RSS Feed

Posts Tagged ‘Trentino Alto Adige’

Barbecue Season

April 19, 2011 by Inez No Comments »

After the glorious weather of the weekend it is clear that summer is here and it’s officially time to embrace the new season.  Here are some receipe’s which go perfectly with barbecued foods.  I particularly enjoy sitting down to a barbecue with a range of lovely fresh salads rather then tubs of Coleslaw and potato salad from Tesco. Barbecue’s however can sometimes be looked down upon as a meal which is just slapped on the barbie often burger meat and poor quality sausages and steak, often served with little to no salad.  However being Australian and using our Weber for the majority of the year we have perfected the art of barbecueing and the foods we serve with it, and it certainly doesn’t involve poor quality meat and pre made salads from Tesco.

Thai Rice Salad 


  • 4 cups cooked long-grain white rice, such as Thai jasmine rice
  • 1 cup fresh papaya or fresh/canned pineapple, cut into small pieces
  • 100g of fresh prawns 
  • 1/2 can of corn or 1 fresh corn with the corn taken off the cob
  • 1/2 cup dry roasted cashews, left whole or lightly chopped
  • 3 spring onions, sliced
  • 1 cup fresh coriander, lightly chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, lightly chopped
  • 1 fresh red chili, deseeded and cut into thin strips, OR 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 handful of fresh mint diced


  • 1/2 cup good quality coconut milk
  • 2 Tbsp. fish sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • juice of 1/2 a lime (about 2 Tbsp.)
  • 1-2 tsp. sugar (to taste)
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp. (or more) cayenne pepper (to taste)
  • Preparation:

    Combine the salad dressing ingrediens into a bowl ensuring that you taste test, add lime or sugar depending on your taste. Cook the rice and place in a bowl and add the remaining salad ingredients and stir the dressing through. Serve warm or cold.

    Roasted Pumpkin and Feta Salad

    1.2kg pumpkin butternut or sweet potato is fine
    1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
    Salt and pepper, to taste
    2 garlic cloves, unpeeled
    2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
    t tablespoon of sesame oil
    1 tablespoon honey
    about 5 loosely filled cups baby spinach leaves and Rocket
    1/2 cup of toasted pine nuts
    100g feta cheese

    Preheat oven to 220 degrees Celsius (190 degrees Celsius fan-forced). If you are not using a fan-forced oven, move the oven rack to the middle shelf position.
    Cut the pumpkin slices into small bite size pieces remove the seeds and skins
    Place pumpkin pieces on a large baking tray, drizzle with one tablespoon of oil and toss to coat. Spread pumpkin out in a single layer on the tray and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
    Cut a small amount off the end of each garlic clove (this helps prevent the garlic from bursting out of its skin when roasting) and put garlic on the tray with the pumpkin. 
    Bake pumpkin and garlic for 20 minutes. Remove tray from oven and set garlic aside to cool. Turn the pumpkin pieces over and return to oven. Continue cooking pumpkin for about 15-25 minutes, until lightly browned and tender when tested with the point of a knife. Allow pumpkin to cool to room temperature.
    Arrange spinach leaves, pumpkin and nuts on a serving platter. Shake the dressing and pour over the salad. Crumble feta over the salad and serve immediately.

    Dice the garlic. Place garlic, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, honey, salt and pepper in a bowl and stir so it’s combined

    Unfortunately finding a wine to pair with a barbeque is a little bit tricky, often barbecue’s are a mixure of meat, chicken, or fish etc. However in my oppinion a white wine would be the safest bet.  Both of the above recipe’s have a lot of ingredents with quite stong flavours  ie fresh herbs, fish sauce, pumpkin, balsamic so a wine with a bit of body would be ideal.  In this case the Anselmi Capitel Croce would be my choice. AnselmiAnselmi Capitel Croce 2004 is based in the Veneto region in Northern Italy.  The climate is quite cold however not quite as cold as Trentino Alto Adige which is just North of Veneto.   The Anselmi Capitel Croce is made 100% from the Garganega grape which is a local indigenous grape from this area.  The Capitel Croce is aged in barrique for 8 months, then further aged in the bottle for 9 months.  Not only this but it is also aged on it’s lees.  Ageing a wine on it’s lees gives it much more body and flavour and adds complexity.  
    The vinification methods of this wine are reflected in the flavours of the Capitel Croce with it having a good body with flavours of stone fruits, in particular lovely  notes of peach, apple and a certain creaminess.   It is dry and complex with a long finish.


