Monday, December 27, 2010

New Year's Eve Dinner with...Chef Vito Bardaro

Chef Vito Bardaro

Not too early to start thinking about a New Year’s Eve dinner menu. This time I asked Chef Vito Bardaro of Mise En Place for suggestions…


He suggested that as an apperitivo I start off with a raw seafood salad with shrimp and prawns, zeppoline, and salmon tartine. Then I should move on to lobster in a sweet and sour sauce as an appetizer.


seafood salad


First course? Spaghetti with clams and piennolo tomatoes of course…The holiday season would be empty without them.
spaghetti with clams and fresh tomatoes

For my second course, I could have baked sea bass, eel and fried cod. I should side it with insalata di rinforzo and broccoli.


fried eel



Time for dessert. Stick with tradition…struffoli, rococo, and panettone!


panettone



Happy New Year!


Sunday, December 26, 2010

New Year's Eve at Ristorante Morabianca (Av)...December 31st


Ristorante Morabianca in Mastroberadino’s Radici Resort invites you to celebrate the arrival of the New Year in style. The menu is as follows:


Benvenuto/Welcome

Crocchetta di gambero e crauti (shrimp and sauerkraut crocchettes)

Morabianca Falanghina Irpinia DOC '09



I due crudi


...Scampi in salsa rossa e ostrica su insalata di avocado e mango con tuorlo liquid (Prawns and cocktail sauce with oysters on an avocado and mango salad)

Radici Fiano di Avellino DOCG '09



Appetizer

Sfoglie di baccalà nella bietola in ristretto di porro e latte (Cod with beets in a leek and milk sauce)

Novaserra Greek di Tufo DOCG '09

Pastas

Tubetti in zuppa di patate cremose e frutti di mare (pasta in a creamy seafood and potato soup)

Paccheri all’astice e pomodoro piennilo con spuma verde al prezzemolo (paccheri pasta with lobster and piennilo tomatoes)

Novaserra Greek di Tufo '09

Main courses

Filetto di spada al forno e pistacchio croccante (Baked fillet of swordfish and crispy pistachios)

Calamaro fritto sulla purea di ceci e polvere di arancio (fried squid on a chickpea puree and powdered oranges)

More Maiorum Fiano di Avellino DOCG '08

and as usual ...

Lenticchie e piedino (Lentils and pig feet)

Radici Taurasi '06

Dessert

Cuore di cioccolato caldo con gelato alla vaniglia (Chocolate cake with hot chocolate fiiling with vanilla ice cream)

Meliza Irpinia DOC Fiano Passito

Toast in the new year with  pandora and spumante, and muscic until dawn.

The evening begins at 1930 ish
Dinner and party entrance € 120.00 per person

Children's menu € 50.00

Party Entrance (without dinner) party € 50.00

Special Overnight Package € 230.00 per person



Info and reservations

info@morabianca.com / info@radiciresort.com

+39 0825 431537 +39 0825 431537 / +39 0825 431293


Ristorante Morabianca


C.da Corpo di Cristo - S.S. 90 delle Puglie, Km IV

Mirabella Eclano, Italy

Saturday, December 25, 2010

And Now for Something Completely Different...Christmas With Armando Palmieri

Armando Palmieri


Armando Palmieri, from Misen En Place, suggested a few Christmas menu items on his site that I am more than happy to pass along.  In addition to the usual Neapolitan menu items, he has added a few alternatives. 


One option is a salad with chickpeas, fried salmon, cut into small pieces, rucola and balsamic vinegar.


 

Another idea is making a salad using granchio a roundelle (or surimi), chopped celery, and shrimp tossed in a dressing of olive oil, lemon juice, and black pepper.




Or a simple dish made with anchovies, also includes those who are fresh on the market already marinated in oil and vinegar and cut inhalf.  Put each strip on a lettuce leaf or, if you wish, layering them with diced tomatoes







Or shrimp with an avocado dip.  A dip made with avocado, shrimp, mayonaise, lemon, olive oil, and parsley.




For the first course, rissoto with artichokes and shrimp.



For the second course, black sea bass cooked al cartoccio in the oven with vegetables.




For dessert, an amazing dessert layered with custard, cake, and fruit...Trifle.

For the recipes on all these dishes, take a look at Armando Palmieri's web site.


Buon Natale!!!!





Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas with...Chef Francesco Rizzuti...Antica Osteria Marconi in Potenza (Basilicata)

This year for Christmas (weather permitting) I’ll be sitting down to a traditional Christmas dinner in Lorton, Virginia with my family. You know, turkey, stuffing, candied yams…


 
Chef Francesco Rizzuti
I couldn’t help but think, however, if I was in Italy, what choices I would have for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I decided to ask a few chefs. One chef was CHIC chef Francesco Rizzuti, Antica Osteria Marconi in Potenza. He shared with me a menu that was rich in fish.

On Christmas Eve he suggested spaghetti with clams, oysters, and lobsters. His Cucina lucana is not complete without baccala…cod. Batter fried cod. Appetizers would include baccala with scarpedde di pasta which are fried together with anchovies or peppers. Cod can also be served a ciuadedda; onions, tomatoes, olive di ferrandina…all stewed together. The sauce can be used for a rich plate of spaghetti saving the cod for the second course. Cod that has been joined by crunchy peppers and pepperoni cruschi. Side dishes? Vegetables? How about fried cauliflower or fried artichokes? How about a vegetable minestrone?

Christmas Day?

Well….the chef recommends chicken…home range, please. Chicken with an egg and sausage stuffing that produces a sauce so rich that it is perfect for homemade pasta; s trascinati , orecchiette or cavatelli. His tradition also calls for pasta al forno…baked pasta…a baked lasagna.

After enjoying your pasta and chicken, oven roasted lamb is next on the menu. A lamb that has been roasted with potatoes arraganante style. That means they have been seasoned with bread crumbs, Pecorino di Moliterno, garlic and parsley.

Dessert? Casatedde: sheets of dough fried and served with honey or cooked must.

Ok...I may miss this year, but I believe I will be spending next Christmas with Francesco...


Antica Osteria Marconi
Viale Marconi, 233,
85100 Potenza, Italia. Tel.: +39.0971.56900.










Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Gaetano Bove's Tramonti

Gaetano Bove
November 2009...the 3rd of November to be exact. I remember that particular day because it was one of my first outings as a ‘blogger’. It was Tintore Day, hosted by Cantine Astroni. Hosted by Campi Flegrei, but starring Tramonti’s wineries. And seated behind a long cherry wood table was Gaetano Bove from Tenuta San Francesco . Since then I have seen Gaetano (and his family) on numerous occasions. I have heard him speak about his Tramonti, high on the Amalfi Coast. I know the stories well, but never grow tired hearing about his territory or his wines. The latest opportunity came just a couple of weeks ago at a wine tasting in Sorrento.

A sunny day in Sorrento…a crisp December day. It had been a busy one for Gaetano. He had spent the day showing buyers from China around…didn’t have time to stop by the house like he wanted…didn’t have time to pick up a dvd with photos of his Tramonti. So he had to describe it with his words…from his heart.

Our first glass was poured…a white. Per Eva. A white wine from Gaetano’s vineyard Vigna di Prete. It is a cru…a blend. A blend of Falanghina, biancolella, and Ginestra. We tasted the 2008 vintage. We tasted, Gaetano spoke. Spoke of a wine that he produces which shows his affection for not only his wife, Eva, but for all the women in his life. Then…from his heart, he dedicated this wine to all women who are the backbone of the family. As I tasted this wine, I thought about a lunch that I attended in Gaetano’s winery last March. (here) The party atmosphere. It was here where I was introduced to his family, his Per Eva. This wine with brilliant straw yellow color. This glass when swirled lightly produced tight arches on the inside of the glass…shared fantastic light fruity aromas. Smooth, fresh, pleasant acidity, well balanced.

Our next glass was 4 Spine Riserva 2006… So here we have a red…a blend of Aglianico, Piedirosso, and Tintore…A red that expresses Tramonti in its own way. A red that produced challenges for this young winery.  A red that they, along with enologist Carmine Valentino have worked with to get they wine that they want.  Once again, my mind went back to Gaetano’s winery, where 4 Spine paired perfectly with our lunch that day. Perfectly with minestra maritata, pasta e fagioli, polenta with beans, frittata di pasta, salsiccia e friarielle Ruby red…notes of red fruits, tannic, but not overpowering.

Our last glass. A glass of 100% Tintore. Another wine, another experience. E’ ISS 2007. A powerful red from vines dating back to the 1700s. (Vineyards throughout Tramonti; Scavata di Gete, Madonna del Carmine di Campinola, Colle Aveso di Corsano, Pecorari di Capitignano) Vines that are work of art. A grape that tells the history of the area. A wine that speaks for Tramonti …from the heart. Red..dark ruby red. Dark red fruity aromas…tannins that make you stand up and take notice.

Take notice of not only a wine, but a winery. Not only a winery, but a territory. Tramonti. Gaetano Bove’s Tramonti which once again I watched admiringly as he spoke of his challenges, past, present, and future. How he expressed his hopes, his speranza, for Tintore…Tramonti…the Campania area in general. . I have heard Gaetano speak about his Tramonti, high on the Amalfi Coast many times. I know the stories well, but never grow tired hearing about them.





Italian Version

Saturday, December 18, 2010

New Year's Eve with La Poeta Vesuviano...Torre del Greco (Na)

Chef Carmine Mazza has prepared a menu to kick the year off right.

Variazione di mare : (Seafood)

Insalatina di polipetti su finocchi croccanti e salsa all'arancia (Octopus salad with fennel and an orange sauce)
Veli di orata marinata allo zucchero di canna e salsa acida al limone (Orata marinated in brown sugar with a lemon sauce)
Alici e pesce bandiera marinati agl'agrumi(anchovies and pesce banderiera marinated in a lemon and orange sauce)



Minestra di patate e funghi porcini (Minestrone with potatoes and porcini mushrooms)
 filetto di spigola di lenza all'alloro (bass fillet)

Risotto ai carciofi con gallinella di mare e alghe croccanti (Risotto with artichokes, fish, and seaweed)

Ravioli ripieni di ricotta e scampi su crema di zucca piccante ed emulsione al nero di seppia (Ravioli filled with ricotta and prawns on a bed of spicy pumpkin and nero di seppia)

Filetto di dentice scottato su insalatina di scarole e spuma di cavolfiori (Seared snapper fillet on a salad of endive and cauliflower mousse)


Semifreddo al cioccolato e strega , salsa al cioccolato bianco , nocciole del Cilento e uva candita (Chocolate and Strega parfait, white chocolate sauce, nuts from Cilento and candied rasins)

And other traditional desserts

All accompanied with home made pane al pomodoro, alle olive , alla pancetta , grissini e tarallini alle alghe di
The dinner cost 70 Euro (drinks include)

For more inf or, or to reserve call 081 883 26 73 / 328 831 6623
prenota@ilpoetavesuviano.it

Ristorante Il Poeta Vesuviano
 Viale Europa 42, Torre del Greco (Napoli)
http://www.ilpoetavesuviano.it/



Acqua , vino , bevande , distillati , spumanti compresi 70 € a persona.

New Year's Day Lunch...Le Tre Arcate...Piano di Sorrento (Sa)



By popular demand, Le Tre Arcate in Piano di Sorrento has organized a lunch rich in tradition for Capodanno prepared exclusively by chef Salvatore Accietto.  You can choose from his specialties such as:

Antipasti
Il Piatto dei Fumè (Seafood)
Salmone con Burro, Tonno con Burro Salato, Spada con Ricotta al Limone

Il Piatto degli Insaccati: (Salamis)
Salame Nostrano, Pancetta, Lardo di Colonnata, Soppressata di Gioi (Presidio Slow Food), Capicollo di Martina Franca (Presiio Slow Food) e Crostini Caldi

Il Piatto dei Formaggi: (Cheeses)
Treccia Sorrentina, Ricotta Essiccata alle Erbette, Caciocavallo Sorrentino, Provolone del Monaco e Caciocavallo Podolico – Miele e Confetture

Il Piatto Caldo:(Warm dishes)
Sformatino di Patate e Broccoli con Lamelle di Tartufo Nero

Il Fritto della Tradizione:(Fried treats)
Panzarotto, Arancino, Mozzarellina, Frittatina, Fiore Ripieno, Scagnozzo, Pizzella di Cavolfiore

Primi:(First Courses)
Tortelloni in Brodo di Carne
Le Candele Spezzate al Ragù con Grattuggia di Caciotta Secca Sorrentina
Raviolini al Gorgonzola in Salsa di Noci
Risotto Zucca ed Astice
Spaghetti di Gragnano del Pastificio dei Campi con Colatura di Alici (Presidio Slow Food )e Pomodorini el Piennolo (Presiio Slow Food)

