Saturday, December 13, 2008

Restaurant in Colle Val d'Elsa

"Officina della Cucina Popolare" (Workshop of Folkloristic Cuisine) is the name of the restaurant that Myself, Nicola and two of our close friends Ilaria and Matteo are going to open hopefully by the end of February '09.

Here's the logo that my friend Raffa has designed (her web-site: http://www.errecomunicazione.it/) and our dream is to really make this a research workshop for popular dishes of the past. The menu will change seasonally and there will be a mix of very traditional Tuscan dishes and other Italian regional dishes.
We're going to select mostly local foods produced organically - the wine list is going to reflect this criteria as well.


All in all, it is very exiting! And I hope to see many of you there in the years to come.

Here we are with the Notaio (notary) signing the constitution of our society. The notary seems to be the happiest as he just earned 1.500 Euro in 15 minutes!!!
The restaurant will be in the old part of Colle Val d'Elsa (our hometown) in the province of Siena. It's a 5 min ride from the highway exit.
Here are the details:
Ristorante Officina della Cucina Popolare
Via Gracco del Secco 86 (Colle Val d'Elsa)
Tel: (+39) 0577-921796
http://www.cucina-popolare.com/ / officina@cucina-popolare.com

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Video #33 - Best of Tuscan Wine Tours 2008

The wine tour season is almost over and winter is crawling up on us. In the meanwhile, I have collected some of my favourite video clips from this past year in this video below. The background music is composed and sung by my sister, Tabitha, who's currently studying at the Conservatory in Aarhus, Denmark.
Just a little teaser: Very, very soon I should have some very exciting news to announce - so come back and see me soon!



Thursday, November 13, 2008

Video #32 - Making of First Cold Press Extra Virgin Olive Oil w/ Tuscan Wine Tours

I don't think I need to comment much on the following video. I shot it yesterday at my friend's Alberto in Montalcino (http://www.agriturismo-podere-la-fonte.it/) who's one of the few traditional olive oil producers left in Tuscany. The oil is available for shipment everywhere through http://www.tuscany-in-a-bottle-com/.


Sunday, November 2, 2008

November

So, November has come with its cooler weather and shorter days.
It is also time for the olive harvest which is very exciting!

All Saints day was spent in the lovely company of Georgia wine tour guests. With permission I'm linking to the wine tour review: http://susancoggin.blogspot.com/2008/11/day-in-tuscany.html


Today, in occasion of my birthday, I took my friends out in the Chianti area and he had lunch in one of my favourite spots "A Casa Mia" in Montefiridolfi.
And these ary my crazy friends and I on a Chianti road (I'm the one flying in the air to the right). The little girl is my daughter Louise who is almost 6.
I shan't speak too much of my own age, but have taken to me the saying on the picture above - a sign found today in a wine bar in Panzano in Chianti.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Video #31 - Brunello solo IN ITALIA!!!

So, apparently the Brunello scandal is coming to some sort of end. Banfi was kind of cleared and has started selling again (for a much more detailed blog about the subject, do see: http://vinowire.simplicissimus.it/)
Here's a little video from one of the wineries I like to visit during the wine tours, Le Chiuse, an organic farm and on this video we are hosted by Lorenzo.


Thursday, October 2, 2008

Very funny story from a Tuscan Wine Tour guest

This morning I received this email and I got the permission to post it on-line. It's really funny!!!

"Hi Rebecca
Hope you have recovered from a busy summer.
We had a great time with you and have made many recommendations for people to visit and have a tour - it made a fantastic day out and we learnt a great deal about Tuscan wines (now we scour the shelves of the local wine stores for Chianti Classico's)