    Inez O’Shea
    “A Taste of Italy”


    Spring time!!

    April 11, 2011 by Inez No Comments »

    I must say Ireland is a completely different country when the sun is shining and the flowers are in bloom. It’s like when the weather warms up there is an energy about the place which is incredibile.  Everybody walks with a spring in their step and a smile on their face. It’s amazing the effect of warm sunny weather.  Apart from being perfect barbeque weather some nice fresh seafood is ideal on a day like this.  Here is a recipe which I have been making for years and I think it really expressess Summer. It’s Asian in style and uses lovely fresh summer ingredents.


    Thai Fish
    1 whole fish, or fillets whichever is your preference. The fish is of your choice preferable a white flesh fish thats quite delicate
    2 generous handfuls of fresh Basil
    2 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive oil           
    2 Cloves of Garlic
    1 Tablespoon of mango chutney
    1 Tablespoon of Honey
    the juice of a small lime.  Perhaps you may need to add more honey if it is too tart.
    If you like chilli then add some fresh red chilli to your liking

    Method: Line a baking tray with aluminium foil and lay the fish in the tray.  Dice the garlic and rip the basil into small pieces. Combine all of the ingredients together and then pour over the fish. Wrap the fish with the aluminium foil so it’s nicely sealed and place in a pre heated oven of 180 degrees. Depending on the thickness of the fish, a normal fillet should take around 15-20mins to cook. 

    I like to serve this with some lightly fried potatoes and a garden salad with rocket, avacado, cherry tomatoes, feta, spring onion, and roasted sweet potato.  Dress the salad with some good quality extra virgin olive oil, a sprinkle of salt and cracked pepper and a squeeze of lemon

    Due to the delicateness of the fish, this dish calls for a crisp, light white wine.  I would reommend the Pinot Bianco by Cantina Endrizzi.  Endrizzi is based in Trentino Alto Adige in Northern Italy. Due to their Northerly location, the climate from this area tends to be quite warm and sunny during the day and crisp in the evening, this variation in climate has a massive effect on the flavour of the grapes and undoubtedly improves the flavour in a positive way.  Not only this but the area is renowned for receiving cool Meditterranean breezes despite the fact that Cantina Endrizzi is high in the Alps and quite far from the Mediterranean. All of these environmental factors improve and gives the wine unique it’s flavour. 
    Because of the fairly cold climate and the shortness of the summer the sugar levels in the grapes are relatively low and as a result the wines remain quite acidic and crisp. With the fish it is perfect as both are light in body and neither is dominant or overpowering.

    Inez O’Shea
    “A Taste of Italy”  


    The beginning of the Summer cuisine

    February 25, 2011 by Inez 1 Comment »

    With Spring in the air, it’s almost time that winter foods be replaced with lovely summer foods.  Stone fruits, avodacos, sugar snap peas, plump healthy red tomatoes, beetroot, corn and fresh herbs  are all some of my favourite summer ingredients and although at the moment most of the typical summer foods havn’t quite ripened in our vegie patches, or made it to our local fruit grocers shelves, with summer so close and the weather much warmer and brighter, it just doesn’t seem right to sit down to meal of Venison with Polenta or a lamb Caserole.   Here is a nice little recipe which will get you in the mood for Summer and all that Summer has to offer.  All of these ingredients are readily available through summer and winter and I chose this recipe because its a mixture of summer and winter.  The presence of steak, mushrooms and garlic give the dish a bit more weight yet the salad and green beens are light and fresh and Summery.

