Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Discovering Greco di Tufo with Ais Napoli and Enoteca Divinoinvigna, July 1st


Divinoinvigna Enoteca e AIS Napoli will hold a blind wine tasting on Thursday, July 1st.  Mauro Erro will lead this journey through Irpinia where 6 Greco di Tufo wines from 5 different areas will be presented. Adele Chiagano will prepare dishes to accompany the tasting.
The fun begins at 2030 ish,
The cost of the evening is 35 Euro and reservations can be made by contacting divinoinvigna@libero.it – 081 3722670 – 329 6467600
Enoteca Divinoinvigna – Via S. Freud, 33/35 – Naples

Marennà Summer Party, Friday July 16

Marennà-Feudi Di San Gregorio's Retsurant -will throw their annual Summer Party on Friday, July 16th. Chef Barrale will be on hand to prepare a menu made for l'estate. DUBL, Feudi's famed spumante ,will flow freely.  Live music perfomed on the enormous terrace of Marennà with a captivating view of the vineyards. All that is missing is YOU! 

The cost of the dinner party is 30 euro.
Reservations (highly recommended) can be made by calling 0825 986675 or prenota@feudi.it.

Loc. Cerza Grossa
Sorbo Serpico (Av)


Monday, June 28, 2010

La vita di Michelangelo - Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Napoli

An exhibition on the long life of Michelangelo through the documents of the Buonarroti Archive. From the first letters and poems of his youth to the correspondence of the artist, by that time he reached  ninety years old, with the beloved nephew Leonardo. The display highlights two main phases of Michelangelo’s life: the Florence adulthood period and the following period in Rome, where he became an architect of Saint Peter’s factory. The proofs of his period in Florence (letters and drawings) provide information on his Michelangelo’s intense commitment, in particular, around two great works: the tomb of Julius II who, in 1505 on the Pope’s will, should have been placed in Saint Peter but was never actually finished; and the tormented enterprise of San Lorenzo in Florence, from the never carried out project for the façade of the basilica to the realizations of the Sagrestia Nuova and the Biblioteca Laurenziana. The Roman period documents the close friendship with the young Roman patrician Tommaso dei Cavalieri and with Vittoria Colonna. On display one of the greatest masterpieces of Michelangelo’s graphic production: the drawing of Pianta di San Giovanni dei Fiorentini. Part of the exhibitive path also the ancient works of the Farnese Collection, starting from the famous Hercules.

The exhibit runs through the 8th of August. Opening hours: everyday 9am-7:30pm. Closed on Tuesday. Ticket cost: 10 euro.

For more info: http://www.associazionemetamorfosi.com/napoli2010

Info taken from a great site for all kinds of events in Campania...http://www.incampania.com/

Everything is Coming Up Roses

It seems like the hot color of this summer is a cool pink…or should I say rosé. Manuela Piancastelli and Peppe Mancini of Terre del Principe hosted Antonio Fiore (Corriere del Mezzogiorno), his group of wine and food enthusiasts, I Macchoroncini, and 5 of the top chefs from Campania.

Cinque ‘Babette’ as the program called them. Five of the top female chefs joined together to present a cool pink menu to accompany Terre del Principe’s Roseto del Volturno. So after a medieval musical concert in the vineyards, a toast in the bottaio, we sat down to lunch.

The menu was as follows:

Chef Rosanna Marziale of Le Colonne in Caserta

Ricotta a cianfotta in formella, a beautiful presentation, ricotta tinted with saffron and turnip (to give it that cool pink color) and stuffed with lightly sautéed summer vegetables. Topped with mozzarella milk.

Chef Marianna Vitale of SUD in Quarto

Cheesecake di baccalà profumata al finocchietto con pomodoro confit, ceci di cecerale e buccia di limone, Haddock cheesecake with a touch of fennel, lemon peel and tomatoes. Sided with cicerale chick peas.

Angela Ceriello of ‘E Curtì in Sant’Anastasia

Paccheri con stoccafisso, Paccheri with haddock, tomatoes, olives, and capers.

Laura Iodice of Fenesta Verde in Giugliano

Involtino di tonno rosso al pomodoro, a roulade of tuna in a light summery tomato sauce sided with escarole and capers

Luisa Evangelista of Osteria La Lanterna in Mugnano del Cardinale

Bocconcino di primo sale a caglio naturale con riduzione di rosato in foglie di vite, a beautiful package of cheese that has been melted with a reduction of Manuela’s rosè

Donnarosa and Torta ubriaca di Roseta del Volturno, pink pastrries stuffed with a light cream and a chocolate cake, both made with Roseto del Volurno.

The atmosphere was light. The guest, all decked out in pink, enjoyed the wine, the meal, themselves.

Antonio Fiore was full of surprises and fun. Served as the perfect co-host for the day.

The chefs, each amazing in their own right, presented their dishes, their recipies, their personalities.

Each different, each a perfect match.

A perfect pink day…

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Art Exhibit at Castel del'Ovo Napoli with Marco Palmieri

There will be an art exhibit at Castel del'Ovo in Mergellina by artist Marco Palmieri June 30-July 25.  The show will open with an inaguration on the 30th of June from 1800-1945-  If you miss that, you can still see his artwork Tuesday-Saturday 1030-1330, 1600-1900.  Sunday 1030-1330.

