This is Daphne welcoming Daddy back home.You think I am kidding? She is a true fighter and I have to make it up to her for not spending enough time home. I am actually looking forward for her to take over the business as I am sure that the moment she start talking more properly she will rule the world. So... I better be in friendly terms with her.I have been away for a long time now tasting some of the best wines on the planet, among which a lot of oldies.Well as I got back in Florence, I was invited to taste some Gewurztraminer with Davide Paolini during his grandious tasting event: TASTE
But the great thing about that spicy-Traminer I had was the vintage: 1952 Giorgio Grai Gewurztraminer and 1977 Lagrein.Mr. Grai didn't want anyone to get in the way while handling his bottles.I love this great man who want to be involved -head to toe- in what ever they do. Needless to say that his white was delicious packed with saffron and jasmines with a salty white pepper and peach sweetness. A little tired the Lagrain, still showing some licorice and cola action.
Florence is my home town and this is where every once in a while I hang out with old friends.There's a place inVia del Moro 4r in the centre of town where the city's best cocktails are served: theArt Baror Antico Caffe del Moro)055-287661.
This is just one of many we had the night before a great dinner at Un'Ora d'Aria
with Marco Stabile and the Cecchi family.Together with Marco was Filippo Saporito from La leggenda dei frati
in Castellina in Chianti and Cristiano Tomei of Leuroimbuto in Viareggio.The Cecchi Brothers matched to the creations of the three Castello Montauto, Vernaccia di San Gimignano 2010; Val delle Rose euroLitoraleeuro, Vermentino di Maremma 2010; Villa Cerna, Chianti Classico Riserva 2007 and the Coevo 2007.
The morning after I had to go for another great lunch at Teatro del Sale with PETRA introducing their single crus matching Fabio Picchi's dishesInvito Teatro del Sale_FI_15.03.11
A little walk around townprior a later afternoon meeting with a group of Centurion Agents friends at Galleria Frilli in Via de Fossi. Anna and Enrico Marinelli welcomed the group to show us around the masterpieces while everyone was enjoying a glass of Coevo.
Meanwhile Daphne through her gloves away and decided that I could still be her Daddy...
I still have some chances but I have to make sure to play it safe:)Daphne loves eating more then me, so a good lunch together is always a great way for me and her to make peace. Nicoletta's pork bones was just the right action plan. Nicoletta is the mother of a dear friend of mine. She can transform the most difficult game into the most delicious dish. I have been listening about the stories of "Gli Ossi" -the bones- cooked by Nicoletta as one of the greatest dishes of the Tuscan tradition. Well, I finally had the chance to witness that with my own tasting buds...I feel like these Mamas should be given a special recognition by the authorities for looking after these amazing forgotten dishes.
Daphne after lunch...and now is time for me to hit the road again, first stop La Pineta Restaurant with Luciano Zazzeri. Baby crunchy grilled Seppia (cuttlefish) and the ultimate spaghetti with clams.Luciano is simply "the softest and most delicate hand in the Italian Sea Food cuisine"
And whether Luciano doesn't need any presentation Deborah Corsi is a young chef who has stepped out from the crowd in the San Vincenzo area. Her restaurant,La Perla del Mare
, is a very comfortable place full of light with a great inspiration from starter to dessert. The wine list needs some updating but the experience is just going to be a very sweet one.
From the Tuscan Coast it was time to get down to Rome at the Baglioni Hotel in Via Veneto. Here I was called for a Jazz and Wine evening with Siena Jazz.My partners in crime were the young and wonderful musicians:
Agostino Longo - Piano
Giacomo Rossi - Contrabbasso
Giovanni Benvenuti - Sax
Drinking the notes of an aged Brunello while sipping the rhythm of Fasoli's arrangements made my day.
On the way to Vinitaly, like I do every year I stopped for a visit to two of the greatest interpreters of Amarone: Giuseppe Quintarelli and Romano dal Forno.
The Byblos HotelGiuseppe is the guardian of the old art of making Amarone with the big Slavonian oak casks, a lot of oxidative practices and a "winery in a house".
Quintarelli's wife calling each and every restaurant in the valley to make sure that I was gonna be properly fed:) She couldn't believe that on Monday everything is closed. So, after tasting the entire Quintarelli production I was ready to go metabolize this awesome experience, but there was no way I'd left before a restaurant was booked for me. Finally we find Caprini which opened for us and surprisingly with a great and reasonable wine selection, among which the great Quintarelli Amarone Riserva 1997.
The morning after I go to meet with Romano Dal Forno. Romano, as many of you know, was inspired by Quintarelli, but then took a new course: brand new American and some french barriques, super high-tech fans to dry the Corvina, Rondinella and Oseleta grapes and virtually no-oxygen during the wine making process.
Romano is always on top of everything and now with his three sons always in action the winery seems to be heading towards an even more consistent momentum. We tried several stuff, but his Amarone 2009 I believe is going to be a serious rock star. Pity we have to wait for another five yeas!
Time to go to Vinitaly and show the wine makers the results of Italy at Your Table Road Show.On my way home I was invited to spend a night at the Albereta Resort in Franciacorta, by the Lake Iseo. The occasion was the presentation of Anteprima Bellavista Vittorio Moretti 2004: a wonderfully tense and lively gun flint nose with a great austere palate giving the impression of a wine with no traces of oxidative elements but a lot of aging potential.
Bellavista is one of the few wineries in the world still fermenting their base wine for the bubbly in old small oak casks. This means a lot of work, but also a lot more character and length.Right before a sublime Fulvio Pierangelini's dinner was served, five of the Teatro della Scala musicians were called in to play:-Antonio Vivaldi, Concerto per Archi, in La maggiore (Allegro molto, Allegro)and-Jos Bragato, Graciela y Buenos Aires, Tango per violoncello e archiMusicisti:Sandro Laffranchini, violoncello solistaGianluca Scandola e Roberto Nigro, violiniJoel Imperial, violaMarco Radaelli, violoncelloAlessandro Serra, contrabbasso
The musicisti going on a tour before the performance.
This was a very inspiring dinner. I am still enjoying the Bragato's Tango, duetting with the succulent Ravioli di Pomodoro, alici e menta which were screaming for the Bellavista 2004!Now is time to go back home though or Daphne might put her gloves back on:)My only chance to survive Daphne "the hurricane" is only my elder son Milo, who was born with a calmer inner rhythm.