    Grilled Garlic Steak Salad

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  • 1 lb. boneless beef sirloin or Porterhouse steak
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 6 cups mixed salad greens
  • 3/4 cup Italian salad dressing
  • Preparation:

    Mix together salad dressing, garlic and red pepper flakes in a small bowl. Prepare and heat grill.

    Sprinkle beef with salt and pepper and place beef on grill 4-5″ from medium coals. Cover and grill 12-17 minutes, turning once, until desired doneness.

    Meanwhile, toss bell pepper and mushrooms with 2 tablespoons of the dressing mixture. Place in grill basket and grill 5 minutes, shaking grill basket occasionally, until bell pepper and mushrooms are crisp tender.

    Let beef stand for 10 minutes, then cut into 1/4″ slices across the grain. Toss beef and 1/4 cup dressing mixture. Place salad greens, grilled vegetables, and beef in large bowl and toss to coat. Serve with remaining dressing mixture. 6 servings

    Note: For extra depth to the salad I added some sweet potato, sunflower seeds, and tomoato. For added flavour I added a dash of Toasted Sesami Oil with a sprinkling of sesami seeds.

    Wine Pairing:
    Due to the combination of salad and meat it is very hard to find a wine to match. The average light to medium bodied White wine would be unable to match the steak yet a heavy red  would overpower the green beans and salad. So I tried a good full bodied white which could “take on” the red meat, mushrooms and garlic.  The Capitel Croce by Anselmi is a white wine with good body and undoubtedly needs food to compliment it. 
    Anselmi is a winery based in the heart of the Soave zone in Veneto,  however the owner of the winery Roberto Anselmi doesn’t agree with the Appelations as he believes that due to the appelatons there is a lack of ambition amongst the winemakers and so he has decided to produce only IGT wines.  The Capitel Croce is made of 100% Garganega which is the indigenious grape of this area.  Roberto Anselmi’s wines are top class wines for a very good reason, firstly the location of the Capitel Croce vinyard is on a South facing slope so it recieves the lovely warm morning sun.  Secondly the soil in the vinyard is composed of Limestone with grass underneath which is reputed for being an excellent soil composition.  The vines are then grown on horizontal spurred cordons which allow the grapes to recieve maximum sunlight throughout the day.  The grapes are hand picked with only the best and most mature grapes being selected, which are placed into small boxes to ensure they are not damaged once they are off the vine and arrive in the winery is perfect condition.  The grapes are then softly pressed using Pneumetic Pressing, and are aged for 8 months in Barrique.  Capitel Croce is also aged on it’s Lees with the “Battonade” method, (where the Lees are stirred) this gives the wine a certain creamy texture and more body.  It is then further aged in the bottle for 9 months.   As you can see the viticulture and vinification methods are of an extremely high standard and consequently he has produced a delicious medium to full bodied wine with round flavours of nuts, toast and vanilla, and a powerful aroma of citrus and herb. Anselmi Capitel Croce 2004


    Inez O’Shea 
    “A Taste of Italy”


    Cantina Endrizzi

    February 15, 2011 by Inez 1 Comment »

    vendita trentinoCantina Endrizzi is one of our main suppliers, and the reason for this being is the excellent quality of their wines.  There are many factors which all contribute to the end product. 
    Undoubtedly the location of the vinyard is possibly one of the greatest factors.  Every vinyard even if it’s located in the same area will have different soil, different amounts of sunlight, and a different micro-climate etc, all of these environmental factors is known as the “terroir”.  As you can imagine a
    vinyard which has an alpine climate, soil made up of limstone, warm days and cool nights will produce a wine dramatically different wine to a vinyard which is for example in a hot environment, at a lower altitude, with soil made up of clay or granite!! 

    Endrizzi is based in Trentino Alto Adige which is just 8km’s from the Austrian border.  Trentino Alto Adige is in the heart of the Dolomites which is famous for its skiing, hiking and spectacular Alps.  Despite the fact that in the winter it is freezing, the climate in summer is quite moderate with warm days, cool nights and a cool mediterinean breeze. 