Lunch con Carmine Mazza-Il Poeta Vesuviano

Saturday...Napoli- Salerno A3, Torre Annuziata nord exit...direction Torre del Greco...Viale Europa 42....Il Poeta Vesuviano’s summer menu.

A menu that uses home grown vegetables, homemade breads and pastas, local products. A menu that is simple, pleasing to the eye and palate. A menu prepared entirely by Chef Carmine Mazza.

The first thing that stuck me about Carmine was the fact that he is only 25 years old. The ‘chef’ bug hit when he was 12, waking up on Sunday mornings to the smell of the typical ragu sauce simmering away. After attending chef’s school, he worked in numerous local restaurants…then his big break or breaks came. Hotel Capri Palace with Chef Oliver Glowig…Don Alfonso 1890, Sant Agata sui Due Golfi. Then eventually, at the ripe old age of 23, he opened up his own restaurant, Il Poeta Vesuviana, and has been running things ever since.

Humble, charismatic, and proud of his Campanian roots. That is the impression that I got while talking with Carmine. We discussed the menu…which began with a benvenuta from the chef; marinated artichoke with a reduction of Aglianico…Welcome.

The appetizer was Variazione di Zucchine, zucchini made in three ways. Timballo di zucchini con provola di Agerola…a little zucchini package with melted provola and basil inside. On top, tiny cubes of zucchini that had been light sautéed in olive oil—from Cilento. This timballo was served with a puree of zucchini and a zucchini flower that had been lightly fried then dried in an oven for about 2 hours (80° C)….Kate, my accomplice, described this as an essence of zucchini…I have to agree.

First course…Gnocchetti al limone con calamaretti and vongole. YES! This is what caught my attention. Homemade gnocchi, made with boiling hot water, flour, and lemon peel. Then a simple sauce of tiny squid, clams, and parsley. Beautiful…from the presentation, to the flavor. Just the rights touch of lemon…not over powering…just the right amount of mare...the squid, the clams…

Second course…Parmagiana di pesce bandiera …a mini tower with alternating layers of lightly fried eggplant, and fish…all on top of a light tomato sauce. A sauce made with the pomodoro al piennolo—typical of the Vesuvius area…

To accompany our meal…Carmine’s bread rolls (homemade of course) made with tomato sauce, olives, and plain…brought to our table hot from the oven.

Dessert…Semifreddo pralinato al latte di mandorla, con salsa al cioccolato e fragole, a frozen cream made with almond milk, a light chocolate sauce topped with fresh strawberries. Speechless.

Il Poeta Vesuviano is only about 45 minutes from Naples…in a quiet neighborhood…in a modest setting with straightforward decor. Almost out of place when you consider the impressive menu, the evolving wine list…we accompanied our meal with Apicella’s Costa D’Amalfi...Tramonti.

Il Poeta Vesuviano is definitely worth the trip. They are open Tuesday through Saturday for lunch and dinner. Sunday, lunch only. I would definitely call for reservations; particularly on the weekends since their dining room only has seating for 28 people…

Il Poeta Vesuviano
Viale Europa 42
Torre del Greco
081 833 2673

Friday, June 25, 2010

A tutta birra ma... con "Karma"-Veritas Restaurant, June 30, 2010

Veritas Restaurant  has decided to throw a dinner party to inaugurate their beer list. They have invited Mario Cipriano, master brewer and owner of Karma Alvignano in Caserta.


Salsiccia di baccalà, fagiolini fritti e maionese all’aglio dolce, Cod sausage, fried beans sweet garlic mayonnaise
Beer: Lemon Ale

Fagottini ripieni di fagioli spollichini e cozze in zuppetta di sedano e lardo di montagna, Burritos stuffed with beans and a mussel soup with celery an lard.

Salmone selvaggio in panuria alle erbe, crema di patate e porro, Wild salmon in herb-flavored breadcrumbs, creamed potatoes and leeks

Crumble con mousse al cappuccino, gelato alle mandorle, salsa al cioccolato, cappuccino mousse crumble, ice cream with almonds, chocolate sauce
Na’ tazzulella ‘e cafè

The cost of the evening is 30 Euro and begins at 2030 ish

Veritas Restaurant
Corso Vittorio Emmanuele 141
For more info and reservations 081 660585

A Cool Recipie for a Hot Summer-Polpette di Melanzane con Ripieno Goloso

I found a really great website, http://www.tipeatalia.it/, full of great recipes that have been tempting me over the past few months.  Here is one by Lidia Merola...Great for summer!

Polpette di melanzane con ripieno goloso
Eggplantballs with Cheesy Feeling


500 grams of eggplant, 100 g of grated pecorino cheese, 150 g of stale bread, chopped parsley, 1 clove garlic, 2 eggs, 50 g of provaletta di Sorrento, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper to taste

Cut the eggplant cubes and cook in salted boiling water. Drain and squeeze out excess water. Mash the eggplant until it is smooth. Add the eggs, grated cheese, stale bread that you put to soak in a bit of milk, parsley and garlic. Adjust salt and pepper. Mix ingredients well and form meatballs Insert  a couple of cubes of provoletta in the center. Dip the meatballs in breadcrumbs and fry in hot oil. For a lighter recipe you can cook the meatballs in oven arranging them in a pan lined with parchment paper. Serve the meatballs hot with a nice summer salad.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Super DinnerPreNight- Le Tre Arcate in Piano di Sorrento-July 2, 2010

Last time, they broke the monotony of the Sorrento peninsula and settled down at a table laden with delicious fish.... surrounded by good friends, good wine and good music!