Thought we should share a story with you from the evening of our tour!
Well...we were recommended a great restaurant in Florence and booked a table (The 4 Lions..you may know it?)
Anyway - arrived and ordered from the menu - the wine list was extensive, however, having drunk great wine all day we decided to simply order a 1/2 carafe of the house red -
Well it turned up and was awful!
The restaurant was starting to get busy and a couple came to a table next to us...he was a flashy American and she was very 'City' from London. It seemed quite clear that it was a 'hot date and weekend away and that they were only in Florence for one thing!!
So, the waiter came to their table - they gave their order and the American then asked what the best wine they had was - the waiter told him that he had a 'super tuscan' from Ruffino...the one on the menu was a good year 2005, however, they had 4 bottles of 2003 in the cellar. This was ordered and away he went to get the wine.
As you can imagine, our ears pricked up and we started a conversation with them, telling them that we had heard that 2003 was a great year and that we had been drinking some good Super Tuscans during the day.
They were quite disinterested and did not pick up on the converstaion, prefering to gaze into each others eyes and play footsie under the table.
The wine arrived and they simply poured and drank, making no comment at all...very matter of fact etc.
So our main course arrived and their starter arrived. They quickly finished their starter and all of a sudden got up from the table and left the restaurant...Laura said...well they're in a hurry and we both laughed etc, then noticing the half full Super Tuscan bottle still left!
5 minutes passed. The waiters cleared the table, except for the wine.... then 10 minutes and we then started to joke about trying the bottle. 15 minutes later - much to my suprise, Laura then reached over, picked up the bottle and poured us both a glass...placing the bottle back on the table and telling me that it 'was a great waste' and we should 'just try it'.
We both sat savouring the wine when I saw Laura turn white!...the couple were coming back to their table! They sat down and their main course arrived - apparently they had gone outside for a cigarette!!...Well Laura went red!.. They hadn't a clue, just poured more wine into their glasses - didn't even blink! We finished our meal...called quickly for the bill and left!! - We've never left anywhere so quickly in all our lives....
So that's the Super Tuscan 2003 story!

Hope all is well with you.
Best wishes
Paul & Laura"

Friday, September 26, 2008

Video #30 - Tuscan Wine Tours interviews organic wine producer about Sangiovese

This is one of the wineries I like to visit in the Chianti Classico region, so we are speaking mainly Sangiovese grapes. This video is from the 20th of September 2008 and Piero, the enologist (wine maker) presents the vineyards and speaks about the conditions of the grapes.


Thursday, September 4, 2008

Video #28 - Walking Food tour of Florence, part 1 - MEAT!

Yesterday morning I unexpectedly found myself spending some of the morning in Florence and decided to go video the Florentine food markets (Central Market by San Lorenzo and the Sant'Ambrogio food market) with my small handycam.
For those of you coming to Florence and wanting to experience the food of Florence, you should do likewise. Just remember to go in the mornings before 1 pm after which they close.
Hope you enjoy the video!


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Video #27 - Tuscan Wine Tour Guest Clips from the Summer of 2008

The summer is proceeding beautifully over here. I was in Denmark last week visiting friends and family which really was a recharging of batteries and I have now come back with new energy for the harvest season.
We expect a nice grape harvest at the end of September and a good olive harvest in November. Remember that it's about time to book your shipment of the Olio Nuovo (the new olive oil) if you would like to receive it before Christmas. Contact me through http://www.tuscany-in-a-bottle.com/ for that.



Great Summer Guest's Clips '08 from Rebecca Christophersen on Vimeo.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Video #26 - Tuscan wine Tour testimonials - summer 2008, part 2

Time for yet another video featuring the fantastic wine tour guests the past months. Again, thanks to everyone who has contributed ;)

Some news about the Tuscan Wine Year, '08:
For those of you who are wondering what is happening in the Tuscan wine regions this year... Unfortunately, '08 has been the year of the wine scandals, starting with Brunellogate that put a black cloud over the Vinitaly fair in Verona in April. The region is behaving a little chaotic at the moment and we are all attending official news on what is really going on. The attention shifted to Montepulciano for a short while as it was discovered that wineries were using grapes from outside of the region. Again, all has yet to be confirmed by the authorities and many speculations are perhaps leading to false rumours??
Weatherwise, the year thus far has proceeded within satisfactory parameters. Spring was in the sign of rain, and summer has so far been generous in sun hours. The green harvest (selection of grapes on the vines) is about to happen and the exciting season of the grape ripening is about to set in. So far, so good...


Tuscan Wine Tours Summer Testimonials - 2 from Rebecca Christophersen on Vimeo.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Video #25 - Tuscan wine Tour testimonials - summer 2008, part 1

I apologize once again for my rare postings on the blog, and I really have to thank my great guests who leave me with these wonderful memories - the testimonials:


Tuscan Wine Tours Summer Testimonials 2008 - 1 from Rebecca Christophersen on Vimeo.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Video #23 - Blindtasting of 3 whites by Mastertaster Louise

The busy season has really started and there is practically no time to make interesting videos for you right now. The wine tours and guests so far have been terrific - a great satisfaction that makes me very happy.
Here's another video with my wonderful daughter. She thinks doing these tasting videos is a blast!