    In the vinyard, to combat insects which damage the vines and eat the grapes, Endrizzi has adopted a natural method, where by 25 birds nests have been planted, these birds feed off the insects which would normally attack the vine and grapes. This method is “organic” and far better for us as well as the environment.  Endrizzi then practices “Short pruning”, “short pruning” involves removing some of the leaves which shade the cluster of grapes, as maximum sunlight and ventilation is best for the grape.  They then also use a “Cluster thinning” method, this practice involves removing some of the grapes on the vine in order to ensure that the remaining grapes can reach above median sugar levels.   All grapes are then hand picked with scrupolous care and attention and placed in baskets so as not to damage the grape once it is off the vine.    
    Endrizzi takes as much care in the winery as it does in the vinyard.  With the use of modern technology the white wines are gently pressed then placed into special fermentation containers called a “Ganymede” This “Ganymede” ensures that the quality from the vineyard remains intact in the wine. 
    They have also completely rejected chemical cleaners within the winery and to use ozone-enriched water instead.

    Endrizzi offers a broad range of wines, however all are indigenous grapes of this region ie Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio, Muller Thurgau, Nosiola, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Nero, Teroldego, and Lagrein.  They also make a small line of spectacular desert wines as well as  Grappa and Mustards.

    We hope you not only enjoy their wines but appreciate the effort and work  and high level of  care that goes into making these wines so special.

    Inez O’Shea
    “A Taste of Italy”


    A Taste of Spain!!!

    November 2, 2010 by Inez 3 Comments »

    I know we are “A taste of Italy” however on the weekend I strayed from my usual stomping ground and went to Spain, and what a pleasure it was, despite the fact that my wallet was stolen the Spanish hospitality and culture was its usual friendly, relaxed, and hospitable self.  The reason for my visit was to see a friend, and she, like me “lives and breathes” food and wine, so the first stop was to the deli to buy copious amounts of Jamon, Chorizo, and as many types of Spanish cheeses we could get our hands on!!!

    The next objective was to prepare the famous “Paella”. I know I must seem like a bit of “Jack of all trades, Master of none” (as my Dad would say) by cooking Italian, Asian, Malaysian, foods but I really do like to try my hand at everything. Which is exactly what we did. Here is a lovely little recipe which we thorougly enjoyed.  Dont be daunted by the list of ingredients, once you have the ingredients and chopped them up,  its smooth sailing, so long as you follow the method closely,  you will have a delicious Spanish speciality to enjoy!!

    weinflascheBecause the majority of the ingredients are white meat, ie chicken or rabbit and seafood I would recommend the Pinot Grigio by Cantina Terlano. Cantina Terlano is a famous winery from Trentino Alto Adige and they produce elegant crisp wines. They are of an extremely high quality and this is due to their scrupulous production methods and also the “Terroir”  of the winery ie volcanic soil, high alpine altitude and the high quality of their grapes, as a result the wine is crisp in flavour yet highly elegant. I personally found the Pinot Grigio by Terlano so light and subtle I was truly amazed. Often I find Pinot Grigio’s to be quite powerful and sharp however this wine is quite the opposite it has aromas reminiscent of ripe honeydew melons, and on the palate the flavours are of pear, apples and slight almond notes. It is soft and balanced with a long finish. It goes extremely well with the Paella as it doesn’t overpower the seafood or chicken and is nicely complimented by the flavours of the chilli, paprika, and garlic.


    • 170g/6oz chorizo, cut into thin slices
      pancetta, cut into small dice
      2 cloves
      garlic finely chopped
      1 large Spanish
      onion, finely diced
      1 red pepper, diced                                                        

      1 tsp soft
      thyme leaves
      ¼ tsp dried red chilli flakes
      570ml/1pint calasparra (Spanish short-grain) rice

      1 tsp
      125ml/4fl oz dry white wine
      1.2 litres/2 pints chicken stock, heated with ¼ tsp saffron strands
      chicken thighs, each chopped in half and browned
      18 small
      clams, cleaned
      110g/4oz fresh or frozen
      4 large tomatoes, de-seeded and diced
      125ml/4fl oz good
      olive oilPaella
      1 head
      garlic, cloves separated and peeled
      12 jumbo raw
      prawns, in shells
      squid, cleaned and chopped into bite-sized pieces
      5 tbsp chopped flatleaf
      Salt and freshly ground black pepper