Now they want to repeat it, but this time focusing on their roots. Good Mediterranean food. Just like Mamma makes....

The menu :
For starters…

-Na bella Fritturell e Panzarott, Crocchè, Mozzarellin a spass ca' carrozz e Frittatin sfizzius!, Fried Neapolitan specialties such as panzarotta (fried dough stuffed with ricott), potato balls, and mozzarella

- N'ampepata e Cozz, a vasc' a Marin 'e Cassano, steamed mussels

- A Trecc chiù bell 'e copp 'e Cuont, Braided mozzarella from Colli (the best!)

- A Parmigian 'e Mulignan (L'Ottava Meraviglia del Mondo), Eggplant Parmesean.-the 8th wonder of the world

- Mulignan a Fungitiell , Fried melanzane in tomato sauce

Last but not least... Pizzaaaaaa...of every variety...

-Followed by:

Paccheri di Gragnano with mussels and potatoes from host Alessandro Russo’s garden-and or just mussels and potatoes without pasta…

- To Conclude (optional)

- Na Fresc Crostat è Frutt , Fresh fruit pie

- A Delizzzzzia a Limon, Delizia a limone

- O' Babbà, Babà

To wash it down, Sannio Coda di Volpe from Benevento.

And afterwards, Limoncello di Sorrento or Sambuca Molinari Frost

The cost is 20 euro.

The event begins at 2100 ish
You can reserve by sending a text message to 333 33 05 177

Le Tre Arcate
Piazza Cota, 9.
 081 8788818 ...

La Grotta and La Falanghina del Taburno

On Friday, June 25 at La Grotta Vineria Grapperia Hostaria in Caselnuovo, there will be an opportunity to try Falanghina del Taburno from Cantina del Taburno and Ocone Winery. In addition to wine tatsting, a complete menu will be offered to accompany this exciting Campania white.

The cost of the evening is 30 Euro and the event starts at 2030 ish.

For more information, or to reserve a spot, contact
 0818423121 3476442634 or lagrottavineria@libero.it

La Grotta Vineria Grapperia Hostaria, Corso Umberto I, 176, Casalnuovo di Napoli

Vineyard Hopping-Campi Flegrei-La Sibilla

For my latest edition of vineyard hopping, I decided to stay a little closer to home...my Campi Flegrei, and a visit to my Winerdì partner, Vincenzo Di Meo and his La Sibilla located in Bacoli…

June 21st, 2010. According to the calendar, the first day of summer. But as I drove towards La Sibilla in Bacoli, I’m sure I saw all 4 seasons outside the window. As I pulled into the driveway at 0950, sun turned to storm as the skies opened up and poured out a torrential downfall of heavy, cool rain. Not to worry, though. Vincenzo Di Meo, La Sibilla’s winemaker, was waiting for me under the canopy of his porch, with Falanghina, and Piedirosso, and a smile.

Falanghina…Piedirosso…Campi Flegrei’s indigenous grapes…the two grapes that have made their mark on a territory that the Greeks and Romans once called home. The two grapes that are the base for La Sibilla’s wines. The wines that I wanted to try. The vineyards that I wanted to see. The stories that I wanted to hear.

During an informal wine tasting, we discussed the territory beginning with the soil. Volcanic, a strong presence of ash, sand, lime, pumice, loose soil, friable, magnesium, salt. This salt presence, that moves around quickly in the soil, a blessing and a curse. Potassium, as well, is something that Vincenzo has to keep an eye on…at times the levels can get too high that he has to intervene…organically, of course.

La Sibilla’s vineyards are 3 km from the beach and range from 0 to 50 m above sea level. The range in temperature between night and day, then, is not dramatic. The differences, though in the soil, from one vineyard to the other is crucial to their decision as to what grapes will be grown where, even though they may be only 1 km apart. Which vineyard is drier, more humid, more ventilated…A lot goes into it. So as we tasted, I kept these things in mind…

We tasted La Sibilla’s Falanghina

-Falanghina DOC 2009 (base wine)

-Cruna de Lago 2007 and 2008 DOC. These 2 are Falanghina wines as well, but here we have a different vineyard, the vines are older, the wines are older, the best grapes.

-Passio IGT 2007 (a passito-desert wine)

We moved to Piedirosso

-Piedirosa IGT 2009 (their rosé)

-Piedirosso IGT 2009

And finally, their Marsiliano IGT 2007 which is a blend of Marsigliese, Olivella, and Piedirosso.

The sun came out so, to the vineyards, time to stroll through the vineyards.

We went on a walk through his vineyards where I not only saw the grapes growing, but tomatoes, zucchini, and other vegetables. We walked up to where they age their wines in wooden barriques. Part of the Di Meo’s property is in the Baia’s Archeological Park. I saw a Roman cistern, ruins of Roman walls. We entered the ‘barrel room’ and tried wine straight from the barrique. Vincenzo’s grandfather was with us, Nonno Vincenzo…I had the opportunity to listen to two ‘schools’ of thought on this passaggiata. From the vines to the wines…all testimony to how La Sibilla’s family spirit is part of Campania’s spirit.

