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Posts Tagged ‘Montepulciano d’Abruzzo’

Prowein

March 31, 2011 by Inez No Comments »

ProweinLast week was the annual Prowein Fair in Dusseldorf, Germany. This fair not only exhibits wines from Germany but in fact wines from all over the world, both Old World and New World.  Here importers get the opportunity to source new wines and wineries, while wine growers get the opportunity to exhibit and promote their wines. 

After the fair most people head into Dusseldorf to the German beer houses for a feast of traditional German cuisine.  Schweinshaxe would be the dish of choice which is the knuckle of the pig which is either grilled or boiled, this is normally served with  fried potatoes, white asparagus and Hollondaise sauce, all washed down with the local  German beer.  All in all it’s a great atmosphere both at the fair and in Dusseldorf  and makes for a great trip.

Here is a little German recipe which if your feeling adventerous you may tackle.  After getting through not even 1 quarter of my Schweinshaxe,  the following night I decided to opt for another typical German dish which may be on the “smaller” side and be a little more tender and easier to eat. So I opted for the lamb, which was soft, flavoursome and although still quite large (German portions aren’t for the faint hearted) it was thoroughly enjoyable!!

Roast Lamb- German Style
“Lammbraten”

  • 6 – 7 lb. leg of lamb
  • 2 garlic cloves, cut into slivers
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 1 tbsp. pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 6 oz. Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth or water

Instructions:

 

  • Preheat oven to 350° F.
  • Trim fat from roast.
  • Cut slits (1 in. deep) on top and sides of roast and insert slivers of garlic.
  • Combine salt, pepper, sugar and cloves in small bowl. Spread mixture over roast, using hands to rub it in.
  • Spread mustard in a thin coat on sides and top of roast.
  • Put lamb on rack in roasting pan. Add broth or water. Cover.
  • Bake 2 hours, basting every 15 minutes with cooking liquid.
  • Remove cover and continue to bake and baste until lamb reaches internal temperature of 175° F. (takes about 30 to 60 minutes more). Add extra water if needed.
  • Strain cooking liquid and serve with roast.
  • Serves 10 to 12.

Of course traditionally beer should be drunk with such a meal, however a lovely full bodied red would be just as nice.  I enjoyed a Montepuliciano d’ Abruzzo Coste delle Plai by Podere Castorani.   This wine is full of fruits and jam packed with flavour.   The wine is made from 100% Montepulciano d’Abruzzo grapes   which generally gives quite a full bodied richly flavoured wine, Podere Castorani then on top of this use the “sur lie” method which involves ageing the wine on it’s lees for 5-6 months, this gives the wine even further body and flavour.  In the glass you will notice that the wine is a rich ruby red colour with aromas of cherries, prunes, and small forest fruits. On the palate is has rich strong flavours of stewed fruits.  Abruzzi is in Central Italy so it is quite a warm environment the Montepulciano d’Abruzzo is local to this region and is known for not having a huge amount of tannins.  This is highly noticeable, in the Coste dell Plai, the tannins which it does have are elegant and soft.  It has a long finish and all in all goes very nicely with the German Lamb. 

Enjoy!!
Inez O’Shea
“A Taste of Italy”

 

Montepulicano d’Abbruzzo with Beef and Guinness Stew

February 4, 2011 by Inez No Comments »