    Preparation method

    1. Heat half the olive oil in a paella dish or heavy-based saucepan. Add the chorizo and pancetta and fry until crisp. Add the garlic, onion and pepper and heat until softened. Add the thyme, chilli flakes and calasparra rice, and stir until all the grains of rice are nicely coated and glossy. Now add the paprika and dry white wine and when it is bubbling, pour in the hot chicken stock, add the chicken thighs and cook for 5-10 minutes.
    2. Now place the clams into the dish with the join facing down so that the edges open outwards. Sprinkle in the peas and chopped tomatoes and continue to cook gently for another 10 minutes.
    3. Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil with the garlic cloves in a separate pan and add the prawns. Fry quickly for a minute or two then add them to the paella. Now do the same with the squid and add them to the paella too.
    4. Scatter the chopped parsley over the paella and serve immediately

    Inez O’Shea
    “A taste of Italy”


    Wine special for the week!!

    August 5, 2010 by Inez No Comments »

    Masetto Bianco is a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco, Riesling and Sauvignon.  It is made by a producer called Endrizzi who are based in the Trentino region in fact just 8kms from the Austrian border!! So as you can imagine the winery is up in the Alps and has the true Alpine climate!! Which has huge affects on the wine!! In my oppinion very positive affects.
     Having such influences from so many different grapes, suprisingly the wine for me was very well balanced and had just the right amount from each grape, in other words 1 grape didnt dominate, there were hints of all grapes, some more obvious others more subtle!! Masseto Bianco wasn’t too sharp but rather very smooth and makes for very pleasant drinking!!

    I made a lovely Ravioli pasta with it, a very simple dish consisting of Pumpkin Ravioli with butter, sage, and freshly grated Parmesan!!!


    Inez O’Shea
    “A taste of Italy”


    Italian Summer recipes

    July 5, 2010 by Inez No Comments »

    My thoughts on Italian cooking.

    Being Australian, I have grown up in a very multi-cultural society, which my Mother embraced!! Growing up every night for dinner was a dish from any cuisine in the world, my Mother specialised in Asian cooking, but she would always try her hand at anything and everything!!! For Christmas one year I remember us all sitting around the table rolling coriander, and prawn Vietnamese rolls, and for dinner most nights it was an Indian curry to a stir fry, to a Thai curry to Mexican or to some good old lamb chops!!

    It was this environment that instilled a huge passion for food, and good quality food!! So when I arrived in Italy, I went crazy!!! I basically ate my way through Italy for 1 year, then I decided that I had eaten enough in restaurants, and would like to try my hand at a bit of Italian cooking. What I came to discover is that much of the food served in Italy is very basic, but what makes it so delicious is the quality of the ingredients. Having now moved to Ireland I thought that it was impossibile to make nice Italian food in Ireland, however I have found a few small shops which source good quality produce, so if im making something particular then I always try to buy my ingredients from them. I also have a very good bottle of Italian oil which for me is the key ingredient in most Italian dishes, it can make or break the dish!! Of  course there are some things which you simply can’t get here in Ireland however, for many of the recipes I have been able to get it pretty close to the “real deal”. So here are some of my favourites….

    Classic Pesto                            Stock Illustration - basil. fotosearch  - search clipart,  illustration,  drawings and vector  eps graphics images  

    5 cups packed fresh basil leaves
    1/4 cup pine nuts
    1 large clove garlic, peeled
    salt and freshly ground black pepper
    1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    1/2 cup  grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

    Method:  Pulse the basil, pine nuts, garlic, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/8 tsp. pepper in a food processor until finely chopped. With the motor running, slowly pour the olive oil into the feed tube and process, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl as needed, until the mixture forms a thick paste. Transfer to a medium bowl and stir in the Parmigiano. Season to taste with more salt and pepper.

    This can then be added to spaghetti with  a sprinkling of parmesan over the top, or I love to spread it on crackers and add feta or cheese of any kind, of course Italian cheese is ideal!!