Blind tasting of 3 whites from Rebecca Christophersen on Vimeo.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Video #21 - Cooking with Alberto again - Ribollita

I don't know how to explain to you how happy I am to be able to post these videos from Alberto's kitchen. I'm so proud of what an excellent cook he is and anyone taking this tour will testify to it.

This video is a little long (25 minutes) - I'm so sorry - I will try and make them shorter in the future.
In this video Alberto shows us how to make the best Ribollita soup ever. It's an old Tuscan dish, a hearty soup that you should absolutely try to make!
If you need a list of the ingredients, just let me know...


A Hearty Soup - Tuscan Ribollita from Rebecca Christophersen on Vimeo.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Video #20 - A Mastertaster judges Tuscan wine and more...

The season has finally started. It's not necessarily the weather that gives us the indication. The first signs are always the big tour busses out on the highways and the school groups that invade the Italian art cities just around Easter.

We all wake up from our winter daze and start working again. It's a wonderful sensation but also very tiring the first couple of weeks - and of course spare time is limited. For this reason the frequency of new videos will be reduced during the summer - but I'll try and get a few out to you once in a while.

In the meanwhile, I would love for people to comment on the videos. And remember that you can download them on your Ipod by going into Itunes and typing in "Tuscany" as a search word on the top right - you'll find mine called "Rebecca in Tuscany" (there are two - one with just audio and one with the videos).

And now we come to today's video which is not very serious but very special to me as it stars my daughter Louise. Since she was born she has watched me wine taste and she's learned quite a bit. Her smelling and tasting curiosity has definitely develloped a lot. Enjoy!


Mastertaster Louise for Tuscan Wine Tours from Rebecca Christophersen on Vimeo.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Video #19 - A cooking lesson in Tuscany "Crostini with Salsiccia" - 3

In this video Alberto shows us how to make his delicious Sausage Crostini.
These are the ingredients:
Rosemary
Garlic
Chili peppers
Olive Oil
Sausages
Wine
Tomato


Antipasto - Crostini with Salsiccia from Rebecca Christophersen on Vimeo.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Video #18 - Another Tuscan cooking lesson with Alberto - "Tagliatelle con Capocollo" - 2

This is a fairly simple recipe - the ingredients should all be rather easy to find.
In this episode Alberto prepares the pasta sauce and Marzia takes us through the steps of making fresh pasta.
Name of the dish would be tagliatelle con capocollo and here in Italy it is considered a "primo piatto". This is seriously one of my favourite pasta dishes.


Pasta tagliatelle with capocollo from Rebecca Christophersen on Vimeo.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Video #17 - Tuscan Cooking Lesson "Stufato di maiale" - 1

Time for a little break from all the wine videos I have put up recently. I convinced my good friends Alberto & Marzia to host some cooking lessons, so you can expect more delicious recepies up in the next few days.
This recipe is absolutely delicious - stufato di maiale - pork casserole - which is considered a secondo - so a second course. Enjoy!


Stufato di Maiale / Roman port stew from Rebecca Christophersen on Vimeo.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Video #16 - My Umbrian Wine Tour

Whichever most beautiful place you live in, it's always refreshing to see another area. So I decided to head out to the neighbouring region of Umbria early Friday morning. My friend Brenda had planned the perfect day touring the wine region of SAGRANTINO DI MONTEFALCO choosing mostly small "garage" wineries.
I met Brenda and her lovely friend Doreen by the town that they live in, Spello. Brenda and Doreen are two expats that after having moved to Italy have found a love for wine just like myself. Their town Spello is a little gem close to the notorious town of Assisi and just North of the wine region that gives birth to the authoctone grape varietal, the Sagrantino.
When I arrived and teamed up with the girls, I felt like I couldn't have been in better hands for the perfect Umbrian wine tour!
These are the wineries that we went to:
- Ruggeri
- Antano
- Paolo Bea (will be available for purchase on http://www.tuscany-in-a-bottle.com/)
- Arnaldo Caprai

Upon request from a wine producer who didn't believe his winery was correctly displayed, the video has been removed.

