Entries from July 2008 ↓

Franciacorta sparkling white wine

As Illy announced, last Saturday we went to Franciacorta, a small region between Brescia and Bergamo, located south of Iseo Lake, a nice small romantic lake. This region increased its popularity in the last years thanks to its wines. There, wine is produced since hundreds of years but only in the last 30 years it became really famous for its sparkling white wine named Franciacorta. The wine is produced with the same method as Champagne, the classic method, and using the same grape varieties, mainly chardonnay and pinot noir. Certainly there is a difference but some Franciacorta are even considered at the same level of some Champagne. The reason of this success can be attributed to good entrepreneurs, right choices, high quality of wines and a good marketing.
Franciacorta is today one of my favorite wines. You can find many kinds of Franciacorta: Brut, Saten, Rosé and Millésimé.

You can choose from which of those you would like to start exploring Franciacorta!

Our Tastings:

Catlike style

A very important role in the life of Manu and me is played by our cat Matisse. Before being a member of our family, Matisse was a part of my life before I met Manu, and – needless to say – a very important part of it.
Matisse is a huge chartreux weighing 9kg (my 18-months-old niece weighs 10,5kg…), with its typical grey fur and amber eyes. Amazing mysterious cat eyes. His fur is thick, soft and brilliant.
Matisse arrived thanks to my passion for cats. I desired a cat, I was looking for a chartreux, I carefully selected the cattery (that also carefully selected me!) and when finally on August 21st, 2001 Matisse Van De Hoendrik was born, he became my best mate, my baby, my teddy bear, my support in the difficoult moments, my friend in the lonely moments.
When I met Manu, one of the first things I told him about me, was that I had a big grey cat. Since the beginning Manu was very loving with him and Matisse paid him back with a lot of affection too, although he is very selective making friends. This was very significant for me and was just another confirmation that Manu was the right man for me.
That doesn’t mean that Matisse is always loving and cute… He can sometimes be very nasty, on a typical feline way, but he is also very playful and funny and incredibly sweet when he decides he wants to cuddle. Because yes, it’s him that decides.
Despite a certain fatness, Matisse has a very noble attitude, you should see him when he sits somewhere, preferably in a high position, supervising around and underneath with its superiority glance!
He is very gourmand and even if we usually keep him on a correct diet, we sometimes like to spoil him, allowing him a bite of ham, or fish, or meat or… French fries. He is just crazy about that! What else could we expect from a cat of French origin?


Our next trip to Franciacorta

When we want to escape from our daily routine and from our usual places without going too far, we usually make a quick ride to Franciacorta.
It’s a gorgeous small region located between Brescia and Bergamo, coming from Verona it’s about 100km in the direction of Milan. It’s very easy to reach driving the A4 highway from Venice to Milan, taking exit Rovato.
The main features of Franciacorta are first of all the beautiful rolling hills, the amazing ancient villas (most of them now converted into relais or restaurants), the charme of Lake Iseo, some very romantic old villages and the local wines, named Franciacorta wines. The wine producers have also created the Wine Route of Franciacorta with the possibility to visit the wineries.
So today – in a moment of “need to escape” – we decided that next Saturday we will drive to Franciacorta, taking a walk around Lake d’Iseo, then we will drive around trying to discover some new villages, pass by our favourite small family owned winery (Barboglio de Gaioncelli) and finally we will go and sit somewhere in a fancy place and drink a Franciacorta Satèn as an aperitive.
I really can’t wait till Saturday!…

Pecorino Italian white wine

Few nights ago Illy and I tasted Pecorino, an Italian white wine produced near Chieti, a small town in the region of Abruzzo. If we consider the position only, we can deduce that this wine has a particular smell and a typically Mediterranean taste. In fact the region is a few kilometers from the Adriatic sea, on the other hand, it is near to the mountain chain of Gran Sasso and the influence of that climate marks the characteristics of those wines. I am not a specialist and, in order to find out more, I searched what the web is telling about Pecorino. I found that Pecorino is a native grape in that region, the color is straw yellow almost golden with deep smells and an alcoholic scale that can reach 14 degree.
I appreciate the freshness and the taste of this wine. The winery to produce this wine is Citra.

Pecorino Italian white wine

Finally, we suggest Pecorino in a summer day, when the hot is intolerable and we want to drink a good and cold white wine.
This wine can be paired with white meats, fish and paella.

Try and enjoy it.