Trentino-Alto Adige is Different: Goulash and Teroldego #ItalianFWT
If This is March, We Must Be in Trentino-Alto Adige
Our #ItalianFWT group is on a month by month, slow virtual tour of Italy. We’re jumping around a bit, so you never know where we’ll be next. March is dedicated to Trentino-Alto Adige. I’ve not visited, so my research is being done from afar. The food and wine, however, will be experienced directly!
Trentino and Alto Adige Are Different From Other Areas of Italy
Trentino-Alto Adige is in the far northeast corner of Italy. Not quite as far east as Friuli, but it is farther north. In the tangled history of Italy, this region has changed hands many times. These two regions were under Austrian rule until the end of World War I! In fact, the folks in Alto Adige consider their region the “South Tyrol”, and the wines are marked appropriately: Südtirol. As you might expect, the foods tend to look less like what we think of as Italian and more like their neighbors to the north. The region is largely located in the foothills and beginning of the Tyrolian
Alps. Winter is real here, including plenty of snow, at least up on the hillsides.
My Tools for the Food & Wine of the Region
For each of our monthly forays, I try to find a cookbook specifically from the region. Trentino Alto-Adige wasn’t so easy, so I had to rely more on my all encompassing Italian Nonna’s cookbook, La Cucina. The nice thing with this cookbook is that recipes are labeled by the individual region.
As you can see, the index is very useful for region specific recipes. You can also see the Austrian / Tyrol influence. Dumplings? Strudel??
The best wine reference I’ve found is Vino Italiano, and even though it needs an update (most recent update was 2005), the information is very good with an overview of each region and in-depth coverage of the wines of the region. You do need to add a bit of research to cover recent wine news.
Wines of Trentino-Alto Adige
So what did we learn? In general, Trentino wines come from a few large wineries (Cavit, Mezzacorona, and Ferrari). However, there are some very interesting smaller wineries worth searching out. Alto Adige wineries tend to be the opposite, with lots of small wineries. The wines are quite different from those we see in other parts of Italy, with many grapes unique to this area, or grapes that are popular up in Austria. In Minnesota, I had a much easier time finding wines from Alto Adige. Today though, we’re focusing on Trentino.
Teroldego is the name of the grape, and there is a DOC wine “Teroldego Rotaliano”. Elizabetta Foradori, a winegrower in Trentino is perhaps the best known producer wines made from this grape, and her website does a very nice job telling her story. Well worth a few minutes of your time! If you’re interested, Eric Asimov wrote a very nice piece on this little known wine, also worth reading.
Foradori Sgarzon Teroldego 2011 ($39 at South Lyndale Liquors)
Elizabetta Foradori makes a more basic DOC Teroldego Rotaliano, and a more expensive version as well. Then there’s this one, a single vineyard Teroldego made with an older style of winemaking. Here’s a description of the wine from the Foradori website:
“”Sgarzo” means vine shoot in the Campo Rotaliano. The vines that grow in the Sgarzon vineyard are particularly vital and benefit from the cooler climate that distinguishes this site. Teroldego’s character changes, it is enriched with an unusual freshness. The eight months spent on the skins in an amphora (tinaja from Villarobledo, Spain), retain and amplify its distinctiveness. Along with the Morei vineyard, Sgarzon expresses fully the great variability of this variety”
I thought this wine was unique and a bit surprising in a good way. Dark and brooding, you expect something big.
Eye: Dark as night, super dark. Bright purple edge. Barely cloudy, not quite clear bright.
Nose: Deep, blackberries, blueberries. Something more as well, a bit of leather or earth, just a touch. Not oaky at all, just the depth that implies it wasn’t just in stainless.
Mouth: Surprise! Medium body, bright acidity. Medium tannins noticed right away around the gums, but overall, not overly tannic. Surprising light body compared to the color.
This wine was a great choice with beef goulash with gnocchi. With food, the tannins disappear and the fruit emerges more clearly. Light on its feet, not a heavy wine. Definitely much better with food, and this dish was perfect.
Gulasch Della Val Pusteria
I found this recipe in La Cucina: The Regional Cooking of Italy. The basic recipe instructs cooking on the stove, but I used the dutch oven (surprised?) and cooked it nice and slowly in the oven. You see lots of braised dishes in Italian cooking, but paprika isn’t usually a spice you’d expect, except if you’re in Trentino-Alto Adige! I guess the one hint that you’re not in Austria would be the suggestion to serve the dish on polenta or gnocchi; no mention of spätzle.
Thanks to Academia Barilla, the recipe is available online, in your choice of 4 languages as a bonus! The Academia Barilla website is another great resource if you’re looking for recipes or ideas from all over Italy, check it out!
Check Out the Other Great Posts on Trentino-Alto Adige from our #ItalianFWT Group
Don’t stop here. We have lots more great information to share with you on the Trentino-Alto Adige region. Join the rest of our Italian bloggers group:
Vino Travels – Canederli & Muller Thurgau of Trento
FoodWineClick – Trentino-Alto Adige is Different: Goulash and Teroldego
Orna O’Reilly – The Italian Dolomites: A Foodie’s Paradise
Rockin Red Blog – Wine and Dine in Trentino-Alto Adige with #ItalianFWT
Enofylz Wine Blog – A Taste of Alto Adige – Cantina Terlano Classico
Cooking Chat – Italian wine with Indian Curry
The Palladian Traveler – Under Doctor’s Orders in the Trentino
Make sure to join us live on Twitter today and throughout the weekend at #ItalianFWT to chat about the Trentino-Alto Adige region and your experiences. We can’t wait to hear from you. Check back at #ItalianFWT throughout the month as well for additional blogs on food, wine and travel of Italy. Next month on April 4th we feature Sicily so stay tuned. Ciao ciao!