year 21 - number 124 - december 2018 - gamberorosso.it
T R AV E L
50 excellent Cuvée: the italian take on champagne SLOVENIA Natural wines and very authentic recipes. Cross the Italian border, and get ready
NAPOLI The Christmas season is one of the best for immersing oneself in the Neapolitan atmosphere
RUSSIA 2.0 Young and modern. Here's the new Russian approach to wine and food
year 21 - number 124 - december 2018 - gamberorosso.it
T R AV E L
8 12 12 18
50 excellent Cuvée: the italian take on champagne SLOVENIA Natural wines and very authentic recipes. Cross the Italian border, and get ready
NAPOLI The Christmas season is one of the best for immersing oneself in the Neapolitan atmosphere
The payback of the little big wines of Italy Food News Wine of the Month Wine News Young and modern, here’s the new Russia
50 excellent Champagnes. Italians in the lead among lovers of the French bubbles
Slovenia is now a food destination Recipes. Christian Mandura Naples, magic Nativity scene capital
RUSSIA 2.0 Young and modern. Here's the new Russian approach to wine and food
Verdicchio by nature, organic by culture We have guarded for 35 years our vineyards carefully, rigorously and with dedication in the Verdicchio Classico area. And we have harvested for 35 years the grapes for our Organic Casal di Serra, trademark of our land.
Umani Ronchi - Via Adriatica 12 - 60027 Osimo (AN) ITALIA - Tel. +39 071 7108019 www.umanironchi.com
CAMPAIGN FINANCED ACCORDING TO (EU) REGULATION NO. 1308/2013
The payback of the little big wines of Italy Here is the new year, but more than dealing with substantial changes, Italy seems to be pleased with its status quo: why go looking for possible and probable problems when the present is not so bad? Even the world of wine doesn't intend to be loaded with unnecessary complications: it's so nice to drink a pleasant wine without having to think about anything. Why try to walk a path full of obstacles and slowdowns tasting the so-called great wines, which always require preparatory education in order to be understood? An immediate, simple and safe pleasure is better than a maybe even greater pleasure but that's not for everyone and difficult to grasp. So, this is the golden moment for easy to approach wines: easy to understand and easy to drink, but for that reason no lesser great. Due to the economic crisis, gone is the time when only expensive and critically acclaimed wines (often with a touch of snobbery) could be defined as good. Today, the great wines are already in the first price ranges. And leading this broad proposal of little big wines is Prosecco, especially the Docg version that's widely rewarded by critics - and well described in the feature on page 30. If Prosecco is experiencing such a moment of glory - also enlivened by resounding commercial success leading to almost double the numbers of Champagne (today you can easily exceed 600 million bottles a year) - this is not owed only to a contained price policy. Undoubtedly, popular prices facilitate rapid expansion; but without the fashion effect, which relies largely on the appreciation of bigger consumer segments all over the world, such a vast and sudden growth could not have occurred. In a short time it became the great wine of many consumers. Among the other little big wines, also the various Lambrusco wines, be they Modena-, Reggio-made or the Schiave of Alto Adige (Lake Caldara and Santa Maddalena). These, like Prosecco, have long been considered unimportant wines, reserved for the supermarket shelves. Many years ago, before our country became aware of its potential in terms of oenological quality, these wines had the burden of driving our exports together with Verdicchio, Soave and Chianti. Today, thanks to their organoleptic qualities, they have conquerd the hearts of enthusiasts. This discourse certainly is not looking to discredit our great wines, whites or reds. But let's take advantage of these little big wines attractive in both taste and pocket.
â€” Gianni Fabrizio
GAMBERO ROSSO X LUGANA
Lugana: The Consorzio, the wine, pairings THE WINE
THE CONSORZIO The Consorzio per la Tutela del Lugana was established in 1990. Its objectives are to preserve and manage the precious uniqueness of Lugana wine, and at the same to promote, diffuse and enhance knowledge of the zone and its wine, both nationally and abroad. The Consorzio di Tutela is also responsible for promoting and showcasing the Lugana brand by participating in the most important national and international fairs. The Consorzio is committed to safeguarding Lugana from unfair competition and market oscillation. That is why, for some time, the Consorzio has battled against the temptation, in periods of crisis like the present day, to lower prices, a move that would undermine the quality of the product and undercut the denomination’s image. Lugana was the first DOC recognized in Lombardy and one of the first in Italy, further proof of the immense historic and cultural value of the area and its wine. History and a strong bond with its territory give Lugana wine a powerful personality, absolutely unmistakable, with a heritage that must be protected, and at the same time, enhanced.
The rules that govern Lugana production allow for the presence of a maximum of 10% complementary, non-aromatic, white grape varieties. Today, however, the zone’s producers tend to vinify Lugana exclusively with turbiana grapes, a sign of respect for a variety that has proved itself in this terroir. Turbiana, if interpreted with moderate yields and handled by a sensitive grower, can become a fragrant and savory white, proving itself to be a noble, ancient variety, producing whites rich in subtlety and personality.
THE TYPES Current production regulations describe five types of Lugana: a basic version, Superiore, Riserva, Vendemmia Tardiva and Spumante. Basic (base) Lugana is the productive motor of the entire denomination, its fundamental building block, the qualitative marker of the zone. It accounts for almost 90% of the DOC. The color is a light straw-yellow with greenish highlights. Aromas are deli-
On the southern shore of Lake Garda is a grape-growing zone that has come to the world’s attention thanks to the quality and appeal of its white wine. We’re talking about Lugana
cate and offer floral sensations mixed with notes of almonds. The palate is pleasant, stylized, well-defined, taut and flavorful. Introduced in late 1998, Lugana Superiore must undergo a period of aging of at least a year from the harvest. It generally presents a varied and complex profile. The color has golden highlights. Fragrances, more articulated than in the base version, offer notes of grass, chlorophyll, ripe apple, citrus fruit (especially mandarin oranges) along with notes of hazelnuts or spices from time spent in wooden barrels (today these are always less new but toasted, and have larger capacity than formerly). The palate, more structured, is sustained by lively, tonic acidity and marked by a mineral-based sapidity that confers intriguing saline notes to the wine. Lugana Riserva, introduced into the production rules with the latest modification of 2011, is the natural evolution of the Superior type. The wine must age for at least 24 months, of which 6 are in the bottle. It displays a more brilliant color, more evolved and complex aromas with smoky notes of flint and balsamic tones. Minerality is warmer on the palate, but similarly mouth-filling, savory and long-lasting. The longevity of these dry, still versions varies from type to type, but also from style to style. Today, production is more oriented towards vinification in steel and on lees (a prolonged stay of the wine on its own yeasts to increase body and flavor) and often involves mixed aging methods (partly in steel and partly in wood) for the more im-
GAMBERO ROSSO X LUGANA
CAMPAGNA FINANZIATA AI SENSI DEL REG. UE N. 1308/2013 CAMPAIGN FINANCED ACCORDING TO EU REGULATION NO. 1308/2013
portant selections, both Superiore or Riserva. As a result, Lugana is turning out to be longer lived than in the past. The newest type is Vendemmia Tardiva, or Late Harvest. This is a different Lugana, more experimental, and distant from the sweet viscosity of traditional dried-grape wines. This Lugana is obtained with overripening on the vine by means of a late harvesting of the grapes at the end of October and the beginning of November. No further rack drying occurs. These richer and more concentrated grapes confer a late harvest profile on Lugana which is softer and denser, without being excessively sweet. The sugar residual is efficaciously balanced by acidity. The Spumante version, which was introduced in the production regulations in 1975, represents a wellestablished tradition, despite its minimal production impact. Today, Lugana Spumante is produced both by Charmat or Martinotti methods (re-fermentation in autoclaves) and by metodo classico (bottle refermentation). In the first case, the sensory profile is simpler and fresher, with primary fragrances of citrus fruit (citron, primarily) and a creamier, more generous perlage. With the second method, the profile is more refined and complex, the bouquet more elegant and dynamic, the perlage more graceful and crisp.
PAIRINGS WITH LUGANA
serva types are best matched to fattier and more complex dishes, such as pike (often boiled and served with anchovies fried in Garda olive oil). Grilled eel, trout with grapes, frog legs risotto, grilled seafood, peppery mussels, and salt-baked sea bass are other examples of recipes that go perfectly with these wines. Many Lugana is a wine deeply bound up with
light meats such as chicken, capon and
its territory of origin, so it’s with local di-
rabbit are good pairings. Late Harvest
shes that the classic pairings first come
Lugana (Vendemmia Tardiva) is an ide-
to mind. Naturally, freshwater fish are a
al partner for fresh cheeses like ricotta,
natural partner, whether from lake, fish
robiola and crescenza, but also for ones
or pond, whether premium or more
that are saltier and more full-flavored,
commonplace varieties. Seafood also
such as Monte Veronese, Grana Padano
goes well with this elegant and versatile
and Provolone Valpadana, all DOP che-
white. Basic Lugana is a good accompa-
eses. Spumante enhances a wide range
niment for fish-based antipasto in which
of foods – it is truly a wine for the entire
the principal ingredient is of-
meal – but since it is usually uncorked at
ten marinated, while tiny
the beginning of a lunch or dinner, try
fish, such as those found in
it with antipasto plates, whether
rice fields, are usually ser-
a parade of tasty Italian cured
ved fried. Boiled sea bass or shrimp are enhanced by the wine. The Superiore or Ri-
Consorzio Tutela Lugana
Caserma Artiglieria di Porta Verona - 37019 Peschiera d/G (VR) + 39 045-9233070 - www.consorziolugana.it
meats, or one of the many recipes featuring eggs.
FOOD AND SUSTAINABILITY. THE ANSWER OF 7 WORLD CITIES TO THE ISSUE OF NUTRITION Seven different approaches to the problem of food security for seven major cities of the world committed to achieving a common goal, or rather two, closely related to each other: improving access to food and promoting sustainable production and consumption practices. At the core of International Forum on Nutrition and Nutrition, organized a few days ago by the Barilla Foundation at Bicocca Hagar in Milan, a study on Food and City presented at the summit, an encouraging picture of what’s happening in the world - in some of the major cities - to meet the objectives of the 2030 Agenda promoted by the UN. The area of comparison is that of large population centers, where by 2050 80% of the world population will be concentrated. A battlefield ailed by the food crisis, especially in terms of waste and difficulty accessing food. The report drawn up by researchers and policy makers of the municipalities involved wants to be a (re)starting point to inspire possible solutions, and together be a moment of confrontation to reflect on what’s been done so far. The seven cities taken into consideration are New York, Rio de Janeiro, Ouagadougou, Tel Aviv, Seoul and Sydney and representing Italy, Milan. Starting from Milan the objective is finding out how the commitment made at Expo 2015 by the Milanese administration is doing. Objective: reduce food waste by 50% before 2030. Two privileged maneuvers, with direct intervention on family consumption which generate 40% of food surpluses due to incorrect purchasing and consumption habits - and the recovery of food surpluses generated by the city’s school cafeterias (over 400). In the first case, it was decided to reward those who donate excess food with tax relief; as far as cafeterias, on the other hand, over 100 are involved in the redistribution of bread and fruit in excess after student meal times. On the other side of the ocean, New York has committed to improving the com-
munity’s eating habits by stimulating citizens’ awareness of eating healthier foods while encouraging access to healthy food at affordable prices. Among the most effective (and discussed) measures, the package of rules that regulate restaurant meals today, with the introduction of specific symbols on the menus, to pair with the information labels provided for products containing high levels of salt. The approach of Sydney is furthermore different, where about 17,000 people can’t afford to buy food. The Australian metropolis has therefore worked on supporting the development of a sustainable food industry, incubating and funding food companies involved in this direction and brought together under the protection of FoodLab promoted by the University of Sydney. In Seoul, meanwhile, is the Eco School project: the traditional Korean food system is based on habits that favor the consumption of foods that are beneficial for the body. The city has therefore invested over 2.5 billion dollars to serve healthy and quality food in school cafeterias. Thus offsetting the economic differences that don’t allow many families to provide adequate nutrition to their children. In Tel Aviv, the urgent need to promote correct eating habits has encouraged the development of urban agriculture practiced on the roofs of the city’s public buildings and shopping centers, with vegetable gardens cultivated in hydroponics thanks to advanced tech-
nologies, which also supply the main restaurants of the city. In the meantime, tax breaks and incentives have encouraged the spread of sustainable practices between private individuals and businesses, driven to save electricity and water. The road ahead for Rio de Janeiro is more difficult, here the galloping population growth puts at risk a territory subject to uncontrolled anthropization, and the pockets of poverty are increasingly vaster. In fact, therefore, the city is still looking for effective solutions to develop a sustainable food culture, and at the moment it focuses on the involvement of local agricultural businesses, with economic support aimed at rewarding virtuous realities. Equally difficult is the struggle of Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, which also responded to the significant population growth in recent years with the development of an urban agricultural production network that is as effective as possible. How can this be achieved? First of all by equipping the city’s surroundings with 71 water basins that feed the production and favour agricultural enterprise, offering an important resource to feed the local population. Common objectives, solutions calibrated on the needs of the territory and different food cultures. With the hope that the comparison can spur new good practices.