A spirit that can be tasted in their wines and seen throughout their cantina and vineyard…

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Rosé Skies at Night---Terre del Principe presents their Roseto del Volture

Un cielo sereno...that is what we were greeted with. The 40 or so wine lovers who came out on the 22nd of June to Roof in Sky in Bacoli. The occasion was to try Roseto del Volturno, the newest creation from Terre del Principe. On hand was Manuela Piancastelli (winery owner) and Fabrizio Erbaggio (Ais Napoli, Ciao Vino).

We tasted Manuela’s wine while enjoying her antipasto, tortina di baccala. A perfect match for this rosé. This blend of Pallagrello Nero and Cassavecchia.  Many were struck at first by the color, a color that reminds Manuela of the blush her grandmother would use on her cheekbones. We noticed its delicate aromas, and then impressed by its balance, its structure, is sapidity.

Throughout the evening, this wine flowed, accompanied by Michele Grande’s menu of Stoccafisso alla Pizzaiola,Parmigiana di Pesce Bandiera, Zuppetta di Seppie e Cicerchie Flegree, and Anguriata. Roof and Sky’s captain took us on a mini tour of the lake as well.

Refreshing…relaxing are two words that describe perfectly our evening. One where we were able to lean back, unwind on the couch, and chat about this beautiful rosé with friends old and new.

Una serata serena…

Monday, June 21, 2010

Cantine Babbo presents their 2009 Vintage

Winemaker Vincenzo Mercurio and  Cantine Babbo present an evening of wine tasting in the garden of Villa Gitana, via Scalandrone 24,, Pozzuoli on July 8, at 2030 hrs.

Wines to be tasted:

SINTEMA falanghina d.o.c. dei Campi Flegrei 2009

MALAZE’ vino spumante extra dry 2009

MONTENUOVO vino spumante rosè extra dry 2009

TERRACALDA piedirosso dei Campi Flegrei 2008

Not only wine! A lovely meal to accompany the tasting…


Ostriche bretoni, Sashimi di pesce mediterraneo, Breton oysters, Mediterranean sashimi seafood

Molluschi e spezie orientali, Road Food dei Campi Flegrei Shellfish and oriental spices,

Riso Carnaroli con Gamberi di Crotone e Fiori di Zucca Carnaroli, rice with prawns and Crotone zucchini flowers

Fingerfoood fruits & desserts

The cost for the evening is 35 Euro. Reservations are necessary and can be made by contacting Cantine Babbo at Tel.081-8687831 or email: info@villagitana.it

Summer Evenings with Villa Matilde

Beginning in July, every Friday and Saturday evening, Villa Matilde invites you to spend your evenings with them.  An evening close to the vineyards,with a glass of Falerno, a buffet of appetizers and music. An evening relaxing and enjoying  the gentle sea breeze.

The evenings begin at 1900hrs and end at 2100 ish. 
The cost is 20 Euro per person.

Something to definitely look into...

For more info, call 0823.932 088 or email info@villamatilde.it

Villa Matilde

S.S. Domitiana, 18
CAP 81030 Cellole (CE)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Diary of a Sommelier Student-1st Level-Mission Accomplished

It has been awhile since I wrote about my first level sommelier course. Not to worry, I hung in there. After 14 lessons, I took the exam and am ready to move on to the second level.

I remember when I started the course. I was nervous, concerned about the difficulties of taking a course in another language. Concerned about the technical/scientific terminology that can be confusing in English as well as Italian.

But I made it through…

As I look back on the last 3 months, the Monday evenings spent on level C of Hotel Ramada, downtown Naples, I look back with admiration.

Ais Napoli gave me enormous opportunities for one who is curious about this wine world. High quality instructors such as Antonio Del Franco (current Ais Campania President), Nicoletta Gargiulo (Italy’ Best Sommelier 2007 and Ais Campania President candidate), Lucia Pintatore, Maria Sarnataro, Alessandro Palmieri, and Francesco Martusciello (winemaker Grotte del Sole).  The leadership of Elena Erman and Ais Napoli president Tommaso Luongo...

Amazing wines to degustare from throughout Italy with expert guidance and leadership as we completed our Ais technical cards…at first with difficulty then, piano piano...with confidence.

Down to earth Sommelier class assistants; Luca Massimo Bolondi, Giorgio Napolitano, and Stefania Comes. Always there with smiles, words of advice and encouragement.

This course opened my eyes to what it takes to be a sommelier. We learned about wine…but starting from the soil, the vine, the cantina, the bottle, the glass. We learned how to taste a wine. To describe it technically. To really look, smell, taste what before we may have taken for granted.

We learned that we have a lot to learn…and I look forward to the second level course to begin…I think I’m hooked.

So though I’ve set washed my wine tasting glasses and packed them away in my Ais winetatsing briefcase, it aint over. I need to praticare

Before I took this class, I wrote Angelo Di Costanzo (Best Sommelier, Campania 2008 and Sommelier Hotel Capri Palace). I asked him for advice, He wrote that I should ‘Drink wine.’ I thought he was joking. Now I realize how important that advice was. And I told him so.

Antonio Del Franco pointed that out as well during our first lesson. That our course will be sort of a preschool. That we will need to train like athletes do. So, this summer, I’ll be in the cantinas, at wine tastings, in the vineyards. Mini field trips, if you will, to see up close, first hand, what is in our textbooks. To look, see smell da vicino..