The Marquess' Beef & Guinness StewDespite the fact that it’s still 5 degrees outside, summer is not far away. Already the days are getting slightly longer, and the sun is just that little bit warmer, in other words, there’s a ligh at the end of the tunnel.  Having not experienced many COLD winters, being from Brisbane,which is considered to be a “sub tropical” environment, I wondered to myself in November how on earth I would get through the long, cold, argious winter. However suprisingly I found that winter isn’t  all THAT bad! One things for sure sailing, and swimming goes out the window however there are many aspects that I DO enjoy about winter. The main aspect being the change in diet, to be honest our diet in Brisbane never really changes, simply because it’s not cold enough and winter doesn’t stretch long enough for things to change too dramatically, the temperature on everage  in winter is about 20 degrees during the day and perhaps in the dead of the night the temperature may drop below 8 degrees.  So as you can imagine there is no real need to eat wholesome warming meals, and drink rich full bodied reds.  So although we would crack out the soups and perhaps eat inside rather then on the verandah, nothing much changes for us during winter. 
However as I’ve discovered this is not the case here, rack’s of lamb, stew’s, casserol’s, slow cooked meat, polenta, pudding,  and warm soufle’s are all wonderful winter dishes which I’ve come to know and love.  It really makes such a nice change to sit down to a good bowl of hot soup, or a hearty casserol with a little bread and butter to mop up the sauce.  Naturally with these types of dishes requires a good full bodied red. Which is why I chose to pair this dish with a Montepulciano d’Abruzzo.  The
Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Coste delle Plai by Jarno Trulli comes fromt the Abruzzi region, and this wine is usually medium to full bodied.  It is a wine renowned for being jam packed with flavour.  Because Abruzzi is in East/central Italy the climate is lovely and warm, which consequently increases the sugar and alcohol levels in the grape. The Montepulciano grape ripens quite late so it’s unsuitable  for the North of Italy,   however it thrives in the long warm summers of Central Italy.                                                                                                                                                                      
Montepulciano d’Abbruzo has a lovely deep rich purple colour, with soft tannins.  The Coste dell Plai is medium bodied and has a strong aromas of prunes, black cherries and red fruits  On the palate it has flavours of red berries, plum,  and notes of mature fruit.  It is rich and balanced with a long finish. The strong fruit flavours went very well with the rich flavours of the beef, onions, and juices of the guinness and it is a wine that you can continue to enjoy well after your meal.

Beef and Guinness Stew 

  • 2 large onions , diced
  • a few sprigs thyme
  • 1 garlic clove , crushed
  • olive oil                                                                                                                                                             
  • 1kg braising steak , cut into chunks
  • 6 tbsp plain flour , well seasoned                                                                                                 
  • 500ml Guinness
  • beef stock fresh, cube or concentrate made up to 250ml                                                                                   
  • parsley chopped, to serve
  •  Method:

    1. Cook the onions, thyme and garlic with a little olive oil in a large casserole until the onion is softened and translucent. Dust the braising steak in the seasoned flour and brown in a hot pan with a little oil.
    2.
    When the beef has a good, even colour, add it to the pan with the onions and pour in the Guinness. Top up with the stock to just cover the beef.
    3.
    Cover and simmer over a very low heat or transfer to a 150C/fan 130C/gas 3 oven for 2-3 hours until the beef is meltingly tender (check after 2 hours). Season to taste and add some chopped parsley. Serves this with colcannon.

    Enjoy!!!

    Inez O’Shea
    “A Taste of Italy”

     

    Mulled wine and Mince Pies

    January 10, 2011 by Inez No Comments »
    Mulled wine and mince pies go hand in hand at christmas time!! I suggest a nice deep Montepulciano di Abruzzo by Pietrantonj.   This wine has a lot of depth and goes nicely with all of the spices.  I prefer good mince pies from a bakery rather then the supermarket, as I often find the mince pies in the supermarket very artificial and rich.  Naturally the mince pies MUST be served with freshly whipped cream!!
    Here is a lovely recipe for Mulled wine!!
     
     Ingredients:
    • 2 clementines
    • peel of 1 lemon
    • peel of 1 lime
    • 250g caster sugar
    • 6 whole cloves
    • 1 cinnamon stick
    • 3 fresh bay leaves                                                                               
    • 1 whole nutmeg
    • 1 whole vanilla pod, halved                            
    • 2 star anise
    • 2 bottles of Chianti, or other Italian red wine
     
    Method: Peel large sections of peel from your clementines, lemon and lime using a speed peeler. Put the sugar in a large saucepan over a medium heat, add the pieces of peel and squeeze in the clementine juice. Add the cloves, cinnamon stick, bay leaves and about 10 to 12 gratings of nutmeg. Throw in your halved vanilla pod and stir in just enough red wine to cover the sugar. Let this simmer until the sugar has completely dissolved into the red wine and then bring to the boil. Keep on a rolling boil for about 4 to 5 minutes, or until you’ve got a beautiful thick syrup. The reason I’m doing this first is to create a wonderful flavour base by really getting the sugar and spices to infuse and blend well with the wine. It’s important to do make a syrup base first because it needs to be quite hot, and if you do this with both bottles of wine in there you’ll burn off the alcohol.  When your syrup is ready turn the heat down to low and add your star anise and both bottles of wine. Gently heat the wine and after around 5 minutes, when it’s warm and delicious, ladle it into glasses and serve.
    Mulled wine and mince pies Royalty Free Stock Vector Art Illustration
     
     
     
    Merry Christmas from all of us at A Taste of Italy
     
    Inez O’Shea
    “A Taste of Italy”