Soupe Grasse (brown bread, onion, broth and cheese), Sarignà (roasted potatoes, sausage and lardo), Fricandò (beef stew with vegetables), Goffres (sweet or savoury waffles), Lustrè (juniper berry jam) and the Moncenisio blue cheeses, Seiras del Fen (ricotta wrapped in freshly cut hay).

 The stage: The day that many have had marked on their calendars since the route was announced.
Early on, a break:


First drama of the day: Fabio Aru, who many had hyped for the stage win, abandoned early on the stage. But the real drama on the stage was the site of Simon Yates dropping from the main peloton not even halfway up the Finestre climb. At 82 kilometers to go, he was already two minutes behind that main group containing most of the other top gc riders, which was dominated by the Sky riders at the front. Fifteen riders or so remain in that group.
Eighty kilometers to go and there went Froome. Could he ride eighty kilometers alone?

He was being chased by a group containing Dumoulin, Pinot, Lopez and Carapaz. Dumoulin was the virtual race leader and was doing most of the work. Could they catch Froome on the downhill?  Seventy kilometers to go and Froome had about forty seconds to Dumoulin. He needed a lot more time. Yates, meanwhile, was more than eight minutes back. There was a lot of road to go.
Eighty kilometers to go and Froome had about 1:30 over Dumoulin's group and 2:30 over Pozzovivo's. Yates was sixteen minutes back. Fifty kilometers to go and that gap was out to almost two minutes. Even for a non-Froome fan, this is thrilling.

Yikes, a moto crash in a tunnel, but everyone made it around safely. That was scary.
Thirty three kilometers to go and Froome had almost three minutes over Dumoulin and had moved into the virtual race lead.

A sign of how poorly things have really gone for Yates today: they have stopped even showing his deficit on the screen. For Froome, hard to believe that earlier in the race there were questions if he might head home early, especially given his crash during the prologue recon.

In non-Giro news:

Ten kilometers to go and Froome had 3:31.

Yikes. 5.8 kilometers to go and Dumoulin seemed to be struggling. Nice work by him to keep a steady pace. A reminder that Froome needs 2:49 over Dumoulin at the finish to be in pink, depending upon bonifications. Four kilometers to go and that gap to Froome was dropping. This may be close.

Really impressive riding from Dumoulin behind as the riders in his group continue to attack and he just paces himself.

Froome in. Time to watch the clock. And Dumoulin would not make it. Heading into another mountain stage tomorrow, Froome would be in pink. Wow. Who would have expected a solo attack from eighty kilometers out?


The wine:  Brovia, Langhe Freisa "La Villerina Secca", 2015
From the importer: In 1863 Giacinto Brovia founded the Brovia estate in the village of Castiglione Falletto, in the heart of the Barolo district. The family has been continually engaged in the growing of grapes and the production of wine since that time. The phylloxera plague, economic upheaval and two wars interrupted production for almost 30 years but, in 1953, two brothers, Giacinto and Raffaele, grandchildren of the founder, resumed full-scale wine production. Giacinto, a trained enologist, was (and still is) responsible for the production of the wine while Raffaele, a trained agronomist, supervised the vineyard work. Sadly, Raffaele passed away in 2011 but two of Giacinto’s daughters, Cristina and Elena, are now completely engaged as the fourth generation, in the affairs of this family-run estate. Marina, Giacinto’s wife and mother of their children, is a brilliant cook and provider of wise counsel, and Alex Sanchez, husband of Elena, has joined the family enterprise. For our part, Rosenthal Wine Merchant has worked in close collaboration with the Brovia family for several decades, having made our first purchases in the exceptional 1978 vintage.

Wow did I like this wine. I like freisa in general and this one was truly lovely. Also lovely, the company I shared it with. 

The food: Cheese time! Toma Cremosa di Pecora - Carletta

Named after the mother of the two brothers who now run and operate La Casera, this soft ripened sheep's milk cheese is truly an original. Produced in the area of Cuneo the texture is soft and delicate, and slightly elastic. Both the paste and the rind are stark white but the flavors give way to a delicate, more buttery flavor. Bites of the rind are a bit earthy but compliment the hints of mild sheepiness in the paste.

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.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Wine and Food of the Giro 2018: Stage 17: Riva del Garda to Iseo

Where are we?
Riva del Garda: The local tourist site tells me that: Riva del Garda is one of the most important holiday destinations in northern Italy. Two of the top Lake Garda resorts for the English-speaking market are Riva del Garda on the northern end of the lake and the resort of Garda in the south.
But Riva isn't just about tourism - it was an important strategic point at the juncture of the Alps and the Italian plains for many centuries.

Giro regional specialties: DOP Garda olive oil, Carne salada (traditional corned beef), lake fish recipes (soused trout or lavaret), Broccolo di Torbole, Aceto balsamico trentino (balsamic vinegar).

Iseo: Lombardy! National Geographic tells me that: Como may draw celebs, but low-key Lake Iseo offers equally stunning views—and sparkling wines that blow prosecco out of the water. Conde Nast Traveler is also a fan: Lake Como and Lake Garda might get all the glory—and the hordes of tourists. But tucked in between them sits Lake Iseo, which might just be the loveliest Italian lake of all.