So though the 1st level is complete, this journey has just begun.

And I am enjoying the ride…

La Notte delle Bollicine e del Rosato---It's Back!!

The 3rd edition of La Notte delle Bollicine e del Rosato (The Night of Sparkling Wines/Spumante and Rosè) will be held on the 13th and 14th of July at the Fabbrica del Sapori in Battipaglia (SA).  Wineries from all over Southern Italia will be on hand as well as some of the hottest chefs around.  The event is free, and starts at 8 pm each evening...just get in your car and go!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Falò di San Giovanni-June 24 at Cantine Luigi Tecce (Av)

Celebrate the summer  on the 24th of June, the night of San Giovanni. Believed to be a night of magic to some, in the Avellino province, specifically Cantine Luigi Tecce Via Trinità Paternopoli (Av), a bonfire will be lit. Don't expect the characters from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer’s Night Dream, but there will be food and wine…and a little bit of magic.

The event starts at 1800 hrs. For more info call 338.5234241 - 349.2957565

Notte Bianca in Piano di Sorrento, 25 June 2010

Piano di Sorrento will transform, for one night, into a city full of grande entertainment and shopping. Notte Bianca means music, dancing, sports, entertainment and magic: this will happen the night between 25 and 26 June 2010. There will also be a concert by Valerio Scanu, winner of the Sanremo Festival 2010 edition. The varied program drawn up by the organizers will satisfy even those who prefer folk music, the tradition of Tammorra, etc..; Present among other groups will be Trio Tarantae who are well known in the peninsula for their skill as artists who know how to involve the public in dance. And don’t forget shopping as well as local restaurants in which you’ll find open all night long!

The program---

18.00: Via San Michele

Agrumeto: entertainment for children.

After sunset, star gazing with Astrocampania.

19.30 hours: Parade with Paranza the Ass. I Vesuvius, street performers and children along Via San Michele, Rose Square, Via delle Rose, Via Mercato, Piazza della Repubblica, Corso Italy, until Tre Esse .

2000 hrs.Shows on the following stages:
Stage Republic Square, Market Street intersection

Ensemble Luigi Denza

Ass. culturale Promo Danza di Claudia

Exhibition of vintage cars. S.D. Road Legends - Sorrento

Piazza della Repubblica,

Judy Testa Band

Piazza delle Rose


Bungt & Bangt

Via delle Rose

Palestra Open Club

Magic Medley Ballet di Marilina Iacono

Via Santa Margherita

Tertium Millennium

Group Bizet

Via San Michele

Areton Club

Piazza Cota vialetto privato "Casa del Dolce"

Oratorio di San Nicola

con la collaborazione dell'Ass. Culturale "Music in the air" - Sorrento

Via Casa Rosa

Tendenze Latine

Corso Italia, intersection Via Bagnulo

B-Side Band

Corso Italia, intersection Tre Esse

Palestra Palagiò

Resurrextion (rap)

Piazza Cota (main stage)

Beginning at 22,00

I pennelli di Vermeer

Valerio Scanu

More info can be found at the following link.

The Colors and Flavors of a new Season-Friday, July 16th at Ristorante Il Poeta Vesuviano

Chef Carmine Mazza will present his specialties for the summer season...

- Variazione di zucchina...ripiena con provola di Agerola, crema di zucchine al basilico e fiori di zucchine, crudite' e salsa al basilico, Variation of zucchini stuffed with ... provola Agerola, cream of zucchini with basil and zucchini flowers, tomato sauce and basil sauce

- Gnocchetti al limone con vongole veraci e calamaretti, Lemon gnocchi with clams and squid

- Parmigiana di pesce bandiera , su pomodorini del piennolo leggermente scottati , Parmesan fish on piennolo tomatoes, lightly blanched

- Semifreddo pralinato al latte di mandorla, con salsa al cioccolato e fragole, Praline parfait with almond milk, with chocolate sauce and strawberries

Dinner will be accompanied by bread with tomato, bacon and olives, breadsticks and homemade bagels.

The cost of the menu is 25 Euro (wine excluded). The dinner begins at 8:30 pm

For more information, contact

Ristorante il Poeta Vesuviano

Viale Europa 42, Torre del Greco ( NA)

info e prenotazioni 081 883 26 73

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Champagne in 20 calici at Enoteca Divinoinvigno

Divinoinvigna Enoteca in collaboration with Luciano Piganatarowineblog
Champagne in 20 calici 20 champagne glasses

A 4 part series  where you can toast the summer with the best bubblies from France. Your guide on this journey will be Mauro Erro who will introduce you to the territory as lead you in a degustazione of  5 different Champagnes. Each appointment will be accompanied by culinary specialties prepared by Adele Chiagano.