Umbrian wine tour - Sagrantino di Montefalco from Rebecca Christophersen on Vimeo.
PS. If my video has made you more interested in Sagrantino wines, I recommend you watch Gary Vaynerchuck's tasting episode of 3 Sagrantinos. Here's the link: http://tv.winelibrary.com/2008/01/25/sagrantino-di-montefalco-and-heart-to-heart-episode-394/

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Video #15 - Benvenuto Brunello 2008, video 4

This is the last video, alas!
And the question in this video requires a little explanation.
Basically, since I started attending the Benvenuto Brunello festival years ago I always wondered why some of the most "famous" wineries wouldn't attend the event. It slightly irritated me partly because I had hoped to try some wines that otherwise weren't easy to get a hold of and secondly because I thought that the whole idea behind producing a wine with a unique name, so in this case Brunello di Montalcino, and by being members of the Brunello Consorzio should imply taking part of the important initiatives that the latter has to promote the area and the name of the wine.
Apparently this is not the case. Very respectable wineries such as Soldera, Biondi-Santi, Salvioni, Cerbaiona, Salicutti, etc (and from this year Casanova dei Neri & Poggio di Sotto) are some of the wineries that were no where to find on the list of the Benvenuto Brunello wineries. Only 153 out of a total of over 204 (approx) showed up.

SO, my question to some of the wineries that actually were at the Benvenuto Brunello event (you might already have detected that some of the people I interviewed are part of the famous wineries - but who did turn up) was:
"What do you think about the wineries that have chosen not to participate in the Benvenuto Brunello wine event?"
I felt it was a sore question that nevertheless needed to be addressed.
So here are the answers to that:


Benvenuto Brunello Wine Festival February 2008, part 4 from Rebecca Christophersen on Vimeo.

Video #14 - Benvenuto Brunello 2008, video 3

And so here's the fun question that I just had to ask the producers to see their reaction ;)
What do the Brunello wine producers think about Sangiovese grown in California?
Here's the answer!


Benvenuto Brunello wine festival February 2008, part 3 from Rebecca Christophersen on Vimeo.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Video #13 - Benvenuto Brunello 2008, video 2

My second question to the wine producers has to do with the star-system used in Italy (1 star being pretty bad and 5 stars being extraordinary). It seems to me that especially for Montalcino the stars have a huge say on how the market goes for a specific vintage. The 2002 vintage was rated only to stars, but there were wineries who could produce Brunello and wineries that couldn't. And then again there were the ones who decided not to produce Brunello because a lowly rated year would be hard to sell.
The most recent harvest - the '07 has just been rated - 4 yrs before the '07 vintage will actually come on the market. It was rated 5 stars which is the max.
So, my question to the winery owners was:
Do you think that the stars given to the different vintages are fair?


Benvenuto Brunello festival in Montalcino 2008, part II from Rebecca Christophersen on Vimeo.

Video #12 - Benvenuto Brunello 2008, video 1

This weekend we attended the Benvenuto Brunello manifestation in Montalcino. It's an annual event organized by the Consorzio and all the producers of Brunello are invited to come into the Fortress of Montalcino to present their newly released vintages. This year's release was the Brunello '03 (there were no Riserva's as the '02 vintage didn't allow for it).
I decided to go and ask the winery owners and producers 4 questions. I regret that I didn't ask a fifth question related to the recent sponsorship that the Consorzio has received from the car company FIAT. In fact, the yearly artistic tile hung up in Montalcino at this time has FIAT written all over it. However, I decided not to become too political and to stick to my original questions.
Question number 1:
In a few words, how would you describe the tipicity of Brunello?


Benvenuto Brunello Wine Festival in Montalcino 2008, part I from Rebecca Christophersen on Vimeo.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Video #11 - Follow me in my visit of a Pecorino Cheese maker in Volterra

Volterra is one of those hilltop towns in Tuscany that really is a must-see both because of its ancient history that ties it to the Etruscans and for its magnificent handcrafs. The country side around it is almost magical, vast views that on a clear day will let you see the Mediterranean sea. This area is perfect for keeping sheep and hence it was a natural choice of Sardinian families to settle down in this area when they came over from the island in the last century. They took their cheese making tradition with them and hence the Pecorino Cheese making has flourished in Tuscany.
Here's a video of one of my favourite producers of cheese. My question to you is, what cheese is your favourite? (leave a comment...)


Pecorino Toscano from Rebecca Christophersen on Vimeo.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Video #10 - Last video question to the wine producers at the Anteprima of the Vino Nobile

And so my last question to the wineries is:
"Do you think it is possible to taste the difference between organic and non-organic wines?"
Do you think they agreed?

Video #9 - Third video from the fair Anteprima del Vino Nobile

...in which I ask the producers which place within Tuscany they think that the Sangiovese grape gives the best result...

