Tag Archives: Tornesi

ITALY AT YOUR TABLE IN WESTCHESTER

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It took me a while to recover from home adjustments in Tuscany.

Kids had to tune in with the Italian school again, catching up with old bills and fines and thankfully also some friends.

I left the blog in Chicago and Cincinnati right before going back to New York.

In the Big Apple we got hit by another snow storm and so I decided to enjoy some children time.


After a few snow balls I take Daphne back home and go with Milo on 18th and 5th to one of the loveliest book shops in town: Books of Wonder. Milo and I go for a Latte and a chocolate cup cake and some nice books to warm up after the cold snow afternoon.

It doesn’t take much to get a nice feeling in this town. A lot of people find it difficult to live in, but I like how New York lives.

The morning after we all went for a Gospel at the Brookling Tabernacle to get some proper NYC fuel and right afterward one can either go for a classic Brunch in a Deli like this one:

Here all troubles and sorrows are going to be drowned into gigantic burritos and welcoming smiles.

Alternatively one can always have a Sutarday or Sunday Dim-Sum Option which our kids love sooo much:

…and yet not so much like my pasta with broccoli and wild Alaskan Salmon. Meanwhile Barbara and Vanessa are working at the bar…

My stop in New York City was too quick though as I had to hold an event in Katona. And so let’s go to Grand Central, track 12 charging our spirit with a Magnolia Backery luscious red velvet cheese cake!



The trip to Katona was pretty and easy. Amy comes to pick us up at the station to get us in a beautiful mansion house in the middle of an enchanted countryside. I liked Amy’s house for its elegance, light and integrity. Benedetta get me straight in the kitchen to taste the food. I obey without any hesitation. I am trying to be more and more obedient these days…

While the pasta challenge was taking place, Barbara and I set all the wines up in the living room and by the time I feel ready for a drink…guests arrive.

I held a little introduction with the creamy Cusona Vernaccia di SanGimignano 2006 to make sure everyone read the music from the same sheet.

This is when I usually kick off with a “How to taste wine session” to break the ice. Then we all get to know each other better and dinner can start.

What a great evening: ice-cold outside fireplace on inside, great Italian Fine Wines and Italian cuisine!!!

We usually start with the schiacciata with chicken liver pate and extra-virgin olive oil appetizers.

Dinner started with:

Cauliflower and broccoli soufflé

Fresh pasta with duck ragu

Roast pork

Chocolate cake

On top of our Cepparello 2006 and Proprietà Sperino 2006 from the De Marchis we went for a great Brunello selection of the small Tornesi Wine Estate 2004 and the slick Barolo Massolino Parafada 2005. The earthy and leathery Grattamacco 2001 was contrasting the very ripe and round ColleMassari 2004, while Tenute di SanLeonardo  together with the duck ragu pasta was possibly the best match of the night. The evening went on and we finished off with the big Arnaldo Caprai Selezione 25 2003: a wine that needs to be treated badly with a lot of oxygen to make sure it opens up at the right time…and when it does it is pure pleasure.

And, as you know, Italy at Your Table can’t finish with a drop of the sweet and savoury Red Aleatico dell’Elba Tenuta delle Ripalte with Benedetta’s Chocolate Cake!

Now jacket on we have to catch a train to New York City before it’s too late. Next stop will be Boston.

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EXPERIENCE ITALY AT YOUR TABLE

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EXPERIENCE ITALY AT YOUR TABLE

A trip to Italy featuring sustainable

food and wine

Benedetta Vitali and Filippo Bartolotta, Italian masters in cooking and wine respectively, are coming to America and bringing with them the Italian culture of fresh local ingredients, traditional foods, seasonal eating and pairing of healthy food with good wine. They will be hosting events throughout the month of February to highlight Italy as THE place to go to experience enogastronomic travel and to learn about healthful sustainable eating. You will spend the evening immersed in Italian food and wine culture with a slideshow, Italian music and tons of tips for planning your next trip to Italy. The knowledgeable and entertaining duo will serve up fresh, authentic Tuscan cooking classes accompanied by hand- selected fine Italian wines, and take you on a journey to Italy without ever leaving the premises.