The schedule is as follows:

Tuesday, June 22. 2030 hrs

Camille Saves Carte Blanche 1er cru brut

Etienne Lefevre Carte Blanche Grand Cru brut

Henri Chauvet Blanc de Noirs brut

Benoit Lahaje Rosè de maceration

Henri Chauvet Millesime 2004 Cuvèe Blanche

Tuesday, June 29. 2030 hrs

Chardonnet Reserve brut

Etienne Lefevre Carte d’Or Grand Cru brut

Francois Billion Cuvèe de Reserve Grand Cru brut

Voirin Jumel Millesime 2004 brut

Henri Chauvet Millesime 2004 Cuvèe Noire

Monday, July 5. 2030 hrs

Benoit Lahaje Brut Essentiel

Guy Thibaud Grand Cru brut Blanc de Noirs

Marie Courtin Resonance brut

Chardonnet Rosè de Saignè brut

Francois Billion Millesime 2002 Grand Cru brut

Tuesday, July 13. 2030 hrs

Francois Billion Cuvee Marie CatherineExtra Brut

Camille Saves Cuvèe Prestige Grand Cru brut

Marie Courtin Efflorescence

Voirin Jumel Grand Cru “Cuvée 555″

Pierre Peters L’Esprit 2005 BdB Grand Cru Brut

The price for those wishing to attend all 4 evenings is € 180

The price for each individual evening € 50

For more info or to reserve: 081.3722670 – 329.6467600 – adeluccia@gmail.com

Enoteca Divinoinvigna – Via S. Freud, 33/35 – Napoli

Monday, June 14, 2010

Vineyard Hopping-Irpinia-Taurasi

About a month ago, I received an email from journalist/photographer Tom Hyland. He was coming to Italy-specifically Campania. and he wanted me to take him around Taurasi. How could I say no? I love opportunities like these…opportunities where I can share my Campania. Opportunities where I can appreciate and fall in love again with a region that has won my heart.

So…Saturday, June 12, I hopped into my Opel Agila, Autostrade A16, Benevento exit towards Taurasi. A journey that I have made many times over the past few years, but a drive that I will never tire of. Green, green, green. Vineyards here and there…silence…pace.

10 am appointment with Mr. Taurasi himself, Antonio Caggiano. Joining Tom Hyland and I was my friend, my Irpinia expert, Raffaele Del Franco, who knows the region like he knows the back of his hand.

When we pulled up in front of the winery, Antonio was hard at work, directing workers on his latest renovation project. A quick walk through his Macchia dei Goti vineyard, the cantina, and then we got down to business.

When a journalist visits form the states, he doesn’t want to just try the wines…he wants to experience the culture, meet the people, hear the stories. Caggiano did not disappoint. As we tasted, we discussed Taurasi, the town, the paese. We discussed its history, where it is now on the strade di vino…and where, in Antonio’s opinion, it has to go. Antonio has Taurasi in his heart, and at 73 years old is not ready to stand aside. He has a lot to do….Watching him express his passion for his work, his territory, his wines, and a thought came to me. We weren’t just wine tasting here, we were tasting Taurasi

Next stop. A 5 minute drive to Contrade di Taurasi, to the Lonardo family. Sandro and his son-in-law, Flavio Castaldo, were waiting. We strolled through the vineyards where we were met with vines that were over 100 years old. We stopped here so Tom could take some photos. On trips like this, wine is not the only topic. You discuss the weather, the soil, the altitude. You walk through the vineyards, look up close at the bunches...the baby aglianicos, as I like to call them. You step inside and have an aperitivo before lunch. You laugh, you learn, you live. You taste wine, but not with the typical technical card. You taste wine how it is meant to be. Over a meal, with friends. Exchanging anecdotes, opinions, jokes, barzelette. Experiencing…

1530, we arrived at our last stop, Il Cancelliere. This winery is located in Montemarano, about 20 minutes from Taurasi. Here the altitude is higher, the soil is different, and the wines reflect this. Vineyard hopping, with the Romano family, observing this winery’s 7 hectares while Dick the dog ran about. Immediately feeling part of the family while we toured the vineyards, the cantina, and eventually sat down in the kitchen for our wine tasting. The vintages here were discussed as well as the vinification process, the sugar levels, acidity. As we tried wines, we also tried prosciutto, cheeses, omelets with asparagus, and with cheese and onions. I sat back in my chair, observed, and ‘pinched’ myself. This is what it is all about, I thought. A real immersion into the culture. A real taste of what life in Campania is all about. The hospitality, the vivacity, the family. The desire to share, the openness, the sensation that you have known someone for years even if you have just met.

So it wasn’t just about the wines for me on this visit, though I  must admit that I did try some nice ones this trip. Here is a list of the wines that I had the pleasure of sharing on this particular day.

Cantine Caggiano

Fiagre IGT 2009 (70% Fiano di Avellino, 30 % Greco di Tufo)

Bechar DOCG 2009 (Fiano di Avellino)

Devon DOCG 2009 (Greco di Tufo)

Taurì IGT 2008 (Aglianico)

Salae Domini IGT 2006 (Aglianico)

Taurasi Macchia dei Goti DOCG 2006 (Aglianico)

Contrade di Taurasi

Grecomusc’ IGT 2008 (Bianco)

Taurasi DOCG 2005

Taurasi Riserva DOCG 2005

Taurasi DOCG 2007 (sneak preview)

Taurasi DOCG 2007 (sneak preview from the vineyard in Cascalata)

Taurasi DOCG 2007 (sneak preview from the vineyard in Piano di Montevergine)

Il Cancelliere

Gioviano DOC 2007 and 2006 (Aglianico)

Gioviano DOC 2008 (sneak preview…not available yet)

Nero Nè DOCG 2008 (Taurasi-Aglianico…sneak prevew, still in the barrels)

Nero Nè DOCG 2007 (sneak preview)

Nero Nè DOCG 2006 and 2005

Nero Nè DOCG 2005 Riserva

Think Pink...With Terre Del Principe, Roof and Sky, and Ais Napoli, June 22

On Tuesday, June 22nd, Manuela Piancastelli and Peppe Mancini will celebrate their new rosè, Roseto del Volturno. This wine is the product of Manuela’s desire to produce a powerful, yet delicate wine-a marriage between the rich aromatic Casavecchia grape and the elegant Pallagrello Nero.