    Chicken with Pesto

    Method: Take the chicken breast and with a knife smear the pesto on either side of the breast, then cover with grated parmesan, and finally wrap the breast with prosciuto. Place the chicken in a glass oven dish and add a small amount of oil to stop the chicken from sticking. Cook in a moderate oven 180 degrees for 25-30mins depending on the size of the chicken.  Serve with a tossed greek salad.


    2 slices of white oven loaf bread
    2 vine ripened tomatoes
    1 handful of basil
    1 clove of garlic
    salt and pepper

    Method: Take the bread and slightly toast, once it is crusty on the outside take the clove of garlic and rub it on the bread. Dice the tomatoes, and break up the basil and mix in with the tomatoes, pour a small amount of oil in with the tomatoes and stir just to combine everything. Then add a pinch of salt and pepper. With the bread pour small amount of oil onto the top and place in the oven for 5 or 10 mins.  Spoon the tomatoes on top of the bread and if you would like the tomatoes to be slightly warmed you can place it into the oven together, otherwise just spoon the tomatoes onto the bread once you have removed the bread from the oven.

    Wine Recommendations

    I recommend our the Masetto Bianco by Endrizzi, it is a blend of  Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco, Riesling and Sauvignon. It is quite rounded rather then being sharp, and is very soft and makes easy pleasant drinking, and will go excellently with all of the above recipe’s.

    Inez O’Shea “A taste of Italy”                                              


    Terlano Wines!!

    June 8, 2010 by Inez 2 Comments »

    Terlano is one of the top 10 wineries in Italy, and have been producing wine since 1893.  Terlano is in Trentino region in the North of Italy, and what makes this wine so special is the fact that it is based at the foot of a large mountain where the vinyard faces South, consequently it recieves a high rate of sunshine and has almost a Mediterranean climate, the fact that it has this particular climate is amazing considering it is in an alpine region, bordering Austria!! 

    The soil in the vineyards  lie on a striking red porphyry base, which is volcanic rock .  As a result of the unique environment and soil of the region, along with expert wine making skills, Terlano has produced spectacular wines. The wines are famous for being elegent,  fruity, with big body, full complexity and longevity.  The white wines produced by Terlano are the stars of the show, however their red’s are also exceptional!!

    “A taste of Italy” currently stocks the

    Sauvignon Winkle,
    Terlano Terla
    Pinot Grigio,
    Sauvignon Quarz,
    Terlano Lagrein Porphyr

    Now is the ideal time to be enjoying these wines as summer is here and on a warm summers afternoon you will really appreciate the crisp, fruity yet elegant wines of Terlano!!


    Inez O’Shea “A taste of Italy”


    Italian Grape Varities

    March 31, 2010 by Inez No Comments »


    red grapes and wine

    Unlike the large department stores “A taste of Italy” sources its wines from local and small producers in Italy, we pride ourselves on the fact that the our wines are of good quality but at very reasonable prices.  Drinking mass produced wine isnt the same as drinking a bottle of wine produced in a small family run winery, coming from some of the top wine regions of Italy!!

    We have only Italian wine, many of our wines are made from the typical Italian grapes ie Sangiovese, Barollo, Nebbiolo, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon etc however we also have wines are made from grapes which are not as commonly found. 

     If your looking to try some other wonderful Italian grape styles try our San Vincenzo made by Anselmi!! The grape used in this wine is the Garganega – The main wine varietal for wines labeled Soave.  Its is a crisp dry white wine from the Veneto wine region (very lovely)!! 
    Try our Gran Masetto by Endrizzi.  The Gran Massetto is made from a red grape called Teroldego, which is made from one of Italy’s oldest and finest traditional grapes. The style of Teroldego from Endrizzi is unique and quite stunning. The bouquet is a complex mélange of sweet black fruit redolent of cherries and dark berries, coupled with notes of blood orange, dark chocolate and classic Italian overtones of olives, herbs and soil!!

    Inez O’Shea”A taste of Italy”


    Give them a try!!