Come Along on a Virtual Tour of Italy

A Slow Virtual Tour of Italy
I’m embarking on a relaxed virtual tour of the wines and foods of individual regions in Italy. I hope you’ll join me!

What's the deal with the stickers on Italian wines?

What’s the deal with the stickers on Italian wines?

Digging a Little Deeper
You might already know I’m a pretty ardent fan of the Piemonte (Piedmont) region of Italy.  In our recent visits we have discovered a few things about Italians through the Piemontese:

  • Italian is important – When you rent a car in Italy, you’ll never see a Peugeot, only Fiat.  What’s a Peugeot? They make wine in France? Really?
  • Region is important – (In the Piemonte) Parmigiano Reggiano cheese?  Oh, we don’t eat that here.  Marsala wine in the cooking?  No! Never! Let’s use this local Barbera d’Alba.
  • Local is important – (In Neive) We serve Barbaresco wines in our restaurant, go to Barolo if you want to drink Barolo. Note that Barolo is about 25km (15 miles) from Neive.
  • Fun is important – Make time for friends, good food, and good wine.  This is universal good advice!

You learn there is no “Italian Wine”  or “Italian Cuisine”.  If you want to learn Italy, you need to learn regional Italy.  The sheer number of regions with their own wines and food can be overwhelming.  Daunting or fun? Thus the idea of slowing down and exploring each region, one at a time.

Italy’s regions

Image courtesy of: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Italian_wine

There is so much to explore! Image courtesy of: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Italian_wine

In our virtual tour, we’ll explore one region at a time, and we’ll do our best to find regional recipes for wine & food pairing.  We’ll adapt in the best Italian tradition by using our local Minnesota ingredients when possible and appropriate.  Of course, we have very few olive trees in Minnesota!  I’m thinking about the whole exercise as a preview for future trips as well as more informed enjoyment of Italian food and wine here at home.

Tools
Since this is a virtual tour, I’ll need some help.  Here are a few of the tools I have gathered:

Our guides to help inform our virtual travels

Our guides to help inform our virtual travels

  • Lidia’s ItalyNot exhaustive, but Lidia Bastianich gives us recipes from a number of distinctive regions
  • La CucinaThe Italian Nonna Cookbook – Breadth and depth with the key ingredient: regional reference. Each recipe has a regional tag and there is a whole separate index to the recipes by region.  Perfect!
  • Vino Italiano – A nice reference text explaining the wines region by region in some detail. There’s a bit of regional food information, but we’ll look further for recipes.
  • Slow Wine 2014 – Published by Slow Food, this English language version includes a variety of wineries in each of the regions, including some information on the most historic and traditional producers
  • Individual regional cookbooks – As I can find these on Amazon, I’ll pick them up and share with you here.
Of course, research will be required...

Of course, research will be required…

Surprise! A New Italian Food Wine & Travel Blogging Group #ItalianFWT
Jennifer Martin
is a fellow food & wine blogger with a particularly deep Italian connection and passion.  We met in our monthly Wine Pairing Weekend group.  Jennifer has just organized a new group, this one focused on Italian food wine and travel.  What perfect timing!  I’m planning to participate and I hope you’ll join in.  We’ll be posting on the 1st Saturday of each month, with a twitter chat set for that day.  Watch for #ItalianFWT and join us!

First up?  The Veneto, home of Prosecco, Soave, Valpolicella, and Amarone. Venice, Verona, Belluno, Lake Garda. Should be fun!  Look for blog posts on November 1 and follow the conversation on Twitter at #ItalianFWT.

winePW_pork_fall_fruits_chave_white_valpolicella_ripasso_20141004_43

 

 

 

Comments
9 Responses to “Come Along on a Virtual Tour of Italy”
  1. Looking forward to it and thanks for joining this journey with me and the rest of the group.

  2. Love this idea! We’ve been to Italy twice, and would love to know more about these different regions.

  3. Nice idea, looking forward to it!

  4. Awesome! Did you enjoy the Cesari Amarone? That is one of the wineries I visited in Valpolicella. They produce very nice wines! Cheers.

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