The location for this special event is Roof & Sky, Asteco e Cielo, Pontile n.3 Lago Miseno. Villa Comunale di Bacoli (Na).

The program is as follows:

1900 hrs: Presentation/Wine Tasting of Roseto del Volturno. Free admission but you must call to reserve a spot.

2100 hrs: Roof and Sky will ‘leave port’ and head for the center of Lago Miseno. Here we will enjoy a meal prepared to baptize Roseto del Volturno prepared by Maria Cristina Di Palma and Michele Grande.

Tortino di Baccalà (cod pie)

Stoccafisso alla Pizzaiola (dried cod with tomato sauce)

Parmigiana di Pesce Bandiera (‘flag fish’ parmesan)

Zuppetta di Seppie e Cicerchie Flegree (cuttlefish and cicerchie bean soup)

Anguriata(watermelon) e Delizia al Limone

The dinner is 25 Euro, reservations required.

For more info, contac Asteco & Cielo at 333.27.61.608 or info@astecoecielo.it

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Young Chefs at Città del Gusto

Over the past few months, Città del Gusto in Bagnoli has become like a second home. I’ve attended various wine tastings there and I’ve also been following their cooking class schedule. I’ve been looking for the right one and last week I found it. A Mommy (or Daddy) –Child cooking class. An great opportunity to spend time with my 9 year old son David.

We arrived on time and were given our ‘Città del Gusto aprons’. Our instructor for the evening was Salvatore Esposito…a chef with loads of patience and a grande talent to motivate a class of 6 aspiring chefs (ages ranging from 4 to 9) and their parents. Our task for the evening? I dolci!!! 

Two recipies:
1) Graffette e Bombette al Forno ( Donuts and ‘Bombs’ baked in the oven)
2) Delizie di Sfloglie (Treats made with Pasta Sfoglia)

This particular evening was a real mommy moment. I stepped back and let David take over. The instructions were presented in a manner fatto per bambini (made for kids). From mixing the ingredients, rolling it out, cutting and shaping, adding the toppings. All David. It was great to see how the kids even helped each other out….

Then the moment of truth. Each mini-chef got to try their goods. The verdict? Eccellente!!!

The complete schedule of Città del Gusto cooking classes is available on their web site. The lessons are given in Italian, but trust me, food is a universal language. You won’t have any problems, only a good time!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Lunch con - I Capitani

Another highlight of my Anteprima Irpinia weekend was lunch on Saturday.  Our group ate at the winery I Capitani.  This winery, run by the Cefalo family for more than 100 years, welcomed us with open arms.  Our schedule was tight, but we had time to sit down to a buffet lunch.  I Capitani's wines are the classic Irpinia offerings; Fiano di Avellino, Greco di Tufo, and Aglianico (Taurasi).  One wine which was the topic of much discussion during lunch was Emè (Aglianico Taurasi, Merlot, and Sangiovese).

We squeezed in a quick tour of the winery, which basically is a mini-museum full of wine making tools from the past.

A quick caffè and a slice of amarone and ricotta pie, then we were on our way...

Monday, June 7, 2010

Anteprima Irpinia- I Banchi D'Assaggi

What is a wine fair wihout i banchi d'assaggi?  You know, the booths where you can try wines.  This past weekend, at the Enoteca Regionale in Taurasi, 31 wineries were on hand.  The courtyard of the Castello Marchionale was transformed into a wine tasting wonderland...Take a look below:

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Taurasi-Fiano-Greco....My Irpinian Love Triangle

The first part in a series of blogs on Anteprima Irpinia

I fell in love again this weekend. This happened while walking through the vineyards of Irpinia. Up to Montemaro (500-700 m above sea level—Taurasi territory). Over to Lapio (450-550 m above sea level-Fiano). Stopping in Santa Paolina (450-500 m ) and Montefusco (500-650 m) to see where Greco grows. This happened while discussing wines with wineries such as Molettiere, Mastroberardino, Di Monaci, Il Cancelliere, and Elmi. Sharing a glass of wine with owners from Donnachiara, Amarono, Joaquin, Boccella, and Vadiaperti. While tasting wines in the vineyards, trying produtti tipici; cheeses and salamis. It hit me while travelling on our Wine Bus, looking out the window and enjoying the great views of the mountains and the valleys of Irpinia. While closing my eyes, and feeling the warm sun and cool breezes of Irpinia.

I fell in love again with my Campania, with my Irpinia. A territory full of wonders, contradictions, and surprises around every corner.

With my Taurasi…full of structure, well balanced tannins.

With my Fiano, full of fruity aromas, freshness, feminility.

And with my Greco…structure here again, minerals, fruity aromas.

My Irpinian Love Triangle

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Sunset in Irpinia---sit back, relax, enjoy the ride

A Friday evening in Irpinia. Here the sun sets at the Radici Resort between 8:20 and 9 pm. And on this particular evening, the air was cool…and so were the colors in the sky. Orange, pink and grayish white clouds were the backdrop to the vineyards behind Morabianca, Mastroberardino’s restaurant. I had a golden opportunity to attend a dinner to kick off Anteprima Irpinia. Our host, Piero Mastroberardino arrived; we hopped into our little van, and were off on a quick tour of the vineyards that led to the golf course. A walk through the club house, across the perfectly trimmed lawn and down to the swimming pool. Piero discussed his love of golf as he pointed out his 9 hole course.

Back up the hill, back to Morabianca where Massimo Di Renzo (Mastroberardino’s winemaker) was waiting for us. We all sat down to a relaxing meal with  Morabianca Falanghina Irpinia DOCG and More Maoirum Fiano di Avellino DOCG DOCG(both 2009) paired with our appetizers. Redimore Irpinia Aglianico and  Naturalis Historia Taurasi 2005 made it to the table as well.

My overall impression of the evening? Besides the beautiful scenery, and delicious cuisine, I enjoyed being in the company of those who make the wine biz their business. Having the opportunity to sit down at the dinner table with Piero Mastroberardino and Massimo Di Renzo and discuss their wine, their winery, and hear their opinions…just doesn’t happen every day. I even had an opportunity to share my thoughts (and photos) of a recent horizontal Taurasi wine tasting.  Excited and honored are two adjectives that come to mind..

It is at moments like these when you just sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride…

Thursday, June 3, 2010

When in Rome...La Barrique and Roscioli

I was in Rome two days ago.  My friend Kate and I were in town to see the Caravaggio exhibit-awesome-and also decided to check out a couple of wine bars.  A little bit of internet research, and advice from a couple of 'experts'-Paolo and Alessandro- we narrowed our choices down to two. La Barrique and Roscioli.

First stop--7:30 pm ish... La Barrique...quaint, rustic, comfortable.  At the bar, a variety of bruschetta to accompany your glass (or bottle) of wine.  An extensive menu of bar food that reminded me of Happy Hours at Syracuse University. So after munching on bruschetta with our glasses of wine, we decided to go for a crostone ( basically a big bruschetta).  Our choice-gorgonzola with endive,origano, and olive oil...wow.  I paired it with Trebbiano 2007 Nicodemi and Gewurtraminer 2009 Colterenzio.

Time to move on.

Alessandro (trusted friend ) strongly reccommended that we make a reservation for Roscioli if we desired to go...we did...(good call, Ale). 

9:30 pm ish..place is packed.  We were led to our table, not missing the eclectic atmosphere.  Very different from our first stop.  Roscioli is a combination enoteca, delicatessen, wine bar, ristorante.  Waiters, dressed in black, very international-handed us our menus.  I chose pasta (tonnorello egg pasta with Pecorino Romano DOP, Cacio di Moliterno, Pecorino di Fossa from Sogiano and three kinds of peppers)  Kate, Roman meatballs with tomato sauce, ricotta salata, and chestnut polenta.  It was time for my red..I chose Noà 2006 Cusumano.  Besides the lively atmosphere, languages such as French, Italian, and English were sweet to the ear. Enjoyable. 

So when in Rome...

La Barrique
Via del Boschetto, 41/B-Roma
06 478 25953

Via dei Giubbonari, 21-22, Roma
06 687 5287

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

When Taurasi Calls---Anteprima Irpinia, June 5-6 2010

Taurasi 2006, Fiano di Avellino 2009, and Greco di Tufo 2009.

These are the players this weekend for an unique opportunity to try wines from 31 wineries from Iripina.

Amarano (Montemarano), Antica Hirpinia (Taurasi), Antico Castello (San Mango sul Calore), Bambinuto (Santa Paolina), Boccella (Castelfranci), Cantina dei Monaci (Santa Paolina), Colle di San Domenico (Chiusano San Domenico), Contrade di Taurasi (Taurasi), D’Antiche Terre (Manocalzati), Di Prisco (Fontanarosa), Donnachiara (Montefalcione), Elmi (Montemarano), F.lli Urciuolo (Forino), Feudi di San Gregorio (Sorbo Serpico), I Capitani (Torre Le Nocelle), Il Cancelliere (Montemarano), Joaquin (Montefalcione), La Molara (Luogosano), Le Otto Terre (Tufo), Mastroberardino (Atripalda), Molettieri Salvatore (Montemarano), Picariello Ciro (Summonte), Rocca del Principe (Lapio), Russo (Sant’Angelo all’Esca), Tenuta del Cavalier Pepe (Luogosano), Tenuta Ponte (Luogosano), Terranera (Grottolella), Terredora (Montefusco), Vadiaperti (Montefredane), Villa Diamante (Montefredane), Villa Raiano (San Michele di Serino).

All available to show you what they've got.  Here is the program:  From 1700 to 2200 on Saturday, wine tasting tables will be set up in the courtyard of the Castello Marchionale in Taurasi's centro storico..  Sunday, the program begins at 1100 and continues until 1900.  The catch is, you neeed to reserve, and you can do this by emailing the one of the following adresses.
 info@anteprimairpinia.it  or stampa@anteprimairpinia.it
For more info, check out the site: