Ah Mother’s day. Yes, a hallmark holiday I know but for me, any holiday at all is a cause for celebration. With my mother, we always agree on what to drink…something, almost anything. She likes mostly white wines, including Prosecco, Franciacorta (Berlucchi) and Ferrari (Trento Doc), and of course, Champagne. She’s taken a liking to Riesling, Gruner Veltliner and most everything I bring home. In fact, she has always been a great supporter of my wine exploration.
Maman, in fact, got me started on the road to perdition with wine, one could say. She and her best friend would drink Lancers and Mateus many a day in my house when I was young. All that laughter that they shared over a glass of wine stuck with me and to this day, I associate it with a glass of wine and Maman.
We’ve both moved on to big and bigger wines but the common joy of raising glass together has never waned. Today, I’m bringing her a bottle of Pecorino from Angela Velenosi. Angela is an incredibly interesting and funny woman from Le Marche. Also, full of joy and mirth, she is a pleasure to be around. I really like this Pecorino, Offida Doc and I’m certain my mom will too. Pecorino is a low yielding white grape from Le Marche which makes refreshing relatively full bodied wines with fruit and floral notes. I’m think it will go very well with salmon that we are having for lunch.
On this Mother’s day, I will, as always, toast her and all the love that has shined on me all of these years. I have been very lucky in this department.
My wine of the week is
Villa Bucci’s Rosso Piceno.
The wine is made from a blend of Montepulciano d’Abruzzo and Sangiovese. It spends a year in oak and six months after that in the bottle before being released into the market. I found it on wine-searcher for between $17 – $25 depending on the store.
I thought it was a perfect wine for a meat based meal. I had it on Passover with Brisket which was divine but I can also see it with lighter meats or a pasta made with a heavy sauce.
I’m very partial to Sangiovese as a grape, less so to Montepulciano but I did like the blend coming from this historic winery in Le Marche, a region I love.
Villa Bucci is one of the more well-known wineries in Le Marche. It was started in the 1700s and the family has a very large agricultural farm that grows wheat and other products in addition to wine. They are most well-known for their Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi. They also make around 12,000- 15,000 bottles of red wine.
For more information on wines from Villa Bucci, check out their website: http://www.villabucci.com.
One of the most interesting things I noticed during this visit to Italy was the plethora of Italian flags hanging on people’s balconies. Generally speaking, in my experience, Italians are not the most nationalistic of people, except when it comes to the Azzurri – the national soccer team.
That being said, this time was different. On two occasions, I was awakened by people singing the national anthem with their children, in two distinct parts of the country. My friend Stefano and his 2 1/2 year old daughter were doing a rousing version in Stefano and Anne Caterine’s home outside of Monza in a place called Vedano al Lambro. Stefano sings in a choir but in all the years I have known him, I have never heard him sing the National Anthem.
On another day, later in my visit when I was at Susanna Crociani’s agriturismo Cantastorie with friends, my dear friend Teresa’s 6 year old son Gabriele broke out into song and guess what it was? L’Inno di Mameli, of course.
Goffredo Mameli wrote the anthem in 1847 and the music was composed by Michele Novaro. This was at the beginning of the Risorgimento wars and immediately became a very popular revolutionary song.
In all the years I lived in Italy and all the years I have been a frequent visitor, more than 20 years, I have never had anyone sing the anthem to me. I found it quite touching. Susanna said that she thought Roberto Benigni’s performance at the San Remo Festival had something to do with it. It is quite fitting in this 150th year of Italian Unification. Even for those who don’t understand Italian, I think this is moving because you can catch Benigni’s enthusiasm.
This morning by chance I picked up a copy of the Canti, a newly translated collection of poems by Giacomo Leopardi, one of Italy’s greatest poets from Recanati in Le Marche.
I read the first canto entitled All’Italia . A beautiful poem and a fabulous translation. Leopardi died in 1837 before the Risorgimento and Italian unification. His desire to see Italy’s greatness is displayed in this gorgeous poem. I wonder what he would think on this anniversary.
Today is the first day of Passover. I had my first Seder last night with my parents and my niece. We had a pretty peaceful meal with the requisite brisket, horseradish, eggs, potatoes and other yummy items.
Wine as always is an issue. This year my Mother brought a wine from the Veneto, a kosher one. I brought one from Le Marche, a non-kosher wine. Both were interesting and quite different one from the other but it was the grape varieties that made them different and the vinification techniques and aging that split them apart, not whether or not they were Kosher. This is a very welcome change.
Here is a great article on Kosher wines on Snooth.
Happy Passover for those celebrating tonight.
After two weeks in Italy and Passover seders, I am going to need a food and wine detox, advice welcome.