Secondi (Second Courses)
Cappone Ripieno con Patate al Forno a Legna
Lombata di Agnello con Polenta Gialla e Scalogno Ridotto al Balsamico
Cotechino Nostrano e Lenticchie
Baccalà Fritto con Insalata di Rinforzo
Filetto di Dentice Sfumato alla Grappa di Moscato e Polvere di Mandarino

Insalata di Rinforzo
Scarole Saltate con Olive di Gaeta e Capperi di Salina (Presidio Slow Food)

Dessert
Struffoli
Pastiera
Cassata
Babà
Dolci alla Carta

Reservations are highly recommended
For more information or to reserve, contact
Ristorante Le Tre Arcate
Piazza Cota, 9/10
80063 Piano di Sorrento (Na)
Tel 0815321849
letrearcate@virgilio.it
http://www.letrearcate.net/

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Bollicine d'Italia Party...Città del Gusto Napoli, December 19





Italian Spakling Wines---Spumante!!!

Here is a chance to try some of Italy's best during this holiday season...
Feudi di San Gregorio - Piera Martellozzo - Barone Pizzini - Guido Berlucchi & C - Ferghettina - Keeping Bouquet - Monte Rossa - Enrico Serafino - Cantine Due Palme - Sella & Mosca - Cavit - Astoria Vini - Desiderio Bisol & Figli - Carpenè Malvolti - Canella - Borgoluce - Villa Sandi - and many more ...


No Citta' del Gusto is complete without their famous appetizers prepared by their chefs and pizza makers.  There will also be an opportunity to try torrone by Di Iorio and chocolate by Domori.

The evening starts at 2000 hrs ish, and after 2300 hrs, Radio Capri will broadcast live.

The price is 18 Euro (15 Euro for Gambero Rosso subscribers,  members of SLOW FOOD, AIS, FISAR, ONAV andASPI , Cartapiù Feltrinelli card holders ,and iassociate members of Cral TLC).

Reservations are necessary and can be made in the following manner:


Mail: napoli@cittadelgusto.it,eventi.na@cittadelgusto.it
Tel. 081/19808900/902
fax: 081/19808911

Città del Gusto Napoli
Coroglio 104e
Naples, Italy 80124


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Merry Christmas Mise en Place!!


It was THE party to kick off the holiday season.  Mise en Place's Christmas Dinner took place last night at Le Arcate on Via Aniello Falcone in Vomero (Na).  A festive menu prepared by the Mise En Place staff

Antipasti by Chef Vito Bardaro:  
Cannolo Brise' con Broccoli alla Monachine e Mousse di Capitone.  Polipo ai Profumi Mediterranei

Chef Armando Palmieri
Mini cheesecake di Gorgonzola e Mostardo i Pera,  Caprese rivisitata in bombon di pasta fillo e ragù napoletano



Chef Claudio Campanile:
Variazionii di Baccala:  Sfogiatelle di Baccala' in Cassuola, Baccala' Mantecato al Peperoncino, Baccala in Tempura con Granita di Asprinio 
ziti Spezzati con Genovese di Tonno al Profumo di Finocchietto

Chef Giuseppe Guiliano:
Rollatura di Pesce Spada al Pistacchio con Caponatina di Ortaggi in AGrodolce Profumata alla Cannella

Chef Maurizio Santin:
Grolla e Golosita di Cioccolato

Luciano Pignataro presented his new book, Guida alle piccole cantine della Campania...as we skimmed through the pages, many of the wines included in the book were on hand to try...to enjoy.  An even better treat...several of the producers were there, too...

Merry Christmas Mise En Place!!!

See you in the New Year!!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Natale with Chef Antonio Pisaniello,La Locanda di Bu...and Red and White Reindeer


It was time to go back…or up, I should say. Up about 941 meters above sea level to Nusco. Nusco in Alta Irpinia (Av). To this small and beautiful centro storico with a fantastic view of Irpinia. Back to Vico dello Spagnuolo, 1. Back to Chef Antonio Pisaniello, his wife Jenny Auriemma, and their restaurant La Locanda di Bu.

It was unusually warm this December afternoon, but as soon as I opened the doors, I felt the spirit of Natale…The usual red and white interior was joined by a team of dancing reindeer. Reindeer who reminded me that maybe it’s time to write a letter to Santa Claus…to Babbo Natale…A letter like this one…

Dear Santa,

I’ve been a good girl this year. I’ve worked hard. For Christmas, I’m not asking for much…just a few items that coincidently are found on La Locanda di Bu’s menu.

1) A bowl of bean soup…Warm, creamy bean soup with a small vegetable ball on top.

2) Pumpkin bruschetta. Pumpkin from Jenny’s mother’s garden. Pumpkin that has been marinated in vinegar, then placed on top of lightly toasted bread. A touch of olive oil. I’d like two, please.

3) Zeppoline with broccoli.

4) A broccoli salad, warm, with truffles on top. Underneath the broccoli, I would like to find peppers, anchovies, and warm toasted cubes of bread.

5) Fried ricotta. Not just any ricotta, though. Ricotta from Montella (Av). Crispy on the outside. Then, Santa, it must be placed on a bed of broccoli sauce with a few cubes of pancetta from Venticano. I would like it decorated with aqua di pomodoro, anchovy oil, and potatoes.

6) Spaghetti. A warm plate of Spaghetti di Gragnano. Spaghetti that has been tossed gently in a velvety sauce of peppers and cacciota podolico. A light shower of black pepper on top.

7) Canazzi or ziti with a rich ragu sauce. The sauce must be made with lamb and sausage, then slowly cooked for hours under the watchful eye of Pisaniello.

8) I would also like some dinner rolls. Warm rolls straight from the oven. Rolls that have a potato filling. Or broccoli. Or sweet onions that have been simmered for hours. Perfect for soaking up my pasta sauce.

9) A pork rib. One that has been roasted in Pisaniello’s oven, and laid to rest on a bed of potatoes, apple and pistachios.

10) Flan al cioccolato. A little chocolate cake, just for me. It must be served warm, and as I place my fork in it, I would like melted chocolate to ooze out the middle. On the side, rum ice cream, please. Homemade ice cream, with raisins and a little chocolate.

11) A tray of little pastries. Little pastries starring creme brulè.

12) The sincere genuine smile of Jenny Auriemma as she expertly suggests new wines for me to try, like Greco di Tufo from Cantine Storiche di Marzo.