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Video #8 - A second question to the producers of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano

Here's the second video with comments from the producers to the following question:
"Do you think it could be perplexing to the customer abroad that there is a likeness between the names of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and Montepulciano d’Abruzzo?"

Monday, February 18, 2008

Video #7 - Anteprima Vino Nobile

This is the time of year when many of the wine fairs take place.
The first I've attended was this past week-end in Montepulciano. My "mission" was to ask the wine producers 4 questions and then confront the answers cutting them together in videos for you guys to enjoy.
So I predict that there will be 3 more videos coming along...

The question in the first video:
"Do you think that the DOC & DOCG regulations are enforcing quality or are they restrictive regulations that effect the competition on the international market?"


Saturday, February 16, 2008

Video #6 - Saffron of San Gimignano

So this new video shot this morning is about Saffron - but not just any saffron - it's about the saffron grown around the town of San Gimignano.
San Gimignano is a hilltop town that has become real popular to visit ever since Rick Steves wrote it up and it now receives a myriad of tourists. But few take the time to visit the farms around it, farmers of oil, wine (Vernaccia di San Gimignano & Chianti Colli Senesi) & last but not least, SAFFRON.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Video #5 - Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, part III

And so this is the last of the trilogy of videos about the Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena DOP.
In this video you will learn about:
- the bottling process
- the tasting

You should be able to find the TBV in special gastronomy stores - or have it shipped to you from here: http://www.tuscany-in-a-bottle.com/

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Video #4 - Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, Part II

And so here's part two:
- how the Traditional Balsamic Vinegar is made according to regulations
- the aging of the two kinds: the minimum 12 year old and the minimum 25 year old


Monday, February 4, 2008

Video #3 - Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, Part I

You all know Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, right?
But did you know that the stuff you buy in supermarkets in all sorts of different size bottles and with all sorts of labels actually isn't the real thing? Nothing wrong with it, but most balsamic vinegars today are produced on an all together industrial scale and aren't particularly tasty or natural as they are produced chemically. Only a few producers in Modena today produce the real thing, the Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena a natural product of great tradition which has been protected by the DOP (protected origin) designation since the year 2000.
We went to visit a small Acetaia in Modena to uncover the mystery once and for all!
I will be posting more parts as I finish editing them.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

When in Venice...

It was about time I went to Venice, only 13 yrs after my arrival in Italy!
I had sort of feared it because of the many warnings about the hords of tourists. But it was lots better than I imagined, maybe because of the time of year, maybe because I got lost in an area of town where there were nothing but Venetians, maybe because we had dinner in the most memorable Enoiteca ever, or maybe because we were only there for 24 hours!
Anyway, I have to tell you about the Enoiteca. Actually, I had been having dinner the night before in Padova at Le Calandre (see previous post for picture of chef) and as I were having dinner with our friend Luca from Padova (who's a pastry chef)), he says to me that I have to go to this place and eat in Venice called Mascareta.
I wasn't really paying attention to the conversation, especially because those northern accents really tire my ears, but suddenly this very original character is sitting with us at the tabel. And what a character! It just so happened that the owner, Mauro, of the restaurant in Venice was in the same restaurant as me that night, so I certainly had a date for the next evening in Venice!
So after getting lost in the alleys of Venice and with feet hurting from blisters, I decided to head for an early dinner. I find Enoiteca Mascareta, get a seat and start ordering. Mauro, my new friend, arrives a little later and then starts taking full care of me. We had the most amazing food, and gallons of wine - all sorts that he just started bringing us. "Natural" wines that had very little to do with what the modern palate is used to. However, extremely interesting and an extraordinary entertaining night. I didn't get back to the hotel 'till 2 am - completely exhausted and probably a little hazy! The good thing in Venice is that you don't have to drive anywhere so you can drink without danger!!!
I could tell you lots more about Mauro and his fantastic ideas, but it would get too long...

But when in Venice, make sure to look up this restaurant or ENOITECA as it is classified by Mauro himself, founder of the International Enoiteca Association.

Enoiteca Mascareta
Wine Bar
Calle Lunga S. Maria Formosa, 5183
Venezia Tel: 041-5230744
Open from 7pm to 2 pm

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Video #2 - Romano Dal Forno winery visit in Valpolicella

I finally finished editing the video of a visit to the famous wine producer in the Valpolicella region (just North of Verona) Romano Dal Forno. We went there on our recent venture to the North of Italy. I really hope you enjoy it... (I did!)


Review of wine tour

The other day I received an email with this lovely review of a recent wine tour. I was so pleased to receive it that I've decided to put it up on the blog.