Giro regional specialties:  Manzo all’olio di Rovato (a kind of pot roast with gravy, typical of the town that has been an important meat market since the times of the Venetian Republic), Baked stuffed tench with polenta, the traditional dried sardines of Lake Iseo (Slow Food Presidium). The cheeses, for example, like Brescia Robiola, Stracchino, Pressato, Salva, Silter and the PDO Gorgonzola, Grana Padano, Provolone Valpadana and Quartirolo Lombardo. And the dried shad – a small freshwater fish – honey, cold cuts and cured meats, like the salami from Monte Isola, lightly smoked, and the Ret di Capriolo (venison). The extra virgin olive oil from Sebino and then the renowned grappas, distilled from the pressed marc of the grapes used to make Franciacorta wines, and the sweets, made in the traditional manner by the many pastry shops.

The stage:

The start today was strange with a neutralization of some of the early action. Plus some splits in the main peloton and numerous struggles to create a break. Seventy kilometers done and still no break. 
Podium Cafe provided some poetry to catch me up on the day:
Break was forning left and right.
Everyone put up a fight.
Viviani said: " For get it"
All this chaos has no merit!

Perhaps, finally, the break of the day as the rain started on the route.


Actually, maybe not. Apparently the teams behind were not pleased by that group, particularly with Wout Poels in the group. His breakmates were also not pleased that he was there, knowing that it might foil their plans.

Fifty kilometers to go and that group had around forty four seconds. Forty five kilometers and it was out to 1:31. Maybe it would really stick this time?

Twenty kilometers to go and that gap was down to twenty seconds. 
As they get closer, more rain. Narrow and wet roads could cause some major stress. Eleven kilometers to go and the break was over. Time to set up for the sprint.
Nine kilometers to go and an attack by Brambilla, followed immediately by Gesink and Benedetti. Joining them, Stybar and Henao. They would be caught as we saw scenes of pouring rain at the finish. Five kilometers to go and Lammertink took a flyer. Three kilometers to go and he was caught.
In the rain, Viviani with another stage win.

General classification after stage 17
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott69:59:11 
2Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Sunweb0:00:56 
3Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Bahrain-Merida0:03:11 
4Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky0:03:50 
5Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ0:04:19 
6Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing Team0:05:04 
7Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team0:05:37 
8Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana Pro Team0:06:02 
9Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar Team0:06:07 
10George Bennett (NZl) LottoNL-Jumbo0:07:01 


The wine: Cuvée 60 2011 Brut Nature Casa Caterina.
This is another one of those, I had another wine planned stages. But, since the Giro is calling it the Franciacorta stage, some bubbles.
From an importer: Winemaker Aurelio del Bono’s Casa Caterina is producing some of the best sparkling wine to come out of Italy today. Located in the DOCG of Franciacorta in Lombardia, Aurelio rejects the DOCG stipulations to create his own beautiful, expressive, natural wine that mirrors the purity of the land. The vines are organically grown, he adds no sulfur to the wine, uses only native yeast, and is known for keeping the wine on the lees for extended periods of time (up to 10 years).

Food: Thanks google translate!
Manzo all’olio di Rovato

Beef with Oil

Manzo all'Olio is an ancient recipe from Brescia that owes its origins to Rovato . The first documents mentioning it date back to the second half of the 16th century, as can be read in the writings of Donna Veronica Porcellaga.
Anchovies are among the main ingredients of the dish. But the origin of Manzo all'Olio remains basically poor: few and accessible ingredients that make up the recipe, or meat, oil, bread, garlic, grana and of course anchovies. As with many ancient recipes, there are many versions. Here is ours

Ingredients for 6 people

1,5 kg of prime quality beef meat, better if it is the so-called priest's hat,
250 gr. of extra-virgin olive oil,
3 large carrots,
3 coasts of green celery,
1 large onion,
4 large cloves of garlic,
250 cc of dry white wine,
a dozen of desalted and filleted anchovies,
some desalted capers and a bunch of parsley,
salt as required.


Take the piece of meat and, with a knife blade wide enough and sharp, deeply engrave crosswise on all sides to form "pockets" in which to introduce the anchovies desalted and filleted with a piece of garlic.
Once the operation is done, flour the meat with the white flour. Use a saucepan that contains the piece of meat as precisely as possible, and bring 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil to the oven and brown the floured meat on all sides until you get a crust.
Momentarily remove the saucepan from the heat adding the chopped onion, the carrots and the coarsely chopped celery and coarsely sliced ​​and also the 2 or 3 anchovy fillets and the advanced garlic.
Now add all the oil and dry white wine. At this point add a lot of water to almost completely cover the meat, put the saucepan on the fire bringing to a boil and then adjust the flame to keep a light boil, continuing cooking for about two hours / two and a half hours.
When cooked remove the meat from the rest of the ingredients and place it on a plate to cool, while the bottom of cooking should be passed through a wide-mesh sieve combining the capers and parsley.
If the sauce obtained is too liquid, you can reduce it to low heat.
When the meat has cooled the tagliatela or slices about 1 cm thick that you will serve with ilsugo on a bed of polenta