EDINBURGH GIN DESIGNS A CUTTING-EDGE DISTILLERY IN THE HISTORIC HEART OF THE SCOTTISH CAPITAL, WHICH IS NOW GOING CRAZY FOR GIN
The fame (and history) of the whiskey distilleries definitely when it comes to describing Scotland's iconic distillery tradition, rules. Yet even gin wants its part in the beverage scene. Not so much because approximately 70% of the UK gin production comes from Scotland. Rather because in the past the North of the United Kingdom had a good availability of juniper, so as to feed a dense commercial relationship with the Dutch ports, where the ingredient was exported to produce jenever, the ancestor of gin. It was the 18th century, and the Scottish port of Leith became the gateway to the spread of Dutch jenever throughout the country, in a cross-exchange that cemented the fame of the product. Over time the Scottish juniper ended up disappearing, except for some land that today's new producers of Scottish gin cultivated, fueling a market that literally exploded in recent years, hand in hand with the international fervor pushing forward the gin-mania. In fact, distilleries have multiplied, giving rise to a flourishing network of producers sometimes very appreciated for the quality of their product, some particularly good in grasping the identity of very different territories by variety of microclimates and ecosystems, through targeted selection of botanicals that cover a wide aromatic spectrum.
One of the most successful experiences in this sense grew in the Scottish capital, Edinburgh Gin. Owned by the Spencerfield group, the distillery was established in 2010 in the west end of the city. Today there are several products (including limited edition gins and a variant, the Seaside gin, which includes among its botanicals a local seaweed) conceived in the Leith plant, under the guidance of master distiller David Wilkinson, also coming from the whiskey world. The commitment earned the distillery several awards, but the biggest news in recent weeks was the ambitious project that will help to raise the production by 200%. Not just a solution to meet the growing demand, but an opportunity to showcase right in the heart of Edinburgh's historic center, with the construction of a new distillery that will cost millions of pounds. The idea, which will see several renowned architecture firms at work in the East Market Street area, is to welcome more than 100,000 visitors each year in a space that will not only be used for production, but also for tastings and guided tours deepening knowledge of the world of gin. On the rooftop botanicals used in distillation will be grown, while those who want will be able to study with their master distillers their own personalized gin.
DURIAN, THE WORLD'S MOST ILL-SMELLING TROPICAL FRUIT Durian, native of Malaysia, Indonesia and Borneo, today is cultivated by companies specialized also in Sri Lanka, southern India, Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand. The latter has become, in recent years, the main producer and exporter worldwide. Cultivating and exporting this fruit is actually worthwhile: The Guardian states that durian imports in China have increased by 15% compared to last year, reaching about 350,000 tons, worth 510 million dollars. A business that has also attracted the Malaysian government - which encourages its production through tax relief - well aware of the fact that durian "Musang King" of Malaysia is the one most appreciated by Chinese consumers, probably for its creamy consistency and sweet and sour taste, so as to be willing to pay more than the other eight edible varieties available on the market. We tasted it in the Chinatown market in Singapore to understand the reasons for this success. Belonging to the Malvaceae family, such as cacao, okra and roiboos, durian is also called the "King of fruit" both for its taste much appreciated by Asians and for its size, which among other things makes it very difficult to transport and
therefore rather expensive. In the market stalls it's immediately recognizable: similar to a rugby ball and covered with dull green to yellowish brown thorns. Inside, it's divided into five compartments that represent the five carpels from which the fruit develops, which changes significantly in a very short period of time. When harvested early the pulp is hard, definitely easier to handle and quite bitter. But when it passes maturity, falling spontaneously from the trees, it becomes a real delicacy (a bit as it happens for persimmon): the color turns bright yellow, the taste becomes sweeter and more pungent, the consistency changes becoming similar to butter or, for many, to custard. And the smell? The smell is really sickening, a mix of rotting garlic and onions, to put it mildly. It's so pungent as to be banned from consumption in public transport and hotels, and mandatorily sold with a glove kit included, to avoid any kind of contact between hands and fruit. Once the obstacle of the smell is overcome, many very much appreciate the flavour (a little less so, as far as we're
concerned), described here through the words of the great naturalist Alfred Russell Wallace, written in 1869 after having explored the Malay archipelago: "Its consistency and its taste are indescribable. A very tasty buttery custard with almonds is it the best overall idea, but it also mixes aromas reminiscent of cream cheese, onion sauce, dark sherry and more. There's furthermore a rich glutinous sweetness in the pulp that's neither sour nor juicy. It does not produce nausea or other side effects, the more you eat, the more you would like to eat. In fact, eating durian is a new sensation worth experiencing". We have also picked up peanuts, yeast, bananas, chestnuts (always overripe to the point of being rotten), and public toilets confirming the comment made by Anthony Bourdain that after eating it "your breath will stink as if you had kissed your dead grandmother". Was this off-putting? Know that durian is rich in fiber, iron, vitamin C and potassium, in short, durian will not harm you and there are those who, on the other side of the world, are crazy for it. De gustibus...
For five generations producing quality wines in Puglia
(+39) 0831205999 - TOURS@PAOLOLEO.IT - WWW.PAOLOLEO.IT
WINE OF THE MONTH CANNONAU DI SARDEGNA ‘16 ANTONELLA CORDA s.s. 466 Km 6,8 - 09040 Serdiana (Ca) - www,antonellacorda.it ex-cellar price: 6.90 euros + taxes Di Madre in Vigna is on each bottle, a beautiful tribute to the generational transition between two women. Antonella is part of the Serdiana’s well-known Argiolas family. Some years ago, thanks to a family tradition linked to her mother, she decided to start her own line of wines. So far, three selections, all made in steel vats, have been produced, using the Cannonau, Vermentino and Nuragus typical of the southern part of the island. For the first time this young producer has made it into Italian Wines and right off the bat they take home a Tre Bicchieri, as well as our Up-and-Coming Winery Award. Their Cannonau di Sardegna is fresh, elegant, light, highly drinkable style that’d being awarded. The nose offers up hints of small fruit and nuances of rose. A spicy touch anticipates delicate tannins and exemplary, deep acidity, thanks to a light, savory streak.
photo by Consorzio di Tutela del Soave
THE ART OF DRY STONE WALLS BECOMES UNESCO INTANGIBLE HERITAGE
Second UNESCO recognition for an agricultural and rural practice. After that of the cultivation of the alberello vine of Pantelleria, obtained in 2014, comes the rural practice of dry stone walls. The one ratified in Port Louis (Mauritius) and unanimously by the 24 member states is an entry into the intangible cultural heritage of humanity that is not only in Italy, where dry stone walls are present from the north (Karst, Soave, Cinque Terre, for example) to the extreme south (Pantelleria, Salento, Campania), and not just for viticulture. The practice, in fact,
as enshrined in the recognition of the United Nations organism, also belongs to Cyprus, Croatia, France, Greece, Slovenia, Spain and Switzerland, in different agricultural sectors. Out of the nine Italian elements recognized by UNESCO as intangible heritage of humanity, four belong to rural and agricultural heritage: in 2010, the Mediterranean Diet was registered as the first cultural element in the food-related world on the UNESCO list; in 2014, the recognition of the cultivation of the alberello vine of Pantelleria, the first cultural element in the world of agricultural character in Unesco; in 2017, it
was the turn of the art of Neapolitan pizza chef. The candidacy of the rural practice of dry stone walls was carried out by the Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies, in synergy with the Maeci body and with the Unesco National Commission. "Once again," the minister for Agricultural policies, Gian Marco Centinaio commented "the values of agriculture are recognized as an integral part of the cultural heritage of peoples. Our agri-food products, our landscapes, our traditions and our know-how are characteristic elements of our history and our culture. The dry stone wall technique gives rise to constructions with stones laid one on top of the other without the use of other materials, with the exception of the soil. The stability of these structures is ensured by the positioning of the stones. All over Europe there are numerous landscapes characterized by these constructions, which have influenced farming and breeding methods. Moreover, as Coldiretti recalls, they play a fundamental role in the prevention of landslides, floods and avalanches and in the fight against erosion and desertification, increasing biodiversity and creating adequate microclimatic conditions for agriculture.
USA. MOVE OVER, MILLENNIALS AND BABY BOOMERS. HERE ARE THE NEW CONSUMPTION CATEGORIES
It's increasingly difficult to identify and catalo - and especially monitor - wine consumers in the United States. Because in what is confirmed in 2018 as the first world market for consumption, even the experts of Wine Intelligence (a research institute in London with offices all over the world) have had to change their analysis approach in recent years. Thus changes in target have occurred, consumer groups have been broken up, no longer identified according to age, but this time, as in the Us Portraits 2018 report, attitude characteristics too, levels of interest and inclinations. It happens, therefore, that the generations previously
identified, such as Baby Boomers (the real engines of growth in the Eighties or Nineties) or Millennials (born after 1985, who who today are between 20 and 30 years old) have to be integrated - to understand the phenomena well - with other categories. Millennials are surely the most promising group, the one most likely to spend even $20 for a bottle of wine, but these young wine drinkers can also be thrifty, compared to older drinkers who also appear to be passionate experimenters. To solve this apparent shift in position, segments come to the rescue, such as "engaged explorers", who transversely constitute the group most
interested in wine and with the highest frequency of purchase, but less informed than in the past. There's also the large group of "contented treaters", which is a mix of young people, experts and seniors who drink wine less frequently than in the past, but spends more on bottles because they are well informed about the product. The weight of categories such as "premium brand suburbans" also changes, these consumers are familiar with the brands, which fo from 32% in 2016 to 19% in 2018 as to total weight on regular consumers in the US. The younger segment is now represented by the "social newbies", which also appear among the now classic Millennials, and represent the under 35 age bracket, people who enjoy the experience of drinking wine in contexts such as friend gettogethers or family, but without wine fully part of their lifestyle. Lastly, the largest group is of the so-called "senior bargain hunters": these buy less frequently, are less interested but have gained experience, and pay close attention to quality/price ratio - an element that must be kept in mind.
CONSUMPTION. MILAN AND ROME ARE IN THE TOP 10 WORLD CITIES. PARIS IN THE LEAD There are two Italians among the world cities where the most wine is consumed. The highlight is a study by Wine Paris, the wine fair hosted from February 11-13, 2019 at the Expo Porte de Versailles, in Paris. The research assumes that a large part of the population is concentrated in large urban areas around the world. Almost 55% of the world's population is located in large cities, with percentages growing in wine-consuming countries. According to the study, 83% of British people buy and consume their wine in urban centres, 82% of Americans, 80% of French, 80% of Spaniards and 77% of Germans. If you look, then, at individual cities, it's evident that Paris, with 709 million bottles (5.3 million hectoliters in 2017), holds the record for highest wine consumption; followed by the German Ruhr block with the cities of Essen, Duisburg
and Dortmund (537 million bottles and 4 million hectoliters). Third place goes to Buenos Aires (3.6 million hectoliters). The first Italian city is Milan (3.3 mln hl) followed at a short distance by London (2.95 mln hl), New York (2.8 mln hl), Los Angeles (2.2 mln hl), and Berlin (1,95 mln hl). CLosing the queue are Rome (1.7 million hl) and Tokyo (1.2 mln hl). Why is Paris so above other cities? According to the study, the French capital owns over 23 thousand stores, including off-trade and on-trade, which make it the place with the highest distribution density in relation to the population: 20 thousand hotels and restaurants, wine bars, cafĂŠs, over a thousand wine shops, almost two thousand wholesale points, and 142 Michelinstarred restaurants. Paris welcomes 33.8 million tourists (2017 data) and offers consumers an exceptional showcase.
Paris 5,3 mln hl Essen, Duisburg e Dortmund 4 mln hl Buenos Aires 3,6 mln hl Milan 3,3 mln hl London 2,95 mln hl New York 2,8 mln hl Los Angeles 2,2 mln hl Berlin 1,95 mln hl Rome 1,7 mln hl Tokyo 1,2 mln hl
GAMBERO ROSSO X SIGNORVINO
Bubbles and beyond 5 reasons to gift Signorvino
December, it’s known, is time for gifts and lists. But not only. This year Si� gnorvino has drawn up another list: all the good reasons to gift a good bottle wine. First: to toast. Showing up at a dinner without a bottle. Second: to impress. No need to cook for days, just bring a valuable label to the table. Third: it’s a gift that’s good for everyone,
from mum to boyfriend to work col� leagues. Fourth: to avoid unwelcome gifts, inspiring others with a good ex� ample first. Fifth: to pamper yourself. Who said that gifts to self aren’t legit? The problem, if anything, is finding the right label for the recipient: white, red, dessert wine, bubbles? And what denomination? In Italy there are more than 500 (523, to be exact!).
Wine shop appointments Signorvino also propo����������������������������������������������������������� ses ways of approaching wine, through master classes, tast� ings and meetings with producers. The cycle of autumn appointments has just ended, proposed in unison in all sales outlets, with great public participation, both for the 30-minute lessons on Monday and for the blind tastings on Tuesday. Two young formulas, informal and interactive, designed for those who want to ap� proach wine without necessarily taking a long and excessively demanding learn� ing path. In order not to miss upcoming events, just click on the signorvino.com website. Starting next year, furthermore, a series of meetings to approach the wine and tasting in partnership with Gambero Rosso are scheduled. And in the shops all the best labels awarded by the guides Vini d’Italia and Berebene will be illustrated.