"Thanks so much for such a wonderful tour of the Chianti region. It was the perfect way for Amanda to end her semester in Florence. She fell in love with Italy.
We got the wine a couple of weeks ago and Brian is waiting for a special occasion to open them up. (I think he is just waiting for Amanda to get home from school, so she can share in the fun!)
I gave out a number of the bottles of olive oil at Christmas and everyone has LOVED them! We even had a nice little olive oil tasting for our friends. We learned so much about olive oil from you, and we shared that knowledge with our friends. It was great fun!
We loved the wine tour. Brian said it was the best part of our trip to Italy and Amanda was thrilled. We learned so much and had such fun! Amanda loved practicing her Italian and thought you and Katia were great. Brian tells everyone how he wanted to bring MAMA home with him because she was such a great cook. He still cannot get over that Tiramisu she served! That lunch was so special! Please extend our fondest greeting to Katia!
We will think of you and your friends at those two very special vineyards each time we open one of our precious bottles of wine from the Chianti region.
Fondly,
Donna"

Friday, February 1, 2008

Video #1 - Parmesan Cheese (Parmigiano Reggiano DOP)


Here's the first video from our short gastronomic trip to the North of Italy. This video shows how Parmesan Cheese (Parmigiano Reggiano DOP) is produced.

Monday, January 28, 2008

3 Michelin stars: LE CALANDRE



This is Massimiliano, the youngest chef in the World to have received the 3 Michelin restaurant stars! And I was lucky enough to go taste his magical cuisine last week. Furthermore, I was fortunate enough to get a quick tour of the kitchen - and voilĂ  here's his picture at the end of the night as he was preparing Italy's most famous dessert "Gioccolato - 2008 edition" (a dessert with 12 preperations)!

We did the traditional tasting menu (175 Euro a piece) which was absolutely fantastic. We matched the courses with 4 different wines. It's needless to say that the food was fab. But also the atmosphere was great, not as formal as I had expected. The service was extremely professional but light-hearted.

I would definitely go back, but I'll probably need to take a loan first!!
If you want to get your saliva going: http://www.calandre.com/default.asp?lingua=ing

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Beer and Cheese Tasting

Earlier on this week I went to a really interesting cheese & beer tasting organized by a local restaurant. I've done cheese tastings (usally with wine) and in other occasions gone to beer tastings, but never a proper tasting of the two together.
We were served a total of 3 different kinds of artisan beers, a pilsner, a weiss beer and a dark lager. All 3 beers were quite intense, both in color in taste and persistency.

There were 3 servings of cheeses to match the beers. All Tuscan cheeses selected by Paolo Piacenti, a famous cheese refiner and selector. He sells to good restaurants and he's got a shop in San Gimignano - http://www.formedarte.com/.

The first serving was soft sheep's cheeses with the pilsner
The second was harder Pecorino cheeses (as the one in Paolo's hand), one was ash aged, another walnut leaf aged and another aged in caves - served with the weiss beer.
The last serving was an excellent piece of soft blue cheese. Yum! Served with the dark lager, of course.


I have to say that the experience was very positive and the matches perfect. Personally I still would tend to serve cheese with wine - old habits die hard - , but I recommend trying the combination with beer if you get the chance. Fun!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Happy 2008


In Tuscany there is an old tradition at the beginning of the year. Each future month is represented by the first 12 days of the year, and so you can predict how nice it is going to be by looking at each day. Well, if it works we're going to get some pretty rainy months in 2008.
Anyway, I just wanted to say a couple of things:
I wanted to link to my ex-customer and friend Michael Palmer's blog about Italy as he's been as nice as to put together a little film about the wine tour: http://michaeldpalmer.blogspot.com/2007/10/wednesday-october-10-2007.html - so please go visit it.
And then I finished my podcast Episode no 2 yesterday which is about the SUPER TUSCAN wines which you might want to listen to: http://rebeccaintuscany.mypodcast.com/2008/01/Tradition_and_Innovation_The_Super_Tuscan_Wines-71209.html - you can subscribe to the podcast through Itunes - so follow the link on the page that appears after clicking here.
I will be going on a couple of small holidays within Italy in this month - what I really wanted to do is visit the Balsamic Vinegar maker in Modena, see the Parmesan being made in Parma, go visit one of the guru's of Amarone in Valpolicella and some other food things... I will definitely be reporting back here on my small food & wine adventures!
Happy 2008 everyone!