Each event will be tailor-made and will include either a cooking demonstration or hands-on cooking class. The cooking portion will highlight simple, delicious dishes using local, fresh ingredients. The wine portion will include wine tasting games and activities as well as more traditional wine tasting know-how and information about organic and biodynamic wines in Italy.

The festive atmosphere will be complete as your hosts take you on a virtual vacation to Italy, and help you to start planning a visit to the undisputed king of food and wine culture. What better way to get inspired for your next vacation than to hear about a spectacular biodynamic vineyard in the Chianti or a restaurant in Sicily that serves up the freshest catch of the day.

Make a Reservation!

Let us know if you are ready to discover authentic Italy by creating fresh tagliatelle pasta with ragù, swirling your glass of Vernaccia di San Gimigniano, and taking a guess at the definition of the word “umami.” Events will be offered during the month of February on the East and West Coast. They will be booked on a first come, first serve basis so please contact ….. for more information today.

Filippo Bartolotta is a wine journalist, writing for major European and American wine publications such as Decanter Magazine and serving as the editor for the bestselling L’Espresso Italian Wine Guide (English version). He also teaches about wine at the prestigious University of Siena and hosts countless wine events each year in Italy and abroad. His unique, entertaining style creates the ideal environment for anyone to fall in love with wine.

Benedetta Vitali

is a chef and owner of the renowned Trattoria Zibibbo in her native Florence. Zibibbo has received high prise for its authentic Tuscan flavors in the NY Times, Gourmet magazine, Food and Wine and in all major Italian restaurant guides. Benedetta is also a published cookbook author. She loves to host cooking classes and share her knowledge of the Tuscan kitchen with others, always emphasizing fresh and locally purchased ingredients.

OUR SELECTION OF FINE ITALIAN WINES AND FOODS

Prosciutto di Parma Dop of the Prosciutto di Parma Consortium

Traditional Balsamic Vinegar from Modena Malpighi

Pasolini Dall’Onda Laudemio Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Arnaldo Caprai

Bindella

Boscarelli

Bruno Giacosa

Castell’in Villa

Castello di Banfi

Castello di Monsanto

Cecchi

Cesani

Cogno

Col d’Orcia

Collemassari

Guicciardini Storzzi

Fattoria di Valiano

Fontodi

Fratelli Revello

Gigi Rosso

Grattamacco

Il Palagione

Isole e Olena

Latium

Lunelli-Ferrari

Mauro Molino

Massolino

Montevetrano

Panizzi

Punset

Solatione

Tassi

Tenuta delle Ripalte

Tenute Friggiali

Tenute Nardi

Tenute San Leonardo

Terrealsole

Tornesi

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Christmas comes but once a year…with "Italy at Your Table"!

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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  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 more pampered 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  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 a blink 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,  Tom Colocchio, Josè Andrès and the atomic food&wine journalist Joan 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 the 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

Arnaldo Caprai

Banfi

Bindella

Bruno Giacosa

Casa Vinicola Luigi Cecchi e Figli

Castell’inVilla

Castello di Monsanto

Cesani

Cogno

Col d’Orcia

ColleMassari

Consorzio Prosciutto di Parma

Fattoria di Cusona

Ferrari-Lunelli

Fontodi

Fratelli Revello

Gigi Rosso

Giovanni Panizzi

Grattamacco

Il Palagione

Il Solatione

Isole e Olena

Latium Amarone

Massolino

Mauro Molino

Marchesi Gonzaga-Tenuta di San Leonardo

Montevetrano

Poderi Boscarelli

Proprietà Sperino

Punset

Silvio Nardi

Terra al Sole

Tenuta delle Ripalte-Meletti Cavallari

Tornesi

Valiano


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 executed  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 dell’Elba 2006 and 2007

Here comes the end of the Holiday dinners with one of Italy’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 ’06 has got more vanilla and structure, the ’07 is more on the jucy savory fruit. A delight with the Marron Glacè from the Badiani Pasticceria!

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