«Bubbles –– explains sales manager and expansion of Signorvino, Luca Pizzighella –– have always been the undisputed protagonists of the holi� days: from Franciacorta to Trentodoc, Oltrepò Pavese, Asti and Prosecco which, although is now considered a wine to dine with and for all seasons, it still has lots of potential, especially if looking at market niches. Think, for example, of Cartizze». At the top of consumer choices there are also red wines: «Who wants to impress hosts, usually during the holidays chooses big labels: Barolo, Brunello di Mon� talcino, Amarone and Supertuscan. And that’s never wrong. Sweet des� sert wines also register good perfor� mances and, in recent years, rosés too. But to cut to the chase, many opt for Christmas-themed gift boxes, which include more types of wine or combinations with other gastro� nomic products». An always appre� ciated and never banal evergreen. The reason why Signorvino, for this Christmas, has created ad hoc gift boxes for every palate and every wallet. These range from classic tor� rone and Prosecco sold at €19.90, to the star-studded three large Italian bubbles for €259. There are 17 com� binations designed to amaze (with possible variations), to be purchased in the store or received directly at home. Either your own or the final gift recipient. How important is it, for those who buy, to have some sort of wine knowledge and thus avoid mistakes at the wine shop? «Now the level of preparation of our customers is quite
GAMBERO ROSSO X SIGNORVINO
BY LOREDANA SOTTILE
SIGNORVINO Signorvino is a restaurant with wine shop format, designed and created in 2012 by Sandro Veronesi, owner of the Calzedonia group. There are already 15 shops open throughout Italy (in Verona, Affi, Valpolicella, Valais, Milan Duomo, Milan via Dante, Brescia, Arese, Merano, Turin, Vicolungo, Cadriano, Bologna, Florence, Reggello) and in each of these there are over 1,500 all-Italian labels. With identical prices both for on-site consumption and for take-out. Next goals? The opening of other stores (one in Rome) by 2019 and the first sales outlet outside domestic borders.
high –– continues Pizzighella –– as shown by the popularity of courses and tastings that we offer through� out the year. But at Christmas things change, because many more people go to the wine shop and clearly not everyone is a wine expert. No one, however, must feel inadequate for this. On the contrary, this is a good opportunity for our “wine special� ists” to put themselves to the test, applying our company philosophy: knowing how to listen and under� stand customer needs from the first glance. Also for this reason, we invest a lot in staff training (there are three levels of training provided within the group, ed). For us it’s essential that those who work with wine are knowledgeable and above all know how to pass on all their passion to the customer». At Christmas as in ev� ery other time of the year.
YOUNG AND MODERN, HEREâ€™S THE NEW RUSSIA Not only expensive and big name wines: after the devaluation of the ruble and the embargo of EU products, the Russian market has embarked on a path of normalization that today is particularly focussed on new generations and the middle class. Bubbles are driving the recovery. Here's the Gambero Rosso report from Moscow and St. Petersburg
by Lorenzo Ruggeri
hat emerges from our week of tasings, interviews and seminars is a Russia in considerable burgeoning. In terms of infrastructure, but also in terms of consumption of wines in full change, combined with a national cuisine that has responded to the embargo, active since 2012, redesigning its identity and reaching new heights. The latest data provided by Nomisma, on the year-end forecast of Russian wine imports, certify Italy as the main supplier of the market, with a share of nearly 30%: 255 million euro sales in 2017. In the first 8 months sparkling wines performed very well, + 7.5%, still wines went down slightly (-2%). These figures aptly reflect the world trend of our wine. ST. PETERSBURG The Russian tour of Gambero Rosso started in St. Petersburg, where the Top Italian Wines Roadshow landed on 20 November with over 60 Italian wineries and more than 200 wines for tasting. "Wine lists and wine bars in the city have
expanded their offer, while on the cuisine front many local bistros that propose a new type of cuisine have launched, with local ingredients but also contaminations", says sommelier Nikolay Utebebekov. The event, which took place in the futuristic structure of Planetarium N.1, saw an important participation, with three sold-out seminars. Seasted in the front row young sommeliers, importers and distributors: the average age of Russian wine workers is much lower than in Italy, and the female percentage is much higher. "There is still a lot to do in terms of training, courses are increasingly numerous and increasingly crowded. It's a stimulating path and Italian wine is increasingly appreciated for its variety. For example, in St. Petersburg, I see more and more Insolia or Gavi. There's been competition between restaurants, in particular whites are growing a lot", comments Anna Mekhovykh, sommelier and distributor at L-wines. ITALIAN DINING IN ST. PETERSBURG Among the 500 Italian restaurants abroad selected in our Top Italian Restaurants guide, two are in St. Peters-
1., 2, Top Italian Wines Tasting in St. Petersburg 3. Top Italian Restaurants Awards St. Petersburg 4. Percorso Restaurant - St. Petersburg
GAMBERO ROSSO WORLD TOUR
IN RUSSIA TOO PROSECCO LEADS IN CONSUMPTION Sparkling wines are equally engaging Italian sales on the Russian market, especially Prosecco Doc. The consortium, in fact, starred as the protagonist of a seminar conducted by Marco Sabellico and Arianna Pizzolato (of the Consortium promotion area). Over 10 tastings were proposed with direct participation of consumers. The refermented bottle version colfondo sparked much interest, which opened a horizontal tasting that embraced all the styles and dosages of a denomination that continues to free up new markets for Italian wine. And here in Russia there are still good margins. "There's been delays in sales due to the change in the labeling regime. The situation should be unlocked in a few months, we are optimistic about this market", comments Maurizio Conz, export manager for several companies.
burg. During the event Francesco was awarded with One Gambero recognition. The place is an institution in the city, led by Neapolitan Francesco Barbato. "I was importing and exporting Italian food products, I fell in love with the city, and I'm still here after 15 years. Russians don't like Michelin-style cuisine, they like tradition. The embargo is overcome with triangulations from other countries, while many Italian cured meat companies send products from San Marino. In time the local quality grew significantly, Apulian cheese makers arrived in Russia and today, for example, the burrata is really good", Francesco tells us. While in the fine dining sector, awarded with Due Forchette is Percorso, the restaurant of the Four Seasons Hotel. "The embargo has pushed up the cost of Italian products to as much as double, while there
are cuts and types of Russian meat unthinkable only 5 years ago", adds chef Matteo Guida who, together with Valerio Andrisani, directs the kitchen of the restaurant, specialized in stuffed pasta and dry-aged meats. e. MOSCOW A four-hours fast train ride separates St. Petersburg and Moscow, where the Tre Bicchieri event took place on November 22nd: over 1,500 people participated. An extraordinary influx that confirms a strong love for our country, starting from the local cuisine, which in Moscow is positioned at decidedly high levels. Scouting restaurants and wine bars, not only Italian, we found smaller markups on labels compared to just 12 months
SURGIVA AWARD The Surgiva Taste & Design Award was bestowed to Piazza Italiana in Moscow. Classic Italian cuisine and a impressive dining room, with large chandeliers and the utmost attention paid to detail. Professional service and a rich and deep wine list, starting from the bubbles section. All this, at a stone's throw from the Moscova river.
ALWAYS CHIANTI Illustrating the variety of such a wide and varied territory, made of such different microzones and stratifications. This is the mission of the first seminar hosted in Moscow and led by Luca Alves, responsible for events and international press, and Marco Sabellico. A vertical tasting of 7 wines, one for each sub-zone, of the Chianti DOCG. What was the most surprising? Well, the charm of each of these areas, the great ability of the sangiovese as detector of terroir, was a pilgrimage among the different terroir of the Chianti highlighted with its characteristics, from the sandstones to the clays. Lots of questions on the characteristics of the individual areas, on the specification were raised, in the participated and very lively tasting.
ago, with the ever-increasing presence of mid-range wines that were not present in a market lately dominated by large labels sold at extravagant prices. This is the consequence, among other reasons, of the devaluation of the ruble, which has changed consumption tiers. A path of normalization, therefore, which aims to broaden the consumer segment, and looks above all at a middle class made up of curious young people who love to drink. Italian regions are increasingly present in wine lists, like in the case of Etna, the denomination that has grown more abroad in the last period, particularly in the fine dining restaurants. Including here in Russia. ITALIAN DINING IN MOSCOW A total of 6 Italian restaurants were awarded during the opening ceremony with the new Italian Ambassador in 5.
5. (previous page) Tre Bicchieri Tasting in Moscow 6. Top Italian Restaurants Awards in Moscow 7. Big Wine Freaks - Moscow
Moscow, Pasquale Terracciano. Among the pizzerias, Valentino Bontempi, confirms his Due Spicchi recognition with his Pinzeria by Bontempi. As a new entry among the traditional cuisine venues is Salumeria Moscow, perfectly guided by Salvatore Cerasuolo: "We are already thinking about new openings in the city, there is room for new projects, it's a good time, and compared to Italy there's room here to think big". And then there
are 4 top restaurants in the fine dining category, awarded with Due Forchette: Balzi Rossi, with Emanuele Mongillo and Gennaro Conte in the kitchen; Semifreddo, with the duo Nino Graziano and Luca Verdolini; Maritozzo of the young chef Andrea Impero, and Ovo by Carlo Cracco led by the talent of Emanuele Pollini, one of the most original and authorial kitchens among those tried during the last 12 months.
CONTADI CASTALDI BEST WINE BAR The biggest surprises of the Russian enological scene come from the wine bars, starting from the new openings that we noticed both in St. Petersburg and in Moscow. Focus is largely on a well-articulated mix, with much lower markups than years ago and a great deal of attention, here too, for natural wines and small productions. In short, a change of taste and attention, that's rather clear. Awarded as Best Wine Bar in St. Petersburg, Vinny Shkaf offers over 40 wines by the glass and a wine list full of artisanal productions from the Old World. In Moscow the Contadi Castaldi Wine Bar prize goes to Big Wine Freaks, opened only 12 months ago. A bohemian environment, a young team and a wine list full of unfiltered wines, organic producers, orange wine section, a lot of Italy and France. Here too a very curious and passionate authorial mix.
Worldtour CALENDAR 2019
2019 2019 JANUARY
21 MUNICH - Germany
23 BERLIN - Germany
06 SINGAPORE - Singapore
28 STOCKHOLM - Sweden
09 ZURICH - Switzerland
30 COPENHAGEN - Denmark
27 CHICAGO - Usa
BEIJING - China
15 BORDEAUX - France
Vini d'Italia - Special Edition Top Italian Wines Roadshow Vini d'Italia "en primeur" trebicchieri "en primeur" - VINEXPO Special
28 MONTREAL - Canada
Top Italian Wines Roadshow
30 TORONTO - Canada
Vini d'Italia "en primeur"
01 NEW YORK - Usa
05 SAN FRANCISCO - Usa
07 LOS ANGELES - Usa
11 MEXICO CITY - Mexico
Top Italian Wines Roadshow
16 DUSSELDORF - Germany
trebicchieri PROWEIN Special
26 LONDON - U.K.
WASHINGTON DC - USA
Top Italian Wines Roadshow
BOSTON - USA
Top Italian Wines Roadshow
ATLANTA - USA
Vini d’Italia "en primeur"
SAN DIEGO - USA
Vini d’Italia "en primeur"
TOKYO - Japan
07 VERONA - Italy
trebicchieri VINITALY Special
16 DUBAI - UAE
Notte Italiana - Best of Italy
SEOUL - Korea TAIPEI - Taiwan HONG KONG - China
trebicchieri HKTDC Special
SHANGHAI - China
ST. PETERSBURG - Russia
MOSCOW - Russia
50 EXCELLENT CHAMPAGNES. ITALIANS IN THE LEAD AMONG LOVERS OF THE FRENCH BUBBLES We tasted all the labels of the 115 maisons present at Modena Champagne Experience, the most complete appointment for French bubbles in Italy, now in its second edition. We have chosen 50 bottles...
by Marco Sabellico in collaboration with: Stefania Annese, Giuseppe Carrus, Lorenzo Ruggeri, William Pregentelli drawings by Finnano Fenno
Quotes referring to Champagne are boundless. Of one, in particular, the attribution, has been widely discussed. Was it Napoleon Bonaparte to say “I drink Champagne when I win, because I deserve it, and I drink Champagne when I lose, because I need it...” or was it the pleasure-loving Winston Churchill? The fact is that the French cuvée, beyond the centuries and fashions, maintains its prestige as well as its volumes and sales values intact. Globally, in 2017 it showed an increase compared to the previous year of +0.4 in volume and +3.5% in value. In this scene, Italy features well, with growing numbers that testify how Italians, in good or bad luck, will not avoid opening a bottle of quality bubbles. Although still a bit far from the 9.4 million bottles of 2008, we are gradually recovering and in 2017 (with 7.3 million units) we were still the 5th world market by value, behind the United States, UK, Japan and Germany. Numbers tell us that we have increased imports by 9.7% to reach €152 million. Furthermore, analyzing the data more carefully, we find that on some types, Italy is actually one of the key markets for this wine. In the Bel Paese, 20% is consumed in the value of the Cuvée Prestige, the finest Champagne. And think that in this we rank above the United States (18.5% of turnover) and Japan (16%).
In an ever growing Europe in regards to consumption (with Italy, Belgium and Spain recording the most significant increases), only England continues - after a decline in 2016 - to sell shares (-11% in value in 2017) again due to the Brexit effect. We also have one of the highest percentages for the récoltants Champagnes, which are 11.1% of sales, one of the highest percentages (after France) on world markets, while the large maisons that still represent 84.4% are slightly in decline. The number of cooperatives is increasing significantly, reaching 4.5% from 3.8% in 2016. In all of this, there has been an increase in the Rosé type, which, with over 10 million euro, recorded a +4.5% in value and a +5% in volumes. In taly we also note - beyond the stats provided by CIVC (Comité Interprofessionnel du Vins de Champagne) - a preference for drier and more taught styles: that is Extra Brut, Dosage Zéro and Nature. These are more and more present, unlike the past, in the offer of French producers that appear inspired by the Italian Classic Method producers who are now specialists in these styles. Overall, therefore, good news for the producers of Champagne, but also a good sign for Italy: when the consumption of Champagne rises, in fact, the economy is not too bad. Raising our glasses to the new year!
Montagne De Reims 91
Beaufort 1, Rue de Vaudemanges - Ambonnay champagnebeaufort.com
Champagne Brut Polisy Blanc de Blancs Millésime ‘14
Champagne Brut Liesse d’Harbonville ‘99
A domaine that boasts a history born in 1930 when M. Marcel Ployez and his wife Yvonne Jacquemart founded the company that boasts vineyards in the areas of Ludes, Mailly Champagne, Villedommange and Vertus, all areas of Grand Cru and Premier Cru. Only Pinot Nero and Meunier are used for the Cuvée Liesse d’Harbonville, which is the symbol of the company. The 1999 has character and personality, and on the nose smells of oyster and black olives, what follows is a fine and very long mouth.
The brand bears the name of his father André, but today it’s son Jacques, together with his own sons, to produce the maison’s cuvée, one of the first to be conducted in organic regimen. Cru Polisy was undoubtedly one of the best Modena tastings: made with only chardonnay grapes, which lend aromas of apple, medlar, lemon and mint. The mouth is lean, the acidity is lashing, very savory and clean in the finish..
Ployez-Jacquemart 8, Rue Astoin – Ludes ployez-jacquemart.fr
TOP 50 CHAMPAGNES FOR THE HOLIDAYS
Michel Arnould & Fils 26, Rue de Mailly – Verzenay champagne-michel-arnould.com
Champagne Extra Brut Grand Cru
The house counts on 12 hectares of Gran Cru, from which approximately 90,000 bottles are produced each year. The wine plays on the savory, almost salty side. Extraordinarily deep is the Arnould Extra Brut. The nose stands to the test and lends tones of licorice, mint, noble resins and lemon peel.
Champagne Brut Special Club Gran Cru ‘08
The Bara family settles in Bouzy, in the heart of the Montagne de Reims as early as 1833. The Special Club also boasts a great vintage, with notes of aromatic herbs, white flowers, lots of fruity notes (pineapple, green apple, medlar) and a slender and elegant mouth that’s fresh and savory, with excellent length.
Lallier 4, Place Libération – Aÿ champagne-lallier.com
Champagne Brut Nature
Monmarthe 38, Rue Victor Hugo – Ludes champagne-monmarthe.com
Champagne Brut Blanc de Blancs 1er Cru Millésime ‘12
The Lallier family has been making Champagne since the beginning of the last century. Now the company is in the hands of James Lallier who inherited it in 1996. The Brut Nature––an undisputed Champagne that stands out for its candied citrus fruit and white flowers,––does not lack a balsamic vegetal touches that anticipate a fresh and precise mouth, sapid in the finish and very clean in development.
Paul Bara 4, Rue Yvonnet – Bouzy champagnepaulbara.com
Among the many wines of the range we propose the Brut obtained with chardonnay grapes only. On the nose there’s great elegance and complexity thanks to the scents of citrus, green apple, kiwi and country herbs. The mouth is long, very sapid and balanced, played on tones felt on the nose and on a mentholated finish.
Gonet-Medeville 1, Chemin de la Cavotte - Bisseuil gonet-medeville.com
Champagne Brut Cuvée Tradition 1er Cru
Among the novelties of Champagne, the maison opens its doors in 2000 and can count on 12 hectares of vineyards between Les Mesnil sur Oger, Oger and Ambonnay and in five other municipalities classified as 1er Cru. The Cuvée Tradition by Gonet Medeville has all the characteristics of a great classic. Citrus fruit on the nose, a nice touch of honey and pastry, then the tonic mouth, dynamic in the sip, from the well-dosed carbon and balanced with freshness and flavour.
Champagne Brut Blanc des Millénaires ‘04
The depth is the peculiarity of the style of the maison, a characteristic that Charles Heidsieck imposed on his production since the beginning of the company’s long history, in 1851. That same depth is not lacking in the Blanc de Millénaires, version 2004, a pure Chardonnay that smells of hazelnut and coffee, but also of plum and honey with mineral accents and which in the mouth shines with subtlety and complexity, fullness, density, harmony and persistence.
Maisons GAMBERO ROSSO
Charles Heidsieck 12, Allée du Vignoble – Reims charlesheidsieck.com
Jacquesson 68, Ru du Colonel Fabien – Dizy champagnejacquesson.com
Champagne Extra Brut Cuvée 737 DT
Bruno Paillard Avenue de Champagne – Reims champagnebrunopaillard.com
Champagne Extra Brut Assemblage ‘08
The Paillard family’s link to Champagne has ancient roots, but the maison was only founded in 1981 by Bruno. Assemblage ‘08, made up of 42% chardonnay, 42% pinot nero and 16% meunier, presents itself with beautiful salty notes combined with hints of white flowers, honey and hazelnut, an aromatic spectrum that is expressed in the mouth by a harmonic sip supported by a great structure and made vibrating by a whipping acidity.
Henriot 81, Rue Coquebert – Reims champagne-henriot.com
Champagne Brut Blanc de Blancs
Champagne Brut Rosé La Grande Année Rosé ‘07
Palmer & Co 67, Rue Jacquart – Reims champagne-palmer.fr
Champagne Brut Amazone de Palmer
Seven small landowners in 1947 decided to come together to found their own winery. Today the members are 320 and the vineyards planted are over 415 hectares. From here come the grapes for this cuvée, from pinot nero and chardonnay in equal parts, composed of wines hailing from the best vintages, which rest on the lees for ten years. The wine opens on enveloping aromas of dried fruit, red berries and warm bread, anticipating a complex, creamy, persistent, rich mouth of exquisite finesse.
Thiénot 14, Rue des Moissons – Reims thienot.com
Champagne Brut Blanc de Noirs Cuvée Garance ‘08
Veuve Clicquot 1, Rue Alber Thomas – Reims veuveclicquot.com
Champagne Brut La Grande Dame Rosé ‘06
Aÿ, Bouzy, Ambonnay, Verzy and Verzenay for pinot noir (53%); Avize, Oger, Le Mesnil-sur-Oger for the chardonnay (47%): these are the eight Grand Crus from which Veuve Clicquot collects the grapes for its Gran Dame Rosé. Small red fruits blend with an intriguing mixture of spices, then come citrus zest and toasted bread; on the palate this multifaceted bouquet is expressed in a full, structured, slightly tannic sip of great character.
The maison is just 30 years old, but it’s already a well-known name in the crowded and competitive Champagne scene. We really liked the Cuvée Garance, pinot nero in purity from the great 2008 vintage: intense and multifaceted with great character and big personality, it betrays aromas of red fruit and spices along with notes of dried fruit; powerful and rich mouth with great density and great length.
Bollinger 16, Rue Jules-Lobet – Aÿ champagne-bollinger.com
Founded in 1829, Bollinger is one of the most prestigious and well known maisons in the world (after all it’s also James Bond’s favourite Champagne!). The Grande Année cuvées are produced only in the best vintages: here we propose the Rosé version of 2007, an assembly of pinot noir (72%) and chardonnay. Refined on the nose with strawberries and light toasted coffee, and a mouth of great structure and length.
1808 is the year of the maison’s beginning, and run by the same family from the beginning. Excellent performance for the Blanc de Blancs, a pure chardonnay, with 40% of reserve wines in the mix. Toasted hazelnut and fresh herbs blend with plum and honey, while the mouth is rich but very harmonious up to a sublime finish.
Champagne Brut Rosé ‘12
Pinot noir (63%) with a balance of chardonnay, 48 months on yeasts: This is Roederer, 243 hectares of property between Montagne de Reims, Valée de la Marne and Côte des Blancs, offers this cuvée whose fragrant wild strawberries chase after notes of toasted bread, all joined by a pinch of very classic spiciness. Fullness and character on the palate complete the picture of a Champagne with a great structure and persistence.
250 thousand bottles a year, produced with the grapes that come mostly from the 28 hectares of vineyards: these are the numbers of Jacquesson of which we particularly appreciated the Cuvée 737 Dégorgement Tardif (base 2009), classic blend of chardonnay, pinot nero and meunier. Complex and multifaceted, deep already in the bouquet (ripe white fruit, honey, dried fruit but also citrus fruit and ripe red fruit) has a portentous and full mouth with a very long, fresh and harmonious finish..
Louis Roederer 21, Boulevard Lundy – Reims louis-roederer.com
W E S AV E
S T O R I E S an d T R A D I T I O N S T R O U B L E S an d P A S S I O N S TO PRESERVE THEM IN BOTTLES
A g l i a n i c o Falanghina M a l va s i a Greco Fiano
ww w . q u a dr i g a t o . co m Soc. Agr. TerreNovae s.r.l. - C.da Taverna Vecchia, 82034 Guardia Sanframondi (BN) Tel/fax: +39 0824 864296 - firstname.lastname@example.org - email@example.com
Boizel 46, Avenue de Champagne – Épernay boizel.com
Champagne Brut Grand Vintage ‘08
Pol Roger 1, Rue Winston Churchill – Epernay polroger.com
Champagne Brut Vintage ‘09
Canard-Duchêne 1, Rue Edmond Canard – Ludes canard-duchene.fr
Champagne Brut Blanc de Blancs La Cuvée Prestige Charles VII
Pol Roger founded his maison in 1849, immediately directing his production to dry wines, Champagnes that were successful especially in the main market at the time, i.e. the United Kingdom. In the absence of the Winston Churchill doing the honours, we find the Brut ‘09: beautiful mineral notes of flint, fresh herbs and white fruit; harmonious and tense palate with great finesse and good structure, long and elegant finish.
Champagne Brut Blanc de Blancs ‘11
Chardonnay in purity, 60 months on the lees, has a fine and complex bouquet that from floral notes and white fruit turns to classic hints of bread crust. In the mouth it’s round and enveloping, creamy, refreshed by a pleasant citrus vein, and made juicy by a balanced savory trail: a cuvée in full Deutz style, maison always offering wines of exquisite generosity.
Boizel has been producing Champagne in Épernay since 1834. From the great 2008 vintage comes this cuvée made up of half chardonnay and the other half of pinot noir. Intense and very classic in its notes of red berries and plum, toasted bread and spices, with a slight woody note, this Grand Vintage shows off a powerful and rich mouth that closes on a long, savoury finish.
Deutz 16, Rue Jeanson – Aÿ champagne-deutz.com
Ancient Maison, founded in 1868 in the heart of the Montagne de Reims Natural Park, where it still operates. 100% chardonnay, 48 months on the lees for a wine with an intense and bright aromatic profile, and nice hints of herbs, lemon and white flowers. On the palate it’s fresh, beautifully tense, clean and bony, without any concession to soft notes.
Moët & Chandon 20, Avenue de Champagne – Epernay moet.com
Champagne Extra Brut Grand Vintage ‘09
The history of the fashion house is centuries old: the year of foundation is the very distant 1743. Today Moët & Chandon is perhaps the most famous Champagne brand in the world, with its nearly 1200 hectares of vineyards, 50% of which Grand Cru. In Modena we tasted the Extra Brut Grand Vintage ‘09: a note of yeast peeping amid fragrant aromas of bread crust and biscuit. The mouth is wide, enveloping and soft.
Champagne Extra Brut La Fontainette ‘14
The maison is historical but the spirit is completely contemporary and is embodied by Flavien Nowack. La Tuilerie ‘13 (chardonnay) was very good, and equally Les Bauchets ‘12, pinot noir, but what impressed us the most was La Fontainette ‘14, pinot meunier in purity with a salt and iodiate profile, dotted here and there with mint and ginger. In the mouth is a sliver of salt and lemon, sharp, essential, almost extreme in the strong acidity.
de la Marne GAMBERO ROSSO
Nowack 10, Rue Bailly – Vandières champagne-nowack.fr
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R. Pouillon & Fils 17, Rue d’Aÿ – Mareuil-sur-Aÿ pouillon.webflow.io
Champagne Brut Nature Les Blanchiens 1er Cru
The first impact speaks of an already very mature wine. But things change very quickly because then emerging from the glass are spices, walnut, muscat, pollen, yellow peach and saffron. Striking on the palate the just whispered bubbles, fine and thin, which give brio to a continuous and widespread flavour, a fleshiness that persist to a long finish reminiscent of the “yellow” notes of the nose.
Jeaunaux-Robin 1, Rue de Bannay – Talus-Saint-Prix champagne-jr.fr
Champagne Extra Brut Le Talus de Saint Prix
The Cyril Jeauneaux maison has been operating in organic and biodynamic farming since 2005. The Talus de Saint Prix was a very pleasant discovery during the Modena tastings. Cuvée of 60% meunier, 30% pinot nero and the remaining 10% chardonnay, has a bouquet that speaks of gravel, chalk, flint, and iodine notes, characteristics that return to the palate transported by energy, freshness and a distinct sapid imprint.
Henri Goutorbe 9, Bis Rue Jeanson – Aÿ champagne-henri-goutorbe.com
It opens slowly and frees itself easily of a certain rusticity. It then shows off a fragrant bouquet made of honey, yellow flowers, full red fruit, saffron. The mouth is juicy, the bubble is soft, the sip is continuous. The finish is entrusted to a fresh trail of aromatic herbs, bay leaves and sage, and to an elegant citrus souvenir.
Ripe fruit, notes of wood but elegant and well managed, a little creaminess, voluminous, very rich; beautiful mouth with echoes of full fruit, creamy and silky, balanced, harmonious, very classic. All this is the Grand Cru Special Club of Goutorbe, a maison that can count on 22 hectares, mainly in Aÿ and in a minor part in Mareuil-sur-Aÿ, Mutigny, Bisseuil and Dizy.
Éliane Delalot 35, Rue de la Grande Montagne Nogent l’Artaud champagneelianedelalot.com
Dehours & Fils 2, Rue de la Chapelle Mareuil-le-Port champagne-dehours.fr
Champagne Brut Les Vignes de la Vallée
Baron Albert 1, Rue des Chaillots-Grand Porteron-BP 12 – Charly-sur-Marne champagnebaronalbert.fr
Champagne Brut Nature La Symbolique
Francis Orban 23, Rue du Général de Gaulle Leuvrigny champagne-francis-orban.fr
Champagne Brut Réserve Vielles Vignes
Dourdon-Vieillard 8, Rues des Vignes – Reuil champagne-dourdon-vieillard.fr
Champagne Brut Intense Rosé
We are in the heart of the Vallée de la Marne, not far from Epernay. Here Fabienne leads the family business, managing the production to sustainable farming practices. Intense is a Rosé made from pinot nero and meunier grapes in equal measure. Clean, aromatic profile, iodized and salty, with pomegranate to emphasize the fruity component that comes back in the mouth, accompanied by hints of light roasting in the finish. Delicious.
Young company, born little more than a decade ago, small and located on the right bank of the Marne: 7.5 hectares, 60,000 bottles a year tended to one by one personally by Francis. Vielles Vignes is a unique meunier in purity of extraordinary fragrance: traces of balsamic, ginger, fresh white fruit, some light earthy currents open the way to a mouthful of juicy, light and fun citrus fruit.
Champagne Brut Impressions
Maunier from an old vineyard parcel, we tasted a preview in Modena. It opens with earthy sensations, undergrowth, green tea, in an almost severe profile; then it opens up to floral and fruity aromas. The mouth is dynamic, between crispness of fruit and strong sapidity, a cuvée of great character.
Pinot Meunier in purity that smells of small red fruits, juniper berries, with a full and lively profile. In the mouth it’s vivacious and tense, rhythmic, of great progression towards a fresh, long and tasty finish. This is a contemporary Champagne, very drinkable, in harmony between weight, flavour and gracefulness.
Champagne Brut Grand Cru Special Club ‘06
TOP 50 CHAMPAGNES FOR THE HOLIDAYS
Bourgeois–Diaz 43, Gr Grand Rue – Crouttes-sur-Marne bourgeois-diaz.com
Champagne Brut Nature Cuvée B
Seven hectares of property in the Crouttes-sur-Marne territory and in the neighboring municipalities, at the extreme west of the Vallée de la Marne. Leading the company is Jerome Bourgeois, who for some time has converted his company to biodynamic. The Cuvée B is chardonnay in purity that smells of spices, plum, chamomile, dried herbs; in the mouth it’s fresh, almost spicy on a pleasant memory of ginger.
Fleury 43, Grand-Rue – Courteron champagne-fleury.fr
Marie Courtin 8, Rue de Tonnerre – Polisot
Champagne Brut Rosé de Saignée
Champagne Extra Brut Cuvée Prestige
Erick Schreiber leads his company since 1988, in biodynamics. His Cuvée Prestige is extraordinary: nose mixes annurca apple and balsamic notes, pollen and flowers; the mouth is citrusy and rich, then followed by a further shock of taste and salt. Great tension, great character, irrepressible progression and dynamism. Chapeau!
Rémi Leroy 4, Rue Fontaine – Meurville champagne-remi-leroy.fr
Small maison located in Meurville, in the Côte des Bar, is managed by Rémi, which takes care of its nine hectares. The Nature is amazing: flowers, grass, pollen, citrus peel; then a touch of something balsamic, mountainous, a clean, sparkling, chalky and iodized profile; beautiful mouth where a juicy and very pleasant citrus returns, the sip is taught and very stony, luminous, compact, intact, clear and solid.
The maison, with a corporate style marked by drinkability and character, was among the first in Champagne to follow the biodynamic criteria in the cultivation of vineyards. Pinot Noir in purity, this Rosé de Saignée is a champion of immediacy but never trivial: rich red and black fruit fused with fresh aromatic herbs and scrub, flaunts a tasty mouth that first tastes of mulberries and blackberries then becomes airy and delicious. To be enjoyed without restraint.
Champagne Extra Brut Efflorescence ‘13
Drappier Rue des Vignes – Urville champagne-drappier.com
Champagne Brut Nature
The Drappier family has been producing Champagne since 1808 near Urville where since then it has produced expressive and fragrant wines. Just like this Brut Nature, Pinot Noir in purity that is expressed with sharp notes of berries and in the mouth is appreciated for freshness and cleanliness, for a marked minerality, harmony and elegance.
At the head of this small house we find stubborn Dominique Moreau, who right from the start for her production embraced the principles of biodynamics. Efflorescence ‘13 is a Pinot Noir in purity and the grapes come from a single plot of about two hectares: sharp, fresh and clear already on the nose, has a mouth in which a pronounced tangy background mixes pulp and fragrance; graceful and profound.
Erick Schreiber Ruelle du Pont – Courteron chamapagne-schreiber.fr
Val’ Frison 14 Rue François Jacquelin Ville-sur-Arce champagnevalfrison.com
Champagne Brut Lalore
Character and depth: these are the peculiarities of Valerie Frison’s Champagne, which are certainly not lacking in the Lalore: chardonnay in purity betrays white pepper, turmeric, salt and ginger for a sticky, almost pungent olfactory profile. On the palate it continues in this way, on a solid, mineral structure, which proceeds safely, providing veritable shocks of flavour.
Guiborat 99, Rue de la Garenne – Cramant champagne-guiborat.fr
Champagne Extra Brut Grand Cru Prisme ’13
R&L Legras 10, Rue des Partelaines – Chouilly champagne-legras.fr
Champagne Brut Saint-Vincent Grand Cru ‘08
The origins of the maison date back to the 16th century, but it’s in 1808 that Honoré Legras developed his vineyard in one of the most suitable areas of the Côte des Blancs. The SaintVincent Grand Cru was extraordinary: a cuvée produced only in the best years, coming from the Grand Cru of Chouilly: fragrant notes of yellow fruit, toasted almonds, citrus peel anticipate a rich and creamy palate, powerful yet graceful.
A. Bergère 30-40, Avenue de Champagne – Épernay champagne-andrebergere.com
Pascal Doquet 44, Chemin du Moulin de la Censé Bize – Vertus – champagne-doquet.com
Champagne Brut Grand Cru Diapason Blanc de Blancs
Champagne Extra Brut Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs ‘12
Pascal today manages the vineyard of the company founded by his parents Michael and Nicole, following the criteria of natural cultivation. In Modena we tasted a very good Diapason: pure chardonnay, it has a rich nose with hints of hazelnut and evident toast, refreshed by some citrus scent. In the mouth it extends with finesse, it’s harmonious and complex and really very pleasant.
Avize, Oger, Mesnil sur Oger, Fèrebrianges, Etoges, Congy: these are some of the municipalities from which the grapes of the maison come from. Nectarine, honey, apple, jasmine and citrus peaches make up the bouquet of this 2012 Extra Brut. On the palate it shines for an elegant flavour that gives juice to a texture of great consistency and harmony.
Champagne Extra Brut Terroirs
One of the best tastings of this Modena Champagne Experience, one of the most precise interpretations of the Côte des Blancs. Here the chardonnay tells the territory: the fruity charge of the bouquet (citrus and white fruit) plays second fiddle to a chalky and mineral, crisp note, which returns in a dynamic and progressive, continuous mouth of great finesse and elegance, with a fresh, almost sharp finish.
Very small maison in the heart of the Côte des Blancs: Richard Fouquet takes care, with environmentally conscious practices, of just eight hectares between Cramant, Chouilly and Oiry that produce about 30 thousand bottles a year. The Prisme 13 was a nice surprise: classic in the expressiveness of the typical hints of white flowers, citrus and dried fruit, but amazed us for the depth of the mouth, supported by taste and refined mineral structure.
Agrapart & Fils 57, Avenue Jean Jaurès – Avize champagne-agrapart.com
TOP 50 CHAMPAGNES FOR THE HOLIDAYS
Pierre Gimonnet & Fils 1, Rue de la République – Cuis champagne-gimonnet.com
Champagne Extra Brut Blanc de Blancs Longitude
Champagne Brut Nature 1er Cru Oenophile ‘12
The Gimonnet family can count on 28 hectares of vineyards for the production of their cuvée, located at Cuis and Vertus, 1er Cru, and at Cramant, Chouilly and Oger, Grand Cru. The Oenophile, chardonnay in purity, preserves all the aromatic charge of the grape played on flowers and white fruits, which here are enriched with a pleasant aromatic and chalky note. Beautiful on the palate that relaxes intact and elegant in a long finish.
Larmandier-Bernier 19, Avenue du Général de Gaulle Vertus – larmandier.fr
Fully natural viticulture; the vineyards have an average age of over 35 years on the land of Vertus, Cramatn, Chouilly, Oger, Avize, plus indigenous yeasts: this is the identikit of Larmandier-Bernier, of which we much appreciated the Longitude cuvée: apple, citrus, white flowers blend in a fresh and iodized profile that materialises in a savoury mouth, elegant in its wealth.
Legras & Haas 9, Grand Rue – Chouilly legras-et-haas.com
Champagne Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Chouilly Les Sillons Millésime ‘12
Pierre Legras 28, Rue de Saint-Chamand – Chouilly champagne-pierre-legras.com
Champagne Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru
François Legras e Brigitte Haas gestiscono la propria maison dal 1991, un parco vigneti di 38 ettari di proprietà 18 dei quali classificati Gran Cru. Les Sillons proviene dai vigneti a Chouilly, è uno chardonnay in purezza dal profilo aromatico fresco e nitido, molto pulito, fragrante nelle sue note di biscotto, vaniglia e fiori bianchi. In bocca è sapido e tonico, elegante, cremoso e lungo.
In Chouilly, chardonnay shows power and body like only a few other areas of Champagne. These are peculiarities that we also found in this Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru by Pierre Legras: toasted and biscuit notes are the background of a fruity bouquet reminiscent of apple, grapefruit and peach. In the mouth it’s ample and thick, creamy and harmonious, with an autumn ending that hints at mushroom.
Mandois 66, Rue du Général de Gaulle Pierry – champagne-mandois.fr
Champagne Brut Blanc de Blancs 1er Cru Millésime ‘12
Bonnaire 120, Rue d’Epernay – Cramant bonnaire.com
Champagne Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Millésime ‘09
Leading the maison is of the historical Côte des Blancs is Claude Mandois, who manages the 40 hectares of vineyards including 13 classified as 1er Cru, cultivated mainly in chardonnay. Grape variety with which this vintage 2012 is made, which shows off a fresh nose played on mown grass, white flowers and citrus, which anticipate an elegant and fine creamy mouth.
13 hectares of Chardonnay and 9 cultivated with Pinot Noir and Meunier: this is the winegrowing estate of the Bonnaire family. A slight evolutionary trait does not affect the bouquet of this Blanc de Blancs ‘09, on the contrary it makes the spectrum more complex: played on pastry notes, especially croissants, and candied fruit. In the mouth there’s a memory of lime which makes the taste fresh, harmonious and satisfying.
De Sousa 12, Place léon Bourgeois – Avize champagnedesousa.com
Champagne Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru
Champagne Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Millésime ‘12
Erick De Sousa currently manages his 11 hectares of vineyard, conducted in organic regimen, from which derive approximately 75,000 bottles a year. We were pleasantly impressed by the Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru, a Champagne with an intriguing aromatic profile of golden apple, ginger, white pepper and flint that accompanies a juicy mouth, supported by a solid mineral scaffolding.
Encry 17, Rue de l’Orme – Le Mesnilsur-Oger – champagne-encry.com
Small maison in Le Mesnil sur Oger, Grand Cru, can count on a small vineyard of just three and a half hectares, initially conducted in organic and now in biodynamic. Rich on the nose with notes of yellow flowers and yellow fruit that anticipate hints of pastry and candied fruit, in the mouth it’s enveloping and soft, powerful and warm, with a subtle sapid trail that lends a little depth.
SLOVENIA IS NOW A FOOD DESTINATION
Last year, the World’s 50 Best Restaurants rewarded Ana Roš of Hiša Franko as the best female chef in the world. Many people spontaneously came up with a question: but wasn’t Slovenia known for its wines and not for the cuisine? To understand the reason of that success (and to better understand Slovenia which we border) we went to browse in some of the most interesting places of this country of former Yugoslavia. A place that today is ever increasingly a destination for gourmet tourism.
Words by Vittorio Castellani (chef Kumalé)
o, let’s start from the importance that the different influences, including gastronomic, have played in writing the history and culture of Slovenia. Starting from the Roman Empire, up to the declaration of Independence of Republika Slovenija (1991), over the centuries the Byzantines, the Habsburgs, the Republic of Venice, the Napoleonic and Austro-Hungarian troops passed through here, the Serbs and the Croatians, ending in 1929 when the Yugoslavian flag was waved (with a brief Italian interval in the Forties). The years of the “short century” were important for the Slavic and Balkan overlaps; in this glimpse of a 20th century under Socialism, thanks to its strategic position (on the border with
SLOVENIA IS NOW A FOOD DESTINATION
THE GOURMET RENAISSANCE OF SLOVENIA
7 d.C. – Emperor Augustus circumscribes the Regio X Venetia et Istria which, together with Pannonia, includes the territory of present-day Slovenia
1918 – At the end of WWI the Kingdom of Yugoslavia is born, of which Slovenia is a part (Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenians)
1000 – Link with the Babemberg family: a strong link with Austria begins
2018 – On 17 August Marjan Šarec was elected the 9th Prime Minister of Slovenia
1947 – Slovenia becomes part of the Federal Republic of Socialist Yugoslavia
500 d.C. – Tribes of 1335 – The Hapsburg rule southern slave people begins lasting, with alternating settle in the area, ancestors events, until 1918 of the present Slovenes
1991 – On June 25, Slovenia declares its independence from Yugoslavia
1941 – Axis invasion and division between Italy and Germany
700 d.C. – Dominion of the Franks and partial Christianization
2007 – The Euro becomes the official currency in place of the Slovenian Tallero (tolar) 2004 – On May 1 Slovenia enters the European Union 1992 – On May 22 it becomes part of the EU
FROM THE ROMAN EMPIRE TO THE REPUBLIKA SLOVENIJA REPUBLIC The Republic of Slovenia was founded in 1991. A parliamentary republic of just over 2 million inhabitants whose president is Borut Pahor. Prime Minister is the 41-year-old Marjan Šarec (comedian and political impersonator). The official currency is the euro. The official language on the whole territory is Slovenian, Italian is spoken in the four coastal towns of Ankaran, Koper, Island of Istria and Piran, and Hungarian is spoken in three municipalities of Prekmurje. Italian native speakers are 3,762 (0,18% of the population), while Italian is spoken as a foreign language by 15% of the population. Slovenian, Italian and Hungarian are the official languages according to the Constitution: all laws and documents of national interest are drafted in all three languages, as are citizen’s passports. Italian and Hungarianspeaking Slovenians are entitled to at least one seat in Parliament.
2000 1. Fiopova ulica, in the center of Ljubljana 2. An overview of the city crossed by the river Ljubljanica 3. Ana Roš, chef at Hiša Franko in Caporetto 4. Tomaž Kavcic, chef at Gostilna pri Lojzetu in Vipava 5. A plate at Hiša Franko: stuffed pasta with sheep’s milk ricotta, crab bisque and variation of Istrian tomatoes 6. The Caporetto chef at work 7. The maize variation by Ana Roš In the opening, at the grill is Aleks Klinec with wife Simona who manages the Klinec Plešivo inn in Dobrovo
PROTAGONISTS OF THE AREA
Italy, Austria and Hungary), in Slovenia significant productive activities found space, representing an important commercial hub for the whole area. On this historical and geographical legacy, the advent of democracy legalized and regulated those cross-border exchanges once relegated exclusively to the black market. Weìre talking about wine, oil, honey, as well as blue jeans and all kinds of consumer goods that were forbidden in Yugoslavia.
EDI SIMČIČ WINES Third and fourth generation wine producers, Edi and his son Aleks make wine in an area that until the end of WWII belonged to Italy, 500 meters from the Friuli border. For many critics Edi Simčič is the best wine producer in Slovenia, making his winery the model of a style with its name. The whites are left to ferment and then aged for long periods in French oak barrels. Do not miss the Ribolla Gialla: it evolves over time, passing from the floral notes of youth to the fruity and citrusy hues in maturity. The Chardonnay is considered one of the best in the world, for body and structure and for the hints of peach, honey and lemon-scented pastry cream. And for those who wish, there are rooms in the new Alma Vista, a jewel of art design with uninterrupted views of Edi’s vineyards.
Dobrovo (Brda) +38(0)30602564 edisimcic.si
A DENSE HISTORY AND AN ATTENTIVE GOVERNMENT According to Professor Janez Bogataj of the Department of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology of the University of Ljubljana, much has been done by the new government giving life to new projects to promote the development of gastronomic culture and tourism, including in goutmet fashion. 3 4
GOSTILNA PRI LOJZETU Leader and pioneer of the Slow Food movement in Slovenia, Tomaž Kavčič is a sort of acrobat who proposes a cuisine that reflects his enthusiastic personality: the most transgressive expression of the traditions of the Vipava valley. Protagonist of innovation in the kitchen, Tomaž (who is a member of Jeunes Restaurateurs d’Europe), argues that Slovenia is the driving force for the whole area formerly called Yugoslavia. In his restaurant that’s similar to a cave, guests can have supper under dim lighting and the menu (which follows the rhythm of the seasons and zero food miles) is a sequence of well-orchestrated
SLOVENIA IS NOW A FOOD DESTINATION
ANA ROŠ. STAR OF THE SLOVENIAN RENAISSANCE “There is a great awakening in Slovenian cuisine but it wasn’t obvious that this would happened. For 15 years we are blooming and it was not obvious that we would develop a trend that would interpret gastronomy as a pleasure and not just as a necessity. Our relationship with Italy is beautiful, but our borders are always fluid, and our kitchens of Caporetto and the Natisone valleys are intertwined,” says Ana Ros, a talented Slovenian chef and ambassador of the table as the best vehicle for diplomacy and peace among peoples. After graduating in diplomatic relations, she chose to follow her husband (Valter Kramar) in the management of the family business: she in the kitchen, self-taught, he in the cellar where he follows his great passion with extreme experience. In what can the growth of gastronomic Slovenia be summarized? Surely the most immediate litmus test is the great curiosity that drives many guests and the great desire for novelty that everyone seeks. I think the best measure of the level reached by a gastronomy is not so much the number of restaurants opening, as the number of customers who come to sit down! What triggered this growth? Well, I think that since the Slovenians started the path of economic growth and increased the budget of the families, then they also began to be able to afford to be curious and invest in this pleasant discovery that is cuisine. So much so that Slovenian guests are also very popular abroad: in Austria, in Germany... This, for me, is the greatest satisfaction. And on the wine front? How much has Slovenian grown and how much has that world driven the cuisine, or vice versa? It seems to me that both followed a similar path. Slovenia is the cradle of biodynamic and natural wines. I remember that at home as a child we always drank oxidized wines, orange wines... But they used to be wines with lots of volatile acidity and often lacking cleanliness. Currently, a positive approach has developed towards vineyards and wineries, also in terms of technology and technique, and Slovenian wine has become renowned. In the world I hear many sommeliers speak very enthusiastically about Slovenian wine. What is the relationship between chef and sommelier? How does the Casa Franco cellar work? Our professional relationship is a sort of symbol of how cuisine and oenology proceed hand in hand in Slovenia, today. In fact, right now, while I’m talking on the phone, he’s in the cellar looking for a wine to pair with a new dish... and in a few minutes he will peek in the kitchen asking me to change a couple of ingredients because he can’t find the perfect match... ours is a dialectical relationship, based on growth and mutual exchange.
Hiša Franko – Kobarid –Staro selo, +38(0)653894120 – hisafranko.com
magic tricks, where along with the taste of the dishes there’s always the surprise effect, in addition to impeccable wine pairings. Tomaž is one of the protagonists of the rapidly evolving contemporary Slovenian cuisine. His also the most easy Kruh in Wine, in the beautiful setting of Vila Vipolže.
Initiatives such as Kuhna pa to (kuhnapato.si) - a training course that ends with a national food competition for elementary school children - has encouraged, even before television programs such as MasterChef, the knowledge of the 23 areas of gastronomic attraction in the country, thus defining the Slovenian Gastronomic Pyramid. The Slovenes immediately aimed at joining the European Union by participating in calls for tenders and European projects such as the European Destinations of Excellency (EDEN) which in 2015 awarded the Region of Brda for its Gastronomic Tourism. The great work done on the “I Feel Slovenia” brand, which aims to promote dishes, restaurants and products of the place, has pushed food and wine tourism a lot.
Vipava (Brda) +386(0)40777726 zemono.si Ljubljana +38(0)656201289 kruhinvino.si CLINE PLEŠIVO A fine example of a young and family-run contemporary inn with a breathtaking view of the Medana vineyards. Traditional dishes such as soups (briška mineštra) and polenta with fried ham (pršutov toč) are brought back to life in a captivating design environment. The wines and ingredients used in the kitchen are preferably organic. There’s rooms to stop for the night, too.
Dobrovo (Brda) +38(0)653959409 klinec.si HIŠA KULTURE ŠMARTNO Hidden among the alleys of the medieval village of Smartno (San Martino), about five kilometers from the Italian border is this tiny and unique Oil Bistrò, obtained from an old traditional house, salvaged by the ebullient owner Tatiana. Here, you’ll be guided in a tasting of the best productions of Slovenian extra virgin olive oil, you will discover a great variety of flavours, given by the different cultivars present in this region, from the fruity and delicate Drobnica on the coast, to the bitter spicy of the Beliza variety. The cuisine is decidedly rustic and minimalist, a journey through the rural traditions of the 1960s, based on
SLOVENIA IS NOW A FOOD DESTINATION
the sacred text “Treasures of Slovenian Cuisine” by Ivan Ivačič.
Kojsko (Brda) +38(0)641341149 smartnobrda.si GOSTILNA BUŽINEL In a land of carnivores, the Bužinel family restaurant proposes fish. Located only 300 meters from the border, this restaurant is a beacon for fine seafood cuisine for Italians as well. Elvis Bužinel is supplied only by trusted fishermen: excellent raw fish dishes, mollusks and giant prawns. The wine a family production.
Dobrovo (Brda) +38(0)653045082 buzinel.si TŽNICA BEŽIGRAD. THE CENTRAL MARKET Designed by architect Jože Plečnik, right next to the river, the covered market welcomes 700 square meters of typical products from Central Slovenia and the whole country, starting with kranjska klobasa sausages, at stand #3 Mesarstvo Dlaktnik you’ll find the original. This particular sausage dates back to the days of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and takes its name from the Carniola region which, since the 15th century, was the main region of the Slovenian national territory. It is undoubtedly one of the most internationally famous dishes of the Slovenian gastronomy. Here you will also find the kaymak and skuta creams, the delicious ajvar peppers sauce, pumpkin seed oil and some delicacies like Slovenian kimchi, a variation of the traditional fermented cabbages, proposed by a young start-up: Kis in Kwas.
Ljubljana piazza Vodnik lpt.si/trznice
GORISKA BRDA: SLOVENIAN COLLIO Nestled between the Alps and the Adriatic Sea, this region boasting striking panoramic views, green hills, vineyards and sun-kissed orchards, has earned the nickname of Slovenian Tuscany: a comparison that locals are reluctant to accept, claiming a less inflated and less contaminated reality, more “true” than a certain Tuscany. Along the Brda Wine Road - along rows of Collio, Vipacco, Karst and Istria - you pass through the medieval settlement of Smartno, the Dobrova castle, the Vipolze manor, the Sabotin Peace Park. But it’s certainly thanks to the success of its wines, strong and dry starting with the rebula (ribolla gialla), a symbol of the area and currently featured in the wine lists of only the greatest restaurants.
8. Una bruschetta di pane caldo con una fettina di lardo locale, offerto come appetizer a Vila Vipolže a Dobrovo 9. Un piatto di ravioli realizzato dalla cucina del Castello di Otočec, nel complesso termale di Krka 10. Un filare di ribolla a Šmartno (San Martino) nel Collio Sloveno
LJUBLJANA AND LOWER CARNIOLA As the green capital of Europe in 2016, Ljubljana was been able to reinvent itself entering into Europe, and focusing on a form of eco-sustainable tourism, which also has one of its strengths in the oeno-gastronomic offer. Nicknamed “Little Prague,” Ljubljana has
ODPRTA KUHNA. One of the prides of the city of Ljubljana is represented by the new face of this traditional market: here the range of typical products is enriched with a food hall that involves as many as 96 kiosks and pop-up restaurants as well as many young producers ranging from organic bread to the seeds of Krejan Levec, from pumpkin seed pesto Bucni namaz to clarified butter ghee produced with organic Slovenian milk from GheeLux. Every Friday, Odprta Kuhna transforms into a huge, scenic and welcoming open-air restaurant, where in addition to local dishes and restaurateurs operating under the Taste Slovenia brand, you can taste the cuisines of India, Japan, Argentina and the Middle East (in addition to best Slovenian wines and at least a dozen Slovenian craft beers).
Ljubljana Pogačarjev trg odprtakuhna.si ATELJE Chef Jorg Zupan could not choose a more apt namefor his restaurant. This is a creative atelier where everything is processed by a team of chefs, sommeliers and waitstaff. At only 30 - after studying French cuisine thoroughly and having worked in important kitchens like at Sydney’s Quay or Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck in London - Jorg returns to Slovenia and begins to reap success. His cuisine looks to the Mediterranean but highlights the Slovenian terroir, with savoir faire, taste and attention to every aspect of truly unique service. Starting with the selection of wines..
Ljubljana Nazorjeva ulica 2 restavracijaatelje.com
much in common with the best central European destinations: the castle fortress, which dominates the historic centre from above, the river Ljubljanica that slides slowly between the reflections of the superb period buildings by architect Jože Plečnik, the numerous scenic bridges and the beautiful squares of the centre and its lively and elegant restaurants with outdoor seating when as weather gets warmer. For a clearer idea of the city’s gourmet side, you can take part in the gastronomic tour of the city “Okusi Ljubljane” (tastes of Ljubljana) which can be booked at visitljubljana.com or directly from the tourist office. Alternatively, follow our advice for a do-it-yourself tour. A few kilometers from Ljubljana, the Krka river valley is considered the most beautiful of the Lower Carniola (Dolenjska) in southeastern Slovenia. This is
11. The Odprta Kuhna market in Ljubljana: in the most traditional market if the city, the fresh produce counters are transformed into a large open-air restaurant bringing this ancient gastronomic institution to life 12. An Atelje snack-dish, made by young chef Jorg Zupan in Ljubliana
a region dominated by lush greenery, rich in woods and forests; an area appreciated for the alternating plains and hills, furrowed by the slow flowing river waters and that carve the southeastern foot of mountain chain Gorjanci and the border with Croatia. The banks of the numerous waterways
SLOVENIA IS NOW A FOOD DESTINATION
ŠPAJZA To understand the evolution of a kitchen it’s important to know its roots: Špajza is the right place to discover recipes and flavours of the area. Among the appetizers, there’s always a smoked meat of some kind, be it goose breast or trout with horseradish. Don’t miss the ravioli d’idrija o (zlikrofi), or the gnocchi. As far as meat dishes, the venison fillet with blueberries and the duck breast with figs and Cognac are stellar. Mushrooms abound in season. Ljubljana
Ljubljana Gornji trg, 28 spajza-restaurant.si SPAS, GASTRONOMY AND R&R Few other places manage to seduce those who travel in this region like the river castle of Otočec. Thanks to its charm and beauty, it’s hard to find comparisons. Member of the Relais & Chateaux network, the place is located in the middle of a small island carved out of the river Krka. The structure is an integral part of the Baths of Krka, probably the best Slovenian spa complex. The restaurant kitchen is entrusted to talented chef Nejc Ban, who proposes an elegant cuisine inspired by the French school and set on the classics revisited in a modern gourmet twist on the Slovenian cuisine, with a careful look at the Italian and international tradition..
Grad Otoč (Dolenjska) Otočec ob Krki +38(0)82050310 grad-otocec.com
FLAVOURS OF SLOVENIA IN 10 DISHES walnuts, poppy seeds, lardons, chives, lovage, ricotta and more.
1 Štruklji Sort of bread rolls (or salami) these are one of the most recognizable dishes in the country. The štruklji are prepared with various types of dough and various fillings, and are either baked or boiled, sweet or savoury. They were a ritual and festive dish; the ones filled with draconzio, ricotta, walnuts, apples, poppy seeds are quite popular.
2 Janška vezivka A focaccia for the festivals of the villages around Ljubljana (in particular the village of Janče) prepared for those who celebrate name day but also for other anniversaries.
Stewed sauerkraut with millet (všenat) reflect the rich tradition of producing top-quality sauerkraut in the surroundings of Ljubljana and the popularity of millet soup as a peasant dish of the past.
4 Ričet Barley is at the base of this nutritious and tasty dish, a unique preparation of meat and vegetables, known throughout Slovenia.
5 Potice Similarly to the štruklji, potice also is among Slovenia’s most characteristic sweets. These are prepared with over 80 different fillings. The “potica” is a typical dessert for parties, made with various types of dough. Among the most characteristic variants, we find those stuffed with draconio, honey,
The expression “toči” includes various types of meat and gulash sauces, in which polenta or bread were dipped (“točti”). These sauces are eaten as an everyday dish that gives life to considerable efforts of inventiveness in the family in using what’s available in the pantry..
7 Frtálje ali cvrče Herb omelettes (“frtalje”, “cvrtnjaki” or “cvrče”) are prepared with countless herbs and spices, but also with raw ham and sausages.
3 Všenat zelje
In Brda (Collio), the dialectal expression “kuhnja”refers to a series of tasty soups, prepared with meat, vegetables and pasta.
9 Kostelske hrge Potato gnocchi is a typical Kostel dish on the Kolpa river. These are eaten as is, with salad or as a side dish, to accompany stewed game. Pečena gos ali raca z mlinci in rdečim zeljem Roast goose or duck with thinly sliced red cabbage is an excellent aromatic combination of three traditional dishes, typically eaten on November 11th, the feast of St Martin, the patron Saint of wine.
with soft lines, waterfalls and natural lakes, together with ancient mills and castles, plunge us into a landscape that is fairytale-like, but totally real. Soaking in the warm thermal waters in winter is a beautiful and relaxing way to unplug. From the New Town, you can enjoy a wonderful view of the Dolenjska and you should not miss an excursion in the old town center and its rich cultural heritage: from the fountain on the main square to the Dolenjska Museum, from the JakÄ?ev Dom gallery to the Breg district overlooking the river Krka. ď ś
SLOVENIA IS NOW A FOOD DESTINATION
MANGIARE BIRRA EXTRAVERGINE VINO TERME MERCATO
HIŠA KULTURE ŠMARTNO Descla
OŠTERIJA ŽOGICA GRAD KROBERK
PIVOVARNA PELICON Aiudissina
GOSTILNA PRI LOJZETU
San Daniele del Carso
GOSTILNA PRI LOJZETU
TERME DI KRKA
SLOVENIA FOCUS ON WINE: EVERYTHING RIBOLLA IN 6 WINE PRODUCERS
Vipavska Dolina (the Vipava valley) extends from Vipava - a small town of just over five thousand inhabitants - to Nova Gorica, bordered by the hills of Nanos, the Karst and the Trnovo Plateau. Here, on rocky soils of marls and sandstones, one of the historic grapes of the far east of Italy and Slovenia finds its highest calling: Ribolla. A grape variety that, thanks to the action of a group of producers, is the simbol of this portion of landwords
Words by Giuseppe Carrus
ipava is an ordered, peaceful village. The views offer rolling hills between woods, cultivated fields and vineyards. In the whole valley the hecatres planted in vines are about 2,240 and are home to various varieties. The most important is undoubtedly ribolla (which here in Slovenia is called rebula), followed by some international vines such as sauvignon, malvasia, riesling, chardonnay and pinot bianco. Then there is the white Zelen variety, traditional of the valley and protected by a consortium attentive to promotion. There’s room also for some red berried grapes, starting from merlot, cabernet sauvignon, barbera, refosco and pinot nero. The vineyards start from the plains lapped by the Vipava river and reach up to almost 1,500 meters elevation. Everything here seems like the perfect synthesis of what terroir means. At the center of everything is the ribolla: through its cultivation and transformation it’s easy to understand how winemaking is carried out with the utmost respect for the vineyard, and operating according to the local tradition. The vinification of ribolla takes place through the maceration on the skins: it’s a “red method” that here leads to wines with a golden yellow color and amber reflections. The tannin is surely not lacking and is added to important acidity that gives freshness and flavour. The balance is given by the body, the alcohol gives softness and silkiness: everything is harmonious. On the palate, the heat of the sun and the cold of the wind lend great balance. We’re sharing the stories and the wines of six producers, who are artisans of Ribolla: they work together in the name of the territory, to enhance it and promote it around the world. Each has its own particularities, each one making its own labels, but the philosophy that each observes is common and is aimed at producing authentic and territorial wines.
EVERYTHING BEGAN IN THE VIPAVSKA DOLINA The first time Emperor Otto III mentions the Vipava rive––which will give rise to the Vipavska Dolina––is in a document written in 1001. From that moment on the vine cultivation begins; then, in 1503, the official history of Ribolla begins. The Emperor Maximilian I commissioned an “excellent ribollio wine”: from that moment the variety used is called Ribolla. In 1844, the priest Matija Vertovec wrote a book on viticulture and modeled the Vipava Valley: it’s considered the reference text describing the vine growing methods and winemaking techniques, the most suitable places and the best production and refining practices. The book, divided into 22 chapters (15 dedicated to viticulture, 7 to wineries), talks about the valorisation of an entire territory through wine, through the respect of soil, climate and variety.
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Podnanos – Orehovica 46 Burja +38(0)641363272 – burjaestate.com distributed by Caves de Pyrene – lescaves.it
Šempas – Šempas, 130a +38(0)653088676 – batic.si Wine has been produced in this area since the end of the 1500s. It was the monks, who always resided in Šempas, who vinified fine white and red wines for religious rites. They were the ones who transmitted to the current winery the way, the idea and the philosophy of vineyard management. Now the winery has changed hands, but the sign of the past is evident. The cellar counts on approximately 19 hectares of vineyards, cultivated according to the dictates of the organic and biodynamic regimen. The vineyards are parceled out in the municipalities of Šempas, Vogrsko and Vitovlje and range from lowland areas to altitudes reaching 1,495 meters asl. The most used varieties are Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon, but above all the local Pinela and Ribolla. Among the red grapes we find Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. With immense respect for nature - says Miha Batic - paying particular attention to local varieties and traditions, my family produces wines that honestly reflect the land and the harvest.
“Here we combine the tradition of the Vipava Valley with the modern interpretation of oenology. Come to think of it, are not they the same? After all, what we are looking for in a good wine is recognizing our roots and the character of the flavours.” The words of Primoz Lavenčič are the perfect synthesis of the Podnanos cellar. The company owns less than 10 hectares in 5 different plots. Only the traditional varieties of the region are cultivated, including Zelen, Ribolla, Malvasia, Riesling, Refosco and Schioppettino and also Pinot Nero, Primoz’s true passion from which he produces a wine in a few bottles - his homage to Burgundy. Winemaking is very respectful of what nature creates in the vineyard, paying attention only to temperatures and oxidations. Spontaneous fermentations and simple practices do the rest.
Burja Stranice ’17 Stranice is the result of a blend of Istrian Malvasia, riesling and ribolla that come from the oldest property plots (about 65 years). Fermentation in oviform cement tanks and 20 months of cask for a wine of character, which smells of flint, helichrysum and citrus, with a powerful mouth, but that never loses its pleasant sip.
Angel Grande Cuvée ‘11 A great wine for aging, the result of a blend that includes several grapes that have always been grown in the territory. Pinela for 40%, then Chardonnay and Malvasia (20% each) and a balance of Ribolla, Riesling, Zelen, Vitovska. Great character for a seven-year-old wine that’s still in full vitality. Hazelnut and dried apricot don’t cover the primary notes, the palate is long and complex.
Burja Noir ’16 Burgundy has also bewitched Primoz and here comes a delicious Pinot Noir. A few bottles for a red reminiscent of small berries, light spicy sensation and hints of leather. On the palate, the wine is sliding and fresh, from the nose. Acidity and flavour reign supreme, but the hardness is weakened by heat and silkiness.
Vipava Pinela ‘16 The Pinela (autochthonous vine of the Vipava valley) by Batič doesn’t seem to betray its two years of aging at all. The particular white grape lends hints of peach, apricot, candied citrus and notes of pastry. The mouth is wide and enveloping, always silky and soft, but crossed by a thin acid vein that revives the sip.
Burja Bela ’17 Blend of Malvasia Istriana, ribolla and riesling. The age of the vines ranges from eight to seventy years and the grapes are grown in organic and biodynamic conversion. The fermentation takes place in cement and wood, then goes on to aging in Burgundian barriques. Complex nose (yellow fruit, dried flowers, but also field and aromatic herbs) for a palate of structure, but always with an elegant sip.
Vipava Malvasia ‘17 A wine with an aromatic touch, fascinating thanks to the scents of yellow field flowers, citrus, chamomile and honey. The mouth shows great balance, but it’s the freshness that stands out the most, supported by great acidity. The finish is satisfying and wide, with good balance between volume and acidity. Good now, but ideal to drink in a few years.
Red of structure obtained from schiopettino grapes, refosco and franconia. The nose is complex and very fruity, with emergent raspberry, cherry, rose and black pepper. The mouth is dense, austere, creamy and fresh, not missing a savoury touch that pushes the wine into a beautiful finish. The grape mix confers acidity, aromas and body, for a wine capable of aging for a long time.
Vipava Rebula ‘17 Fresh Ribolla in purity fruit of the vintage 2017. No maceration but a deliberately young and fragrant wine, with varietal hints of almond and mint. Aging in steel only for a wine that comes from vines of about twenty years cultivated according to the canons of the biodynamic regimen.
Volčja Draga – Bukovica, 31 +38(0)65395523 – mlecnik.eu Mlečnik Beautiful artisan and family-owned winery born in 1989 and devel-
Ajdovščina – Planina 111 +38(0)651660265 – guerila.si Guerila was born in 2005, but everything here has older roots. Josef Petric, father of Zmago, current manager of the winery, already loved to produce a few bottles of wine, and in 1956, the year Zmago was born, he received a prize for the enhancement of the ancient native Pinela vine. The vineyards of Guerila are located on the southern slopes of the Vipavska Brda hills. The sun during the day, the temperature drop and the Bora wind in the evening guarantee optimal ripening, plus the skeleton-rich soils offer minerality and sapidity to the grapes. The cellar is carved into the rock and divided into several floors and the winery has 3 guest rooms. “It’s a joy for us to spend our time in the company of passionate people - says Zmago - With them we share our experiences, some of the house’s cured meats and enjoy a glass of our wine. But our greatest pride is being able to accompany a group of people to our highest vineyard, on top of which we serve a glass of sparkling wine and enjoy a unique view.”
oped by Valter Mlecnik. The company (organic since 2005) has about 7 and a half hectares of vineyards, all in the hills, cultivated with ribolla, chardonnay, sauvignonasse, malvasia and merlot and that produce about 12,000 bottles. Valter is a firm believer in the maceration of the whites, aimed at bringing out, through the skins, all the territorial characteristics that the grapes collect. To this is added an artisan vinification, where nothing is added if not very low levels of sulfites. “We believe that the whole process that goes from the cultivation of the vine to the bottling of the wine is always subordinated to the respect of natural processes. This means that natural and genuine wine is the fruit of man’s culture and of the understanding that man has of life.” Thus Valter explains his philosophy.
It seems that this wine is not afraid to grow old: it ages for two years in large barrels and for three years in the bottle. The scents of the nose recall apricot, persimmon, orange blossom and helichrysum. The mouth is dense, austere and shows no signs of subsidence; the slight tannic sensation is not lacking, and is accentuated by acidity and sapidity that make it even more fascinating.
Rebula Extreme ’15 45 days of maceration for the Guerila Rebula in purity. The 2015 vintage is bottled after two years of aging in 500-liter oak barrels. The olfactory impact is powerful, from which emerge dried fruit, wild flowers, the scent of dehydrated yellow fruit and sweet spices. The mouth is particular in its tannic imprint, but the sip is guaranteed by freshness and flavour.
Rebula ’15 Among the younger Ribolla, this one enchanted us: a wine of great olfactory complexity and perfect balance on the palate, all played on slight tannin, acidity and final sapidity. The aromas of yellow fruit don’t hide the balsamic notes, resins and musky touches, all this anticipates a dynamic and vibrant mouth, which invites the sip.
Castra Brut Nature Ribolla, Zelen and Pinela for a classic method without dosage. Long stay on the lees for a bubbly with intense notes of yellow fruit, flowers, aromatic herbs, spices and light crust of bread. Dry, sapid mouth with fresh acidity and perfectly dosed carbon. Long final played on the notes perceived on the nose.
Ana Cuvée ’11 Obtained from chardonnay and ribolla in equal parts with a small balance of malvasia and sauvignonasse, this wine makes long aging in large casks and bottles (5 years in all) and is well prone to aging. The sensations of hydrocarbons prevail over the nose, with hints of fruit that anticipate a balsamic and mentholated palate.
Retro ’16 Four native grapes for a very gastronomic and tasty white wine. Ribolla, Zelen, Pinela and Malvasia, macerated for five days on the skins and aged in large 2,000-liter barrels for a year. Aromas of almond and lime, a savoury mouth with a thin acid vein, of masterly depth.
Sauvignonasse ’15 Young and fresh wine with intense notes of aromatic herbs (thyme, rosemary and sage) that don’t cover a young and beautiful fruity sensation. This Sauvignonasse (we call it Friulano, the old Tocai Friulano) is obtained from a vineyard of about one and a half hectares which produce just under 2,000 bottles. A few days of maceration on the skins and 2 years of aging in large barrels for a white with overwhelming flavour.
Zelen ’17 Fresh, young and fragrant wine obtained from Zelen grapes macerated for a few hours. Aging in steel and then bottle for a white with hints of almond, lemon peel, Mediterranean herbs and hints of pepper. The mouth is enjoyable for its young freshness, the sip is crossed by a thin acid vein and the depth is guaranteed by the final sapidity.
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Dobravje – Kamnje 42b Svetlik +38(0)631316900 svetlik-wine.com
Dornberk – Potok, 29 +38(0)641742182 – slavcek.si distribuito da Triple A – triplea.it Frank Vodopivec welcomes us in his home with his characteristic smiling and relaxed demeanor. Before tasting he tells us it’s better to know the vineyard first. We walked to the top of a plateau: the altitude is important, the climate seems to change compared to the valley. “There is nothing better than tasting a good bottle in the middle of the vines that produced it - smiles Frank, while he unleashes a nonsweet bubble, with the yeasts still in suspension - We just try to bring in the bottle what takes place in the vineyard.” The company has six hectares of vineyards, for a production of about 35,000 bottles. The cultivated vines are merlot, refosco dal peduncolo rosso, ribolla, friulano, chardonnay and riesling. A dozen wines produced from white, macerated and classic method sparkling wines.
The history of Edvard and Ivi Svetlik and their link with wine are recent and connected to Rebula: they own a single ribolla vineyard in a very sunny area surrounded by beautiful nature. The place is the south side of Mount Caven, 350 meters above sea level: just over one hectare for 8,800 plants. Low production (1 kilo of grapes - 1 bottle of wine - per single plant) guarantees a quality that comes essentially from climate and a subsoil made of marls, moraine, skeleton and peaty soils. No herbicides or pesticides; indigenous yeasts only, macerations ranging from 10 to 15 days and refining in large barrels: from here come very typical and characterful wines, capable of long aging. “Working in a vineyard - explains Edvard - for us means feeling nature in all its splendour. Feeling the quiet in winter, the sprouting in spring, the flowering in summer and the autumn maturity during harvest. The vineyard has its charm and its strength.”
Rebula Reserva ’15
Two years younger, but with extra oomph. The Rebula Reserva ‘15 is a macerated white with intense hints of green tea, wild flowers and sweet spices. The mouth is powerful, warm, but never alcoholic, the finish is slightly bitter. All this, however, does not detract from the sip, played only on freshness and flavour.
Rebula Grace ’09 A great vintage that procured 5,000 bottles and 500 magnums. A few days less maceration in a warm and constant vintage for a wine with hints of ripe fruit and dried flowers, followed by sensations of almond and walnut husk. The mouth is marked by a perfect balance between the alcohol’s warmth and acidity. Dry finish emphasized by fascinating tannins.
Rebula Reserva ’13 LSlavček’s Rebula Reserva ages for two years in 200-liter acacia and oak barrels and then continues its refinement in large 2,000-liter oak barrels. The excellent vintage 2013 reserves precise hints of mint, lime peel and white pepper; the mouth has a great balance between light tannic sensation, freshness and flavour.
Rebula Selekcija ’12 Same winemaking, but a permanence to refine longer, both in barrels and in the bottle (6 years). The result is all in the glass. The nose smells of honey, mint, resins, bark and candied yellow fruit, while the mouth is long and deep, punctuated by a nice alternation between tannic sensation and freshness.
Rebula Klasika ’12
From a vineyard of just under thirty years here is a classic Ribolla of the Vodopivec couple. A whole year in 200-liter barrels on fine lees, plus two years in large barrels lend sublime complexity. Flavour and minerality are not lacking, the nose betrays yellow fruit and the mouth is absolutely creamy and enveloping.
Rebula Grace ’08 Produced in 3,400 bottles, the wine macerates for 14 days and ages for 18 months in a large Slavonian oak cask (1,800 liters). Scents of incense, Mediterranean scrub, aromatic herbs and a touch of citrus; the mouth is tannic, sapid and deep.
Pinot Grigio ’15 Five days of maceration on the skins for the Pinot Grigio of the 2015 vintage. The beautiful intense copper colour brings out hints of tea, dried leaves, resins and yellow apples. The mouth is warm, there is a slight tannin and the finish is satisfying and balsamic however simple.
Rebula ’11 The grapes macerate on the skins for 14 days, followed by two years in 25-hectolitre and 2-year-old barrels. Scent of medlar and fungal touches for a tannic but very tasty palate.
GAMBERO ROSSO X VILLA SANDI
Villa Sandi, the art of Prosecco conquers Japan
Approximately two years ago, in an interview, we asked Giancarlo Moretti Polegato, what challenges would his creation, Villa Sandi, face. He replied: “Among the main objectives is to expand our distribution network abroad, especially in Asia, where we have great confidence that Italian wine, especially Prosecco, can have a greater success than the present one” . We can safely say that this challenge has been won, as confirmed by Flavio Geretto, Villa Sandi’s export manager, “out of about 5.3 million bottles produced annually, today those sold in Asia-Pacific are as many as 800,000”. Villa Sandi is one of the most important wineries, and not restricted to the Prosecco area, but in the whole of Veneto. The Moretti Polegato family (partner with Giancarlo, his wife Augusta Pavan, marketing director, and his daughter Diva, international brand ambassador) have been running the company since 1975. Today the vineyard (160 hectares
of property, to which a further 400 hectares of trusted suppliers are added) extends over the hills that give life to the prestigious DOCG of Prosecco, Valdobbiadene, also with its cru Cartizze, and Asolo. This deep bond between family-wine-territory is one of the main characteristics of Villa Sandi, a peculiarity that in the world of big Prosecco companies is now almost unique. With Flavio Geretto, we took stock of the situation of Prosecco in Asia, with a focus on Japan, a country that proves increasingly able to exert a strong appeal on Italian producers. “The bottles that we export to the Japan are about 100,000, with our two brands Villa Sandi and La Gioiosa, 15% of which are Prosecco DOCG, an excellent percentage considering that these wines have limited circulation compared to the simplest Prosecco DOC”. The trend of the most famous bubbles in the world is growing in Japan, which, among Asian countries, has started to learn
about and consume wine with several years in advance: “There is a historical love for classic method sparkling wines, so much so that the first product exported by Villa Sandi on the Japanese market was our Classic Method Opere Trevigiane in 1994, we started with Prosecco only in 1997. Since then we try to market our wines, explaining the difference between refermentation in the bottle and the Martinotti-Charmat method, the different organoleptic characteristics that the two production methods convey to the bottle”. But what are the strategies that Villa Sandi puts in place to penetrate this market? “Today Prosecco is everywhere and the merit of this success is also ascribed to the Protection Consortia who have worked hard for this result. We at Villa Sandi think that the best thing is to promote Prosecco culture: we organize many educational events dedicated to Prosecco, where we don’t simply talk about the wine, we rather transform it into the key to understanding the territory”. Geretto continues: “Too often when abroad we hear talk of Prosecco we generally think of Italy, and not of the Veneto region, we want to eradicate this misconception and we want to make it clear that this wine is exclusively the result of a precise area: when we talk about Prosecco we want foreign consumers to think of Veneto, Valdobbiadene, Asolo.The extra edge of Villa Sandi, then, is that all this is firmly connected to a family, the Moretti Polegatos, who for generations have strongly believed in this territory”. Villa Sandi is perhaps the only com-
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pany that produces Prosecco in all its denominations: so in addition to Prosecco Doc, the range includes several Valdobbiadene, (including millesime versions and a Rive), two Cartizze (one of which is the Vigna La Rivetta, a veritable signature wine of the company), and Asolo and Asolo Superiore, wines that come from different denominations and territories, concepts that are often marketed with difficulty in the most distant markets: “our purpose is precisely this and the master classes in which we are investing serve to convey that the wines that come from Valdobbiadene are fine and elegant, those that come from Asolo are more structured, gastronomic, perfect companions at the table, while Cartizze represents the Cru of Prosecco,
a hill with unique pedoclimatic characteristics in which the glera grape expresses itself to its fullest potential. We explain that the yields per hectare in these territories are lower, and this has an impact on the wines’ organoleptic qualities, which generally have increased complexity compared to Prosecco DOC”. This also affects price, which is usually higher, “but – explains Geretto – in a mature market like the Japanese one, this is not a problem, rather it represents an opportunity. The Japanese are curious and more and more stimulated in purchasing premium products, especially when these wines are included in A-level restaurant wine lists.” And we close precisely on dining: “Prosecco’s success is also due to its extreme versatility; its freshness, lively bubble,
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floral character and pleasantness that make it the perfect wine for the dishes of a thousand-year-old gastronomic tradition like Japanese cuisine.” With Flavio we decided to play with the combinations of Prosecco DOCG and Japanese preparations: “sushi and sashimi are perfect with Cartizze Vigna La Rivetta, while Valdobbiadene Millesimato accompanies tonkatsu (fried and fried pork cutlet). Unagi (eel) or Teriyaki salmon pair beautifully with Valdobbiadene Rive di San Pietro di Barbozza; with chicken karaage I would instead pair the Asolo Superiore. These pairings are examples of what we offer during our master classes in Japan: this is an aspect in which we firmly believe”.
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Raw meat and red beet variation Risotto with butter and raspberries Charred lettuce, mustard and sablé bread Chamomile crème brûlée
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CHRISTIAN MANDURA - GERANIO IN TRATTORIA AND UNFORGETTABLE
Raw meat and red beet variation ingