Monthly Archives: April 2017

Holocaust Remembrance Day 2017

CHAGALL

The internationally recognized date for Holocaust Remembrance Day corresponds to the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. In Hebrew, Holocaust Remembrance Day is called Yom Hashoah. Today is that day. I usually think of the date being January 27 which is the liberation of the concentration camp at Auschwitz. Some 80 members of my family and millions of other people were murdered there. They are not forgotten. I hate thinking what they might have contributed to the world and of the millions of children who were murdered. I am not heartened by the news of increased anti-semitic acts in the US, up 86% in the first three months of 2017. It’s fundamental in today’s America that people remember the past. I know full well that atrocities take place everyday on this planet and that many are tired of talking about the Holocaust. History often repeats itself however and we need to keep the record straight so that it is not whitewashed or rewritten for political or other needs.

Candles 911

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Vive La France

Paris

Today’s post is about politics and not wine. Sadly politics has been on my mind much more often than wine these days. I am hopeful however that the far right party did not win the French elections outright. As I have often written on my blog, I was a Francophile long before I became an Italophile. My father always loved and promoted everything about France. How great the country was, the food, the wine, their democracy, the healthcare system, workers rights, etc. Naturally, I became obsessed with France as a young girl, lived in Dijon in college and majored in French language and literature at university. Then of course I went on a vacation to Italy and fell in love in what has proved to be my most enduring love affair. All of that said, I am very keyed into what is going on in France and relieved that the far right did not win although I am not looking forward to the nasty campaign we will see.

france

I think I may actually finally get down to studying for my French wine degrees as a way to participate in all things French in the next few months. My most recent post about a French wine was this one <a href=”https://avvinare.com/2017/03/22/wine-wednesday-si-mon-pere-savaitcotes-de-roussillon/”&gt;.</a> I should be posting much more often about French wines.

 

French wine was this one . I should be posting much more often about French wines.

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Mindful of Earth Day, Paris, Refugee Crisis

Interesting I wrote this a year ago ahead of Earth day which is tomorrow. Last year the terrorist attack was in Brussels, this year in Paris. What’s amazing is how much worse things have gotten for Science and climate change under our new political regime. I wish I could say I am less fearful for the planet today but sadly it’s the opposite. Yes, a grey day.

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natural-beauty

Today I don’t feel like writing about wine but I do feel like drinking it. Copious amounts in fact. I can’t stand the news, more terrorist attacks, more refugees in search of a home, melting glaciers. I decided to post this picture that I took some years ago in Chile where I went hiking at the Torres del Paine park in Patagonia.

glacial-ice

I cried when I saw my first glacier, I was so moved by it’s beauty. To think that they are melting and that one day much of what we see now and many animals might no longer walk the earth is staggering.

glacier

I can’t watch the news about Brussels and another horrific and senseless act meant to terrorize us. It’s also hard to read the paper and see more photos of mothers and their children desperately fleeing war zones and landing on shores where they are not particularly…

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Italian Indigenous Varieties: Malvasia Nera di Basilicata

italy 600

While this latest variety, Malvasia Nera di Basilicata, has some of the same origins as the other Malvasias that I have written about, it is said to be less ancient than the white grape versions of Malvasia. This one probably came to Basilicata from nearby Puglia and has a lot in common with Malvasia di Brindisi which I will write about next week and Malvasia di Lecce. This red grape variety tends to be used as a blending grape rather than as a monovarietal. It brings aromatics, alcohol and acidity to the blend. It grow around the cities of Matera and Potenza. It is part of the Grottino di Roccanova DOC, which was given that designation in 2009. It is blended with Sangiovese, Montepulciano and Cabernet Sauvignon in the DOC. This winery, Cervino Vini has a few different versions of wines made with this grape variety as do a couple of other wineries I found. Sadly, none seem available yet in the States.

I’ve always had a thing about Basilicata. Many people know the region because it is home to the city of Matera, a beautiful city and absolutely worth a visit. I used to say I would never leave Italy unless I got to see Basilicata, a way of course of staying for many years. I finally visited in 2002 and remember fondly my trip there. Having just returned from Vinitaly, I am reminded of all the wines that I have tasted over the years with producers from Basilicata, specifically from Lucania.

Sadly none of my pictures of this region are digital so, here I suggest looking up a movie that came out in the last few years about Basilicata – Basilicata Coast To Coast. It will give you a flavor of the rugged landscape. Some 47% of Basilicata is covered by mountains and it has two coastlines, one on the Ionian Sea and the other on the Tyrrhenian Sea.

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Easter Traditions In Rome

I thought I would repost this piece that was written earlier in the month but discusses Easter traditions. I wish all a wonderful Easter for those who celebrate. I am also celebrating Greek Easter this year and am excited for tomorrow’s party.

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Fountain in Piazza Navona - Rome

I have had the pleasure of spending Easter in Rome a number of times. The city is very crowded with tourists and often school children. “La Settimana Santa” or the Holy Week is considered a perfect time to visit the Eternal City. Many hope to see the Pope who is in residence and gives Mass in St. Peter’s square on Easter morning.

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Romans skip their cornetti or brioche as they are known in other parts of Italy and have a big breakfast with eggs and salami. I once had one that was billed as an Easter donut or Ciambella that was filled with eggs and salami. The only problem was that we were on a sailboat going around the island of Elba and the weather wasn’t great so that kind of a heavy breakfast on Easter was hard for me but hey who am I to argue with tradition.

After…

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Italian Indigenous Varieties: Malvasia Istriana Bianca (Friuli)

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The first time I tried Malvasia Istriana Bianca was with the owner of Tenuta di Blasig in Friuli. My visit to that winery was also one of my first winery visits for my women in wine blog posts and thus remains close to my heart.

Malvasia as we know can be a white, red or rose grape and is grown throughout Italy. It can also be an aromatic variety or not. This one hails from Friuli Venezia Giulia. It also grows in nearby Croatia.same variety that grows in Friuli under the name Malvasia Istriana Bianca or Malvasia d’Istria. It can be found in the Carso, Collio, Colli Orientali del Friuli, Friuli Aquileia and Friuli Latisana.

Wines made from this variety are not so easy to find in the USA although you can find some. In fact it is easier to find the ones from Croatia.

In terms of the aroma and flavor profile of wines made with this variety, they tend to have good fruit, acidity and lovely mineral notes which I really enjoy. They also always seem to have the bitter note on the finish that is typical of so many Italian white wines. This version of Malvasia works as an aperitif but it would pair very well with pasta, fish or chicken or any seafood dish.

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Wine Wednesday: Re Manfredi Aglianico del Vulture

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This week’s wine Wednesday is dedicated to Re Manfredi’s Aglianico del Vulture from Basilicata. The winery has 120 hectares and the vineyard that makes this wine is at 420 meters above sea level. I tasted it last at this year’s Gambero Rosso Tre Bicchieri event. The woman who was showcasing the wine, Tiziana from GIV is a lovely person that I met in Italy many years ago. I tried the wine because I know her but also because I have a love affair with Basilicata as a region.

I have only visited a very small part of Basilicata, Matera, but it has been a crucial part of my Italian journey throughout the years. I always used to say I couldn’t leave Italy until I visited Basilicata. When I finally did, it still took me three more years to leave. The first time I heard about Aglianico del Vulture was in a wine class in Italy many years ago. Aglianico del Vulture is considered the most prestigious area for Aglianico in Basilicata. The Re Manfredi winery is located in Venosa, the birthplace of Horace, the Latin poet. Mount Vulture is an extinct volcano and the soils near it are particularly fertile with nitrogen, calcium and tufa. Wines made from volcanic soils all have mineral notes I find and a certain elegance and grace. This one was no different. Aglianico is a tough grape because of its powerful tannins yet those from this area are rounded and more refined than some others I have had. This wine ages in oak for 10-12 months. You can taste some oak and vanilla flavors but they are not overwhelming. The wine is a nice balance of fruit, earth and spicy aromas combined with tertiary notes from the oak. Really enjoyable, it made me want to eat a very large steak although I am no longer a huge meat eater. The wine retails for about $34 and is imported by Frederick Wildman.

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