Yours truly,
Karen

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Il Sapore della Tradizione-Grand Opening - Saturday, December 11 , Melito (Na)

pane a canestrelli


Il Sapore della Tradizione is Stefano Pagliuca's new location. Stefano comes from a family of passionate bakers who have been producing Canestrelli bread for generations.

The new location is 200square meters, which is divided on two floors. On the ground floor, in addition to the large laboratory for the production of breads, pizzas and a rich tradition of take away food to satisfy the taste of the finest gourmet, we find a room occupied by an inviting window-bench, where , beyond the bread and pizza, you can find fresh pasta and typical products of craftsmanship of the best regional and national traditions.

But if you go down in the basement you run into something singular and unique.

A real wine vault: 100 square meter cellar occupied by wooden shelves in which, laid in strict canonical position, are more than 5,000 bottles, which benefit from an integrated controlled climate, at a fixed temperature of 18 ° and a constant rate of 75% humidity.

Here you’ll find a wide selection of Italian, French, and other international wines. A special corner is devoted to champagne and sparkling wines, spirits and artisan beer.

Stefano will welcome everyone this Saturday at 200 hrs ish.  Stop by, grab a glass of wine and something to eat!  See you there!!!
 
Il Sapore della Tradizione
Corso Europa 125,
Milito di Napoli (Na)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Fior D'Uva...Into the Glass...Into the Territory...

Sorrento in December is spectacular. The streets are decorated with Christmas lights…window shopping is a must, and this past weekend, the Hilton Sorrento Palace hosted a vertical wine tasting that was not to miss…From the Pompeii room on the second floor, with an amazing view of the coast, I found a seat in the front row.


The winery-Marisa Cuomo...located in Fuore (Sa). Andrea Ferraioli brought with him 1 wine... 6 vintages. 6 years of Marisa Cuomo's beloved Fior D'Uva 2000-2005. Wines to observe, breathe in, taste, and discuss. As beautiful images of the vineyards and cantina were displayed in the background, Andrea shared the background of this wine, which is now made with 3 grape varieties; fenile, ginestra, and ripoli. These grapes that grow in a rocky chalky soil, and are kissed by the salty sea breezes of the coast. Three grapes that produce a wine that has won numerous awards and recognition. This wine that would play part in a wine tasting that, on this particular day, would be led by the delegate of Ais Sorrento Peninsula Giannantonio Aiuolo, Ais Campania President Nicoletta Garguilo, and Luca Gardini who was recently voted the Best Sommelier in the World.


I strongly believe that each wine tasting is an opportunity to learn…to grow. Here was a big opportunity…


So we began. A trip that would take us through 6 years of Fior D’Uva…We started with the 2005 vintage and made our way to 2000 with each sommelier alternating between vintages. As each wine was poured, it was hard not to notice the beautiful straw yellow color in each glass. As we tried the 2005 with Giannantonio Aiuolo, together we swirled our glasses, observed the narrow arcs that formed and the tears that slowly rolled down the inside.


Nose to the glass...each glass presented its own gift of aromas; intense, fruity, herbal, mineral, aromas of the sea, nutty...Luca Gardini held my attention as he performed the olfactory examination. As he approached my table, set his glass down and concentrated on the wine. He carefully, but effortlessly choose the words to describe it. Language that was easy to follow…easy to understand. I appreciated that. He helped us to note the exotic fruit aromas in the 2003 vintage and pointed out the complexities. And when he tasted...he shared how it was creamy, round, full. How you could practically chew this wine...how it really spoke for the territory.


Nicoletta Garguilo presented the 2004 vintage in her style. She noted how this wine was sapid, flavorful…fresh. She really led us through this tasting and at one point, before we tried our 5th wine, recommended that we drink water and eat a little bread to clean our mouth of the acidity so that we could move on. On to the 2001 vintage, she pointed out aromas such as artichokes, fruits, nuts, and then that salty marine aroma at the end. She helped me to understand how this wine, from an extraordinary year, had different aromas than the rest. How it was well balanced.


And then it was over.  A time to reflect.  A time to appreciate.  Apreciate a wine. One wine…six vintages. And a wine tasting that focused on the wine that brought us into the glass, into the territory.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A Glass of Wine, Mercurio, and 5 Grappoli

I quickly skimmed over an email from a friend of mine inviting me to a wine tasting…another wine tasting. Naples has had more than its fair share the past few months. But something about this one was different. I looked closer. No…no…this one would be different. This one would take me to Irpinia by way of Sannio and Caserta. This one would be held in the warm, inviting PDM della Gran Caffetteria in Napoli’s living room…Piazza dei Martidei. This one would be personal, intimate. Three wineries…5 wines, all under the umbrella of enologist Vincenzo Mercurio.


Three wineries, each coincidently recipients of Duemilavini 2011 5 grappoli awards. 5 grappoli-the highest recognition given to a wine by Ais (Association of Italian Sommeliers). Campania received 13…3 belong to wineries that work with Vincenzo Mercurio.

I grabbed my copy of Duemilavini to take a look at what I would be in for that cool rainy evening, and then I was out the door.

I Favati-Irpinia…Cesinali to be exact. I started off with a white wine. The only one at the table that evening. But what a white…. Fiano di Avellino Pietramara 2009 (5 Grappoli)…

Fattoria La Rivolta. Torrecusco-Benevento. An area that I realized I have neglected in my vineyard hoppings...A winery worth looking into. And at this particular tasting, aglianico present in two versions. A rosè—Aglianico del Taburno Rosato Le Mongolfiere a San Bruno 2009, and Aglianico del Taburno Terra di Rivolta Riserva 2007 ( 5 Grappoli).

Masseria Felicia. Sessa Annurca-Caserta. Falerno del Massico Rosso Etichetta Bronzo 2007. A falerno made with 80 % aglianico and 20 % piedirosso...another 5 Grappoli...I could see why.

For my last wine, I was back in Irpinia…back to I Favati to taste their Taurasi Terzotratto Riserva 2005.

In between trying wines, chatting with friends, and tasting appetizers, I had a chance to talk with Vincenzo Mercurio. To talk briefly about his role as enologist…the importance that he gives to the territory; how it must be respected, no appreciated. How only in this way can you produce a wine…THE wine that  not only represents a winery, but represents Irpinia, Sannio, and Caserta.

It was time to go…I grabbed my last rustico, and made my way to my car. I can safely say that I enjoyed myself.  That I tried 5 wines that were new to me. That I spoke with three wineries that proudly represented Campania. That I had a quick chat with an enologist who has made his imprint in Campania as well as throughout southern Italy. And that I definitely have some wineries to investigate in future vineyard hopping appointments…

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Marvelous Main Courses-Seared Tuna with White Sesame Seeds and Yellow Pepper Salad with Capers and Mint by Chef Carmine Mazza


Chef Carmine Mazza from Il Poeta Vesuviano in Torre del Greco has tempted me again...This time with this tuna dish perfect for the season.

Ingredients
A fillet of tuna, 500 g

50 g of salt
50 g brown sugar
Sesame seeds
Orange zest
2 yellow peppers
100 g of capers
Pine nuts
Fresh mint
Extra virgin olive oil

Procedure
Marinate the tuna with salt, sugar, and orange peel for 24 hours ...

Toast the sesame seeds in a pan until they become crunchy. Sear the tuna in a pan for 15 seconds on all 4 sides then let cool. Roll in the toasted sesame seeds and set aside.

Cut the peppers into julienne strips and season with olive oil, a little salt, capers, chopped fresh mint leaves, pine nuts and a pinch of curry

Emulsify the mint leaves with the extra virgin olive oil

Place the peppers in the center of the salad plateplace the slices of tuna on top. Drizzle on the olive oil/mint mixture. Garnish with fresh mint.

Italian Version

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Christmas at Mise En Place...December 14, 2030 hrs



Here is a Christmas dinner that you don't want to miss...Mise En Place , THE cooking school in Vomero has organized an end of the year event that is the hot ticket of the season.  Dinner with the chefs and staff of Mise En Place...

Chef Vito Bardaro, Alessandro Romando, and Armando Palmieri ---finger foods

Chef Claudio Campanile...antipasto (variazione di baccalà ; sfogliatella di baccalà in casseroula, baccalà mantecato al pepperoncino, baccalà in tempura con granatina di Asirinio di Aversa)  and first course (spezzatino di tonno al profumo di finocchietto)...

Chef Giuseppe Giuliano...second course (rollatura di pesce spada al pistacchio con caponatina di ortaggi in agrodolce profumata al canella)

Chef Maurizio Santin ...dessert (grolla e golosità al cioccolata)



The wines will be selected by journalist Luciano Pignataro as he presents his new book Guide alle Piccole Cantine della Campania,  which will be also your 'Christmas gift'.    Wines will be presented by wine consultant Marina Alaimo.

The price of this amazng festa is 55 euro, and reservations are necessary...
For more info, contact info@lesatnzedellacultura.it or andiamotrips@gmail.com  (English)

The dinner will take place at Le Arcate, Via Aniello Falcone 249, Vomero...
The fun starts at 2030 ish...
See you there !!!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Presentation of Slow Wine Guide 2011 - Avellino, Saturday, December 4, 2010


Another wine guide...and another opportunity to test the best wines from Campania and Basilicata...The appointment is for this Saturday in Avellino, at  the Auditorium Banca della Campania (Collina Liguorini) . A chance to meet with producers from Campania and Basilicata andto learn about wines and winemakers. A time of celebration and reflection around wines in Campania and Basilicata.
At 1030 there will be a conference entitled "Environment, authenticity and quality. Viticulture ethics is possible, "with the participation of: Roberto Burdese, president of Slow Food Italy, the editor of the guide Giancarlo Gariglio, and Luciano Pignataro, responsible for the Campania, Basilicata and Calabria Regions. Cosimo Lombardi, Large Corporate Banca della Campania, and Lucio Napodano, Slow Food Trust of Avellino. The conference will be chaired by by Gaetano Pascale, president of Slow Food Campania.

Afterwards there will be a chance to try the wines  from Campania and Basilicata which have received major awards in the guide. Awards which take into account not only the wines tasted, but also work in the vineyard.

The entrance to the conference is free, access to the tasting at a cost of 27 € (25 € for members) and entitles the tasting of the wines presented, the glass, the glass d pouch and a copy of Slow Wine Guide 2011 .

Napoli Street Food...Frittatine di Pasta by Chef Claudio Campanile


Last week, during chef Claudio Campanile’s lesson on Naples street food, Romina Sodano, director of Mise En Place, asked Which recipe are you going to put on the blog this week?...And at the same time we both responded with a smile Fritatina di Pasta!…


Here it is…

Ingredients
Bucatini pasta 500 gr.
Milk 1 ½ liters
Flour 300 gr
Peanut Oil 3 dl
Grated Parmegiano 150 gr.
Chopped Parsley
Salt and Pepper
Prosciutto Cotto 150 gr
Fior di Latte 200 gr
2 Eggs
Yeast 15 gr
Oil for frying 1 lt
Bread crumbs

Procedure

Prepare a roux with peanut oil and flour. Let it cook for a few minutes and then add boiling milk. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat, add salt and pepper, then let cool. This will be your besciamella needed for the next step.

Cut the prosciutto and fior di latte into small cubes and mix with a portion of the besciamella and put to the side.

Cook the pasta until it reaches the al dente point and place in a casserole dish. Let it cool down and then chop it up into large pieces. Season the pasta with  parmigiano, salt, pepper, parsley and remaining besciamella. Mix well so that it  is nice and compact. Form into small balls, filling each ball with a little bit of the prosciutto and fior di latte mixture that you prepared earlier.

Prepare a frying batter using 200 ml of water, 2 eggs, yeast , salt, and 300 gr of flour. Dip the balls in the batter, then bread them with the bread crumbs.

Fry in hot oil and drain.


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Campernauti Flegrei on Tour …la Basilicata...Abraxas Osteria, December 2


The Camper is back on the road...this time the Basilicata region is Nando and Co.’s destination. This region is rich in interesting but not so well known products. On this shopping trip, they’ll be in search of products such as caciocavallo podolico, salsiccia pezzente, melanzane rosse, as well as visit some interesting local wineries. All to prepare a special menu for Thursday December 2nd at Abraxas Osteria. The menu, to be announced later, will consist of appetizers, 2 first courses, a second course, side dish and dessert. Wine will be provided by Cantine del Notaio- Il Rogito 2006,il Repertorio 2007,l’Atto 2008,la Firma 2007.



The cost of the evening is 35 Euro and will start around 2030 ish

To reserve a spot call 0818549347-3392236700

Abraxas Osteria

scalandrone 15

Pozzuoli, Italy

Festivity 2010 -Città del Gusto, Naples, Wednesday, December 1, 2010 – 2000hrs

Città del Gusto Napoli has organized a great event based around Carpenè Malvolti, accompanied with fine finger foods created by their chefs and surrounded by music from Radio Capri.





Price: € 18.00

Gambero Rosso subscribers: € 15.00

Tickets can be purchased at Città del Gusto prior to the event (Office open Monday to Friday from 9.00 am to 17.00 pm).



Note: The price is € 15.00 for Cral members, Slow Food, Ais, Fisar, Onav, and Aspi Feltrinelli card holders, but you must present your membership card .

To buy tickets online, click here
Città del Gusto

via Coroglio 104 / E 80124 Naples

Tel: 081/19808900/902/910

napoli@cittadelgusto.it 
http://www.cittadelgusto.it/

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Chef Paolo Barrale and Marennà-Not your Typical Thanksgiving Meal

November 25 2010. The fourth Thursday in November. A day where Americans, all over the world, celebrate Thanksgiving. A day to share with family and friends…A day to go home for the holidays…

I decided to do just that..go ‘home’. My home away from home…A16. This time I headed towards Sorbo Serpico…towards Feudi dei San Gregorio. To their Michelin star restaurant Marennà, and to my friend Chef Paolo Barrale.

On this particular cold, rainy autumn day, the staff at Marennà made me feel instantly at home the minute I walked in the door. Angelo Nudo, Marennà’s sommelier , greeted us, took our coats and showed us to our table. Chef Paolo Barrale…Paolone… grinned, waved, and greeted us with a Happy Thanksgiving…No turkey today, he smiles, but I am not disappointed. I knew that whatever would come out of his kitchen would be appreciated…would make me feel comfortable and cozy…make me feel at home.

DUBL Spumante Greco di Tufo 2006 arrives…a toast to the holiday, and we begin. And what a beginning…two appetizers; candele (candle shaped pasta) stuffed with shrimp, along with frutta di mare and spring onions…the second was baccala with a creamy potato and mayonnaise sauce with truffles. Angelo paired our appetizers and first course with Pietricalda Fiano di Avellino DOCG 2009.

Next, Chef Barrale and his team sent out two fantastic firsts from the kitchen…a risotto with salmon cubes sprinked on top (salmon that had been marinated with oranges, lemon and dill) with a shower of lemon peel. Then, my new best friend…ravioli with a turnip and potato filling on a bed of burrata, a soft creamy cheese.

At this point I was about to ask for another glass of Fiano when Angelo set down two glasses on my table. I want you to try these two wines during your second course…okay Angelo, you’re the boss. Primitivo 2008 and Piano di Montevergine Taurasi Riserva DOCG 2002. With a glass of wine in hand, I walked over to the kitchen to watch Paolo at work.

I watched as Paolo led his team of assistants in preparing, plating, and presenting the dishes that would be served next. Dishes such as braised pork with radicchio, turnips, spinach, and truffles. Pork cheek cooked for hours in Aglianico until it becomes so tender that it practically melts in your mouth. This was served two ways…on a bed of creamy potatoes with truffles and with a side of creamy pumpkin.

Dessert---two assaggi…a pomegranate sorbet and Sicilian cannelloni with pistachios, sided with hazelnut sorbet and orange marmalade…Angelo served Privilegio Fiano di Avellino 2007.

Over a caffè, I reflected, as I usually do, about not only the meal, but my experience. My desire was to feel at home. A home away from home.

To have a full and satisfying meal with friends…with family.

To relax…and to give thanks…

Thanks Paolo…

Marennà

Località Cerza Grossa
83050 Sorbo Serpico (Avellino)

Open for lunch and dinner Wednesday through Saturday. Lunch only on Sunday.
To make a reservation, call 0825-986666 - 348.3639531.


Italian Version

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Napul' E'...With Chef Claudio Campanile at Mise En Place

Amidst the traffic, the chaos, the vicos, the vias, the pizza, the music, the history and the art…it’s there.
You can’t miss it. Neapolitan street food. In perfect harmony with the hustle and bustle of the city. The city that brought us O Sole Mio and Christmas Alley (Via San Gregorio Armeno) brought Napoli a culture of spectacular street food. And at Mise En Place, last Monday evening, Chef Claudio Campanile took us strolling through the Spanish Quarter sharing some of the recipes that make his Napoli Bella

Claudio presented a wide variety of fried foods, many with a particular batter. Mozzarella in carrozza, fried pizza stuffed with cicoli and ricotta, zucchini flowers, frittatina di pasta, fried zucchini, eggplant, cauliflower, and pizzete d’alghe. He also tossed in a surprise...fried polenta with cicoli...in Naples it’s affectionately called e’ scagliuozz.

That wasn’t the only surprise…in a clear glass bowl, it sat. Musso…the snout of pig. This snout that became part of our insalatina di musso. Add trippa (lemon version, or with tomato sauce), a hot spicy octopus broth and we were set…satiated…satisfied. I saved enough space, however, to finish off this stroll through the sidestreets for our mini babà...no Neapolitan meal is complete without this light piece of heaven soaked in sugar water (and in many cases rum) with a side of whipped cream...

This week, our menu was paired with St Mary pale ale artisan beer from B1080, Battipaglia.

Naples…Claudio Campanile’s Naples…a Naples that that evening transformed Le Arcate, where lessons are held, into SpaccaNapoli…Montesanto…or any of the dozens of side streets and alleys in Naples.

Sidestreets full of the aroma of frittura and the laughter of family and friends...


Naples.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Città del Gusto Napoli Christmas Cooking Classes




Città del Gusto Napoli has recently announced their line up of cooking classes to get you in the Christmas spirit...

1 December-Christmas Lunch
2 December-Christmas Chocolate
7 December-Christmas Eve Dinner-Revisited
9 December-Christmas Desserts
15 December-Christmas Eve Dinner-Traditional
16 December-New Year's Eve Dinner

For more information and to sign up, contact Città Del Gusto Napoli,
Via Coroglio 57/104E
napoli@cittadelgusto.it or call 081 19808900






Dinner da Enzo Coccia, Pizzaria La Notizia...Reloaded

A promise is a promise.  And I promised my son David that I would take him to the new Pizzaria La Notizia, back to Enzo Coccia, after the inaguration...after things calmed down, well, calmed down a little.

So, Sunday evening (1930 is the perfect time for families) we pulled up to Via Michelangelo da Caravaggio 94/A and walked in.  Before the usual crowd...that did arrive later.  Before the beautiful organized Neapolitan chaos...that did show up, David and I had a chance to chat with Enzo...Chat about how he's been, what he has been up to, what he has in store next.  But David reminded me that we came for pizza.  David wanted the Enzo...a pizza with fresh tomato slices, mozarella and rucula.  I opted for one with fresh funghi porcini mushrooms...

Between bites of our pizza, we watched Enzo back in action preparing his specialties like rotolo con ricotta e pezzente (rolled pizza with ricotta and ham from Caserta), pizza al bianco, and pizza with prosciutto cotto.

It was great to be back and smell the aromas from the oven...
It was great to be back and hear the laughter of Enzo's patrons...
It was great to be back...punto.

Pizzaria La Notizia
Via Michelangelo da Caravaggio 94/A
081 19531937
Reservartions are highly reccomended.
Open only for dinner.  Closed on Mondays



Saturday, November 20, 2010

Diary of a Sommelier Student-Muffa Nobile, Up Close and Personal

Muffa Nobile-Noble mold or rot. I heard these words for the first time during my level one sommelier class. Latin words…Botrytis cinerea, a mold that forms inside a grape, and is the goal of any winery who wishes to produce a passito, a dessert wine. A couple of paragraphs in our text book, a photograph on page 164.

I wanted to get up close and personal…to visit a vineyard with grapes still on the vine while this muffa nobile formed. To walk through the rows of vines and pick this sweet fruit off the plant, like a kid in a candy store. I wanted to go back to Montemarano…I really wanted another visit to Mastroberardino’s Aglianico vineyards.

Saturday afternoon, November 13th. Back in Antonio Dente’s SUV after a week of wind and rain in Irpinia. Rain that turned this vineyard’s terrain into a muddy mess. No way a tractor could get through here for the harvest the following week, Antonio shared. Wow…I was here about three weeks earlier. What a difference. First of all, half of the grapes had been harvested about 10 days earlier. Mastroberardino left behind the bunches whose grapes were spread out…whose grapes had room to breathe. Another major difference was that a large quantity of leaves had been stripped off the vines thanks to the weather earlier in the week. From a distance, however, spectacular views of Autumn in Irpinia.

But I came for a look up close. To see, touch, and taste the grapes along with Antonio as he picked up where my textbook left off. He pointed out how the grapes had changed. The bunches that were left behind had become darker, drier, more concentrated. We picked a few from the vine and tasted. Sweet, dolce. That extra time in the vineyard, under the right conditions, with the proper care gave way to what Mastroberardino had hoped for.

My lesson continued. These grapes would be harvested, and laid out to dry in a room under carefully controlled temperatures and climate. Here the grapes will continue to lose water and become more concentrated, sweeter. Here the grapes will spend at least 1 ½ months before they continue their trip to becoming one of two aglianico passitos that Mastroberardino has in mind. This Aglianico, a very sensitive grape, was on its way to give their Aglianico DOC Irpinia Passito the desired sweetness, the aromas similar to balsamic vinegar and dried figs. Antonio looked satisfied.

There was another vineyard he wanted me to see. Santo Stefano, Fiano di Avellino grapes. I thought that these grapes had already been harvested, but Antonio let me in on a little ‘secret’. An experiment. Three rows of Fiano were left behind after the October 29th harvest. Left behind to form that muffa nobile. Here it was easy to tell by looking what was going on inside the grape. Here the grapes were turning brown, becoming sweeter. A few tastes confirmed this.

It was getting dark, so back in the SUV. On the drive back to the winery, I was trying to absorb all the information Antonio shared with me that afternoon. Now that I better understood this muffa nobile, I was very interested in knowing how all this hard work would look like, smell like, and taste like in a glass…

Magari la prossima volta che torni ti faccio provare...(The next time you come back, I'll let you try...)

Ok!! See you next time..

Italian Version



Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Napoli Street Food with Claudio Campanile at Mise En Place, November 22

Claudio Campanile

Mise En Place hits this streets again.  This time, Chef Claudio Campanile presents a menu straight from the vias and vicos of Bella Napoli...


• mozzarella in carrozza
• pizza fritta ripiena cicoli e ricotta
• fiore di zucca in pastella
• frittatina di pasta
• pizzette d'alghe
• musso all’insalata
• la trippa
• brodo di polipo piccante
• mini baba’

This week's menu will be paired with artisan beer from B1080.

The course begins at 1800 ish, at Mise En Place's usual location, Le Arcate, Via Aniello Falcone 249 (Na)
The class costs 75 Euro and includes the lesson, a Mise En Place Kit stocked with recipes and other surprises, dinner, and drinks.

For more information, go to the site www.lestanzedellacultura.it/miseenplace or call  081 19806236

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Super Sandwiches-Pani Ca' Meusa by Chef Marcello Valentino


Chef Marcello Valentino presented a Sicilian street food menu last week at Mise En Place that included this tasty sandwich.  Not your typical ingredients, but it was so good that after eating two, I wanted a third!

Ingredients:
Sandwich rolls
Milza (spleen)
Polmone (lung)
Strutto (pork fat)

Procedure
Boil the spleen and lung until they are tender.  Let cool at room temperature.  Afterwards, cut into thin slices and sautè in hot strutto.  Add a little salt and pepper.  You may also add lemon juice or ricotta (made from sheep's milk).Serve on a toasted sandwich roll.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Sicilian Street Party with Chef Marcello Valentino

My third visit to Mise En Place brought me face to face with Sicilian chef Marcello Valentino. A chef who led us through the streets of Palermo…introduced us to a menu rich in history…a menu that proudly displayed Sicily’s street food and cous cous.

I took a quick glance at the recipes included in my Mise en Place Kit…just to get an idea of what was up ahead. Chef Valentino, however, gave us much much more. Many in the class pulled out their pads and pens to write down…capture every tidbit of advice…suggestions…neat little pearls of wisdom.

Cous cous was up first. Marcello explained the various ways to cook this ancient dish including a toasted cous cous version that he came up with about 5 years ago…

Next, the classic crocchè (cazzilli), panelle (fried ground chick pea flour), and arancina/arancino (fried rice balls). Recipes presented, then a chance to try it ourselves…If you don’t cook, you don’t eat Romina Sodano (director of Mise En Place) said jokingly.

Sicily has a rich street food culture…full of flavor…full of surprises. One of those surprises came between two pieces of bread, smothered in ricotta cheese. Milza and polmone…spleen and lung. A spleen sandwich. Don’t judge a book by its cover our Sicilian chef said…….It was amazing. The recipe will hit the blog soon.

No lesson at Mise En Place is complete without wine. This week it was Cantine Olivella who paired these dishes with their Katà (100% Catalanesca) and Lacrimanero (Piedirosso, Aglianico, Olivella). These wines were perfect with Marcello’s buffet full of the items that we prepared as well as surprises such as tripe and fishballs.

I sat down, relaxed with a glass of wine and a plateful of Sicily. I talked and laughed with friends. Marcello continued to give more tips, recipe and buffet ideas…I lost count at this point. I glanced over his shoulder, out the window at the wind and pouring rain that hit Naples that evening.

Inside, however, I was warm…comfortable. I was in Sicily, walking through Palermo. I was resting on a bench, on a street corner enjoying my cous cous…my street food…and the company of my new Sicilian friend, Marcello Valentino.



Italian Version

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Dolci al Cioccolati with Maurizio Santin, November 15 and 16

Maurizio Santin, Il Cuoco Nero

Chef Maurizio Santin is coming back toNaples…

Coming back to Mise En Place.

Two evenings, two lessons all centered around chocolate desserts. I had the pleasure of participating in one of Il Cuoco Nero’s sweet lessons a few weeks ago so I am looking forward to this one.

This time there will a new menu, new recipes, new wines to try, and a guaranteed great time.

Classes are held at Le Arcate on Via Aniello Falcone 249 Napoli from 18800-2200 ish.

For more information on costs and/or to sign up, go to the site http://www.lestanzedellacultura.it  or miseenplace@lestanzedellacultura.it or call 081 118 806236 or 340 782 1415.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Bere Bene Low Cost 2011 at Città del Gusto Napoli-The Seminars

Wine seminar at Città del Gusto Napoli

A seminar is one of the best ways to learn about wines.  This Sunday's event at Città del Gusto is packed full of them  Here is the lowdown:

1930 hrs “Mineralità Low Cost” – Those recognized for quality/price in Campania and Basilicata
Campi Flegrei Falanghina ’09 – Farro
Taburno Falanghina ’09 – Fattoria La Rivolta
Irpinia Ros’Aura ’09 – Feudi di San Gregorio
Taburno Piedirosso ’09 – Fattoria La Rivolta (premio qualità prezzo regionale)
La Sfida ’09 – Bonifacio
Sannio Rosso ’08 – Antica Masseria Venditti



2015 hrs “Giù al Nord” – Those recognized for quality/price in Piemonte, Lombardia and Trentino

Trentino Nosiola Bottega Vinai ’09 – Cavit
Curtefranca Bianco ’09 – Ferghettina
Ronco del Garda ’09 – Cascina la Pertica
Trentino Marzemino ’09 – Cantina d’Isera
Barbera d’Asti No Wood ’09 – Scrimaglio
Barbera d’Asti Sup. RoccaNivo ’08 – Scrimaglio



2100 hrs “Adriatico Quotidiano” – Those recognized for quality/price in  Puglia and Abruzzo

Pietraluna Torre Guaceto ’09 – Racemi
Anarkos ’09 – Racemi
Montepulciano d’Abruzzo ’09 – Masciarelli
Primitivo di Manduria Segnavento ’09 – Racemi Felline – Pervini
Donna Marzia Rosso ’08 – Conti Zecca
Cantalupi Negroamaro ’08 – Conti Zecca

2145 hrs “Bere Bene Sicilia (con intruso)” – Those recognized for quality/price in  Sicilia  Toscana

Vernaccia di San Gimignano ’09 – Rocca delle Macie
Centopassi Bianco ’09 - Centopassi
Polena ’09 – Donnafugata
C’D’C’ Rosso Cristo di Campobello ’09 – Baglio del Cristo
Sedara ’09 - Donnafugata
Shymer ’08 – Baglio di Pianetto

The seminars are available to participants of the wine tasting event, but you must reserve a spot. Seats are limited.

You can reserve your place by emailing  napoli@cittadelgusto.it or eventi.na@cittadelgusto.it

For more information on the event Bere Bene Low Cost on the 14th of November see the earlier post.

Fantastic Firsts-1/2 Paccheri con Provolone del Monaco by Chef Nicola di Fillipo



One of the best things about cooking classes at Mise en Place is the kit full of recipes.  Here is one by Chef Nicola Di Fillipo (La Laterna).
Ingredients
500 g paccheri (pasta)
2 tablespoons anchovy sauce 
400 g of Provolone del Monaco
Extra virgin olive oil

500 g cherry tomatoes

2 cloves of garlic

200 grams of nuts from Vesuvius

Basil leaves

100 grams of grated parmigiano cheese

Procedure

Wash the tomatoes and crush them with your hands. Make a sauce with olive oil and crushed garlic.
A part of the sauce will be saved and used to add to the al dente pasta. Dice some of the provolone to add to the al dente pasta. Thinly slice some that will be added to the dish before serving.

Cook the pasta in boiling salted water. Drain and toss in the pan with the tomato sauce. Add the diced provolone, 2 teaspoons of anchovy sauce, parmigiano cheese and toasted grated nuts from Vesuvius.

Assemble the dish with paccheri, sliced provolone and basil leaves.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Vineyard Hopping-Sunset in Santo Stefano (Av)

One more stop…One more vineyard Antonio Dente tells me. Stop three on a vineyard hopping voyage that had me in Pompei in the morning, Montemarano in the early afternoon, and now…? Now we were off to Santo Stefano for the Fiano di Avellino harvest. Fiano grapes destined to become Mastroberardino’s Radici Fiano di Avellino DOCG.

Sunset in Santo Stefano is spectacular. I hopped out of Antonio's SUV and walked through the rows of vines in silence. A cool breeze, low hum of the tractor, and rustling leaves were my company.

Beautiful golden Fiano grapes…grapes that could stay out and play longer than their cousins in Lapio due to this vineyard’s location. 550 meters above sea level…south - west sun exposure...sandy soil, rich in minerals…

I could envision this Fiano in a glass a year from now. Visualize its straw yellow color. Smell its fresh aromas such as peach and fresh flowers.

I looked around for my guide Antonio. He was busy with the boss. Antonio Mastroberardino, the head of the winery. Mr. Mastroberardino in the vineyards for his 64th harvest.

I don’t think Vineyard Hopping gets any better than this…