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Wine and Food

Alexander van Dülmen

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Italy

Macelleria Popolare, Milan

Macelleria Popolare, Milan Street Food, Milan, Italy

5 points

valentina-lori-foto.1024x1024I am delighted to introduce you to another guest writer: Valentina Lori. She is born in Milan but lives since many years in Berlin. 

 

When I tell people I am from Milan, 90% of the time their reply is either, „Oh, I have never been there“ or „Oh, yes, I have been at the airport / at the station / on the freeway on the way to Florence / Rome / Liguria etc. “.

Fact is, Milano is not well known. It does not have the eternal appeal of Rome, the elegant charm of Florence or the unique beauty of Venice but it should not be underestimated. It is famous for its design and fashion industry but it has more to offer than fancy shops and a beautiful cathedral that took centuries to be completed. It has a few popular spots but also hidden treasures, unknown sometimes even to its citizens. It is also one of the very few cities in Italy where sometimes things really change.

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Brunello di Montalcino – Madonna del Piano, 1993

Brunello di Montalcino – Madonna del Piano, Valdicava da Vincenzo Abbruzzese, 1993, Red wine from Italy

7 points

Drinking wine, enjoying wine is so often also an emotional experience. Particularly if it’s a good wine! There are these special moments in life when you know afterwards why life is so beautiful, sometimes so grandiose …. Berlin, one of “the” towns of the world, Friday night, finishing work late, hungry for a “platform” for the transition from a heavy working week to a weekend! Relaxation is needed, but you cannot simply decree this to yourself. Too hyper to sleep, but also too tired to sleep.

Music is another element of emotional cognition. Friendship, too. On a recent Friday night, I rang the bell of Nobelhart & Schmutzig after midnight – a nice welcome, without any attitude like “hey, we are just cleaning up, almost closed, it’s “nice” to see you, but…”. Crossed the cleaned public kitchen area, seated at the bar next to Billy, who asked what I would like. Red. I got Adrianna Occhipinti. Sicilian wine. Wine experts among readers know it, and probably also know that this is a very good wine. I need to write about it, as this is also one of my favorite Italian winemakers. More importantly, someone tries to describe your sentiment, combines it with their own, the wine is in the bottle, and it smells delicious – although you already know it, or is it because you know it?

The restaurant is almost shut down for the night, the rest of the staff leaving, saying good night. Reduced light, the blue reflection of the screen of your friend’s laptop and – excellent music! A conversation among friends is never something about only one subject but so many at the time. A mixture of private, professional, daily, but also long-term things, all at once, slowed down by every sip of wine.

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Colle Vecchio, Offida Pecorino, 2007

Colle Vecchio, Offida Pecorino, 2007, white wine from Italy

5,5 points

I never believed that this experiment would end well! Two or three years ago I discovered that I still had one bottle left of a rather typical – certainly not top – white wine from Cocci Grifone, vintage 2007. If someone had asked me – even five years ago, I would have said that this wine had very likely gone bad. I would have been wrong. And I was wrong. From the first nose it was clearly not off. But would it be a good wine? To my great surprise, the wine was still very good and, due to its age, had probably become something special.

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Visellio, Tenute Rubino, Primitivo Salento, 2006

Visellio, Tenute Rubino, Primitivo Salento, 2006, Red wine from Italy

7 points

I am actually surprised at myself — for giving this wine 7 points. For a Primitivo! But it’s an honest score. Many years ago, together with my team, we visited the Tenute Robino winery. What a noble name: “Noble Estate” – although it strongly contradicts the location of the winery. If you’d expect a charming, romantic estate somewhere in Apulian hills, surrounded by vines and olive trees — well, you’d be quite mistaken. Unfortunately, Tenute Rubino’s location is in the suburbs of Brindisi, which are really ugly. There are so many beautiful places, villages and towns in Apulia, but the worst are the suburbs of Bari and, even more so, Brindisi. Visually a killer, socially probably very problematic — and, like in the industrial areas of such cities, completely faceless and dusty. Although the building is quite modern and very functional, it lacks any flair. It reminds me of Cosimo Taurino (https://avdwineandfood.net/2015/06/01/patriglione-salento-2001-cosimo-taurino/), which I also visited some years ago – another unattractive place. But both produce good wine.

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Trattoria Da Dante Alle Piazza, Padua

Trattoria Da Dante Alle Piazza, Padua, Italy

4 points

This very classical Trattoria was recommended to me by the receptionist of Padua’s probably only design hotel, called Le Camp (http://www.lecampspa.it/). She is an attractive young woman from Padua, with some Romanian roots, and she told me that Trattoria Da Dante Alle Piazza wouldn’t be her place as it is rather conservative and doesn’t offer “light” food. Actually this was what I wanted to hear, since I was in the mood for a classic Italian pasta.

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Foradori, Fuoripista, Pinot Grigio, 2014

Foradori, Fuoripista, Pinot Grigio, 2014, White wine from Italy

6,5 points

I don’t actually know  anyone (!) who wouldn’t praise Elisabetta Foradori as one of the most innovative, inspiring but also dogmatic winemakers in Europe – if not to say in the world. All of her wines are organic and biodynamic. She has a very strong focus on grapes which have their home where her home is: in the southern Dolomites – Trentino. Trentino is in rorthern Italy and is part of the southern Alps. The soil of this region is always influenced by the mountain area. Like wines from Alto Adige, Valais or Brda, regional wines from Trentino are wines of the Alps.

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Fontanabianca, Barbaresco, Sorì Burdin, 2005

Fontanabianca, Barbaresco, Sorì Burdin, 2005, Red wine from Italy

4,5 points

The label of this wine makes people want to buy it! It has a beautiful and very memorable graphic or symbol within a golden ring in the center of the label. As I’ve said a few times already, I would never underestimate the value of the bottle’s design. Many of us may not remember a wine without this visual bracket. If the wine is good enough to keep it in mind, someone has created a valuable symbiosis.

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Pizza “Piazza Rossa”, Berlin

Piazza Rossa, Pizzeria, Berlin, Germany

5 points

Pizza!

Probably one of the most incomparable dinner! Let us be precise: Italian pizza. Is there anyone who never had a pizza? Very seldom I believe.

Almost fast food.

Kid’s food. Family food. Compromising food. Extreme rich in varieties. Pizza with pineapple…..

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Le Serre Nuove dell’Ornellaia Bolgheri Doc, 2012

Le Serre Nuove dell’Ornellaia, Bolgheri Doc, 2012, Tenuta dell‘ Ornellaia, Red-wine from Italy

6 points

Vinery Ornellaia is one of the most distinguished in Tuscany. The most famous wine of it has the simple name of the vinery Ornellaia which lays in the region Bolgheri belongs to the top wines of supertuscan.

Le Serre Nuove is the second wine or as many reviews say the little brother of the main brand. Although 2012 is too young in my mind, the vinery puts a lot efforts to make this wine drinkable as early as possible – probably to be able to sell and consume quickly. Anyhow, even this is too young, you immediately realize drinking a great, big red wine. Black and wild cherries, a bit cassis but also some plum, these are the fruity aromas. Not to lead you into any wrong impression, the wine is in general pretty dry which I really enjoy. There is pepper and some oak spice, aromatic balance which grows with each minute the bottle is open.

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Jacobs & Co, Steakhouse, Toronto

Jacobs & Co, Steakhouse, Toronto, Canada

7 points

My favored steakhouse in Toronto always has been Barberian’s (http://www.barberians.com/). Not only because of its great name, but because of some very good steaks, great wines and some personal stories which are related strongly to this place. Everything I thought is more or less unique as for instance the impressive huge wine selection and of course the meat. But, I need to be honest; the Barberian is a very vintage and even conservative place.

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Venissa, Restaurant and Vineyard, Marzzorbo

Venissa, Restaurant and Vineyard, Marzzorbo (Venice), Italy

8 points

What a remarkable restaurant! I should have heard about this one, but never did. Recommended along many other awarded restaurants of Venice the description of it made me curious and let you in the impression visiting a friendly place. I did not put attention on the location and thought it should be in Venice. The concierge of my hotel told me that I would need either ca. 1,5h by the water bus or 30 – 40 minutes by water taxi.

The restaurant is located on another island of the Venice Laguna called Marzzorbo close to Burano. It is not only a restaurant but also small vineyard. You can even rent a room for some nights – probably without the classic hotel service certainly a great option for another stay.

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Kurni, 2008

Kurni, Montepulciano Rosso IGT, 2008, Oasi degli Angelis Kurni

8 points

Very seldom you get a wine which is so original, so unique, so astonishing and simply fantastic. It is almost impossible to believe that this is pure Montepulciano. Kurni is the name of one of best wines from Italy I know.

Many years ago we ordered a wine in noble restaurant in Moscow named Bolshoi. The sommelier apologized because the selected wine wasn’t available but recommended a Kurni! My life would be poorer if the other wine would have been still available and I have’nt met this sommelier! I never heard about Kurni and – honestly since I hadn’t to pay – I agreed to take it also because the wine was very expensive. Really every single drop was worth each kopek! I became curious and wanted to know more about the winemaker, in particular because the wine comes from the region Marche which is rather unknown and unpopular.

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