Christmas comes but once a year…with “Italy at Your Table”
by Filippo Bartolotta
Christmas comes but once a year and since the arrival of the two monkeys in the old mill, we have decided to make it a big children moment.
Every year we build a green Christmas tree picking branches from the woods around the house and decorating them with various wild berries and leaves and then adding up the most beautiful Christmas balls made by Catia Massai in Barberino.
I buy one a year Â to pull them out every Christmas. Artisan products last longer then us, they are all unique pieces and they give a special touch to our home.
And so when opening that refreshing and invigorating liquid that we all love during this time of the year one fills even moreÂ pamperedÂ and loved.
Usually now is when I manage to take a break, relax and enjoy a slower working peace. But this year is different.
Last summer Vanessa and I decided to organize a long winter break Â to the US.
As we were telling friends&family, clients&suppliers about it we begun to realize that we were bound to put together some wine tasting events as we were going along.
So one of our older customers calls us to book an evening, then is time for another and in a couple of months a thirty dates road show was set around the US.
All of a sudden the couple of wine tasting to some of our private collectors and clients became a huge project now called “Italy at Your Table”.
The idea is to get a group of 20-30 friends to gather around one of their homes with me presenting some of Italy’s finest wines in the most friendly way possible. Once the first dates were set and the first wineries signed up for it we understood that Benedetta Vitali from the Zibibbo Restaurant would have gone for a cooking road show on the same period: in aÂ blinkÂ of an eye, rather then Tasting with Filippo or Cooking with Benedetta, now is both experiences at once.
This has given the whole project a new boost up. And now we are going to be holding evenings not only with our precious and faithful clients but also at famous restaurants, like Rialto in Boston or Quince in San Francisco.
On top of this in Washington, together with the great Chef Alice Waters, Â Tom Colocchio, JosÃ¨ AndrÃ¨s and the atomic food&wine journalist JoanÂ Nathan, we will be part of a big charity event “SUNDAY NIGHT SUPPER“. Here LeBaccanti and all the Italian Producers with us will try to make theÂ difference! I’ll be up-dating all this with more details as I go ahead, of course.
These the magic wineries and producers which are kindly and proudly part-taking at this great adventure.
LeBaccanti will of course give a more “serious” account of all the events and press release.
Aceto Balsamico Malpighi
Casa Vinicola Luigi Cecchi e Figli
Castello di Monsanto
Consorzio Prosciutto di Parma
Fattoria di Cusona
Isole e Olena
Marchesi Gonzaga-Tenuta di San Leonardo
Terra al Sole
Tenuta delle Ripalte-Meletti Cavallari
Our home is going to be the East-Village in NYC next to a lovely kindergarden for Milo and Daphne.
I will though be spending most of my time on the plane or opening bottles of wine:)
This is a very exciting project that was embraced by almost all of the people I have spoken to with the most up-lifting and energetic approach. Another time, in another post, I’ll give a more precise account of everything with the credits to each and everyone who helped making all this happen.
Actually another little great news coming from Italy at Your Table is related to the Techno-Bohemian movement with John Malkovich, Simone Ramilli, Pierpaolo Moroni. I was asked to join in the group as the wine-guru and so more news to come from this new big project.
Very soon the real thing…
Meanwhile these were my Christmas presents which I had with great joy and pleasure.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone!
Tenuta di Fessina-Musumeci 2007 (magnum)
Juicy and peppery wine with a perfumed nose and a perfect cranberries and cherry velvet palate. Very easy to finish even the double size bottle!
This is the first and well executedÂ attempt of Silvia Maestrelli of the Tuscan Petriolo Estate in Etna. A few years ago she kicked off with the reserved help of Federico Curtaz.
Chianti Classico Il Solatione 2006
This is one of the rare examples of pure, simple Sangiovese fruit at its best. A wine with an amazing alcoholic balance, smooth tannins and plenty of depth for a regular Classico from a small and cute family run Azienda Agricola.
Barbaresco Punset Barbaresco 2004
Awesome vintage for the only organic estate in Barbaresco. Marina Marcarino has been starting this adventure alone with a great energy and motivation which is somehow dripped into her wines: rich and savory this Barbaresco with plenty of complex earthy tones and clean fruit.
Tenuta Friggiali Brunello PIetranera 2003 (double Magnum format)
A massivily black cerry packed Brunello with a lot of leathery and tobacco complexity.
Very rich and quite hot palate with a lengthy licorice and forrest fruit finish.
This is the open friendly South-East vineyard Brunellos of the Centolani family in Montalcino.
Tenuta delle Ripalte Aleatico dellâ€™Elba 2006 and 2007
Here comes the end of the Holiday dinners with one of Italyâ€™s most respected wine makers. Piermario Meletti Cavallari after making his Super Tuscan Grattamacco famous around the block he sold it and begun a new venture in the Island of Elba in Tuscany to make an extremely difficult wine: Aleatico Passito. Its a red dessert wine with plenty of juicy refreshing character of forrest fruit and hezelnuts combined with a touch of crounchy chocolaty mouth-fill. The â€™06 has got more vanilla and structure, the â€™07 is more on the jucy savory fruit. A delight with the Marron GlacÃ¨ from the Badiani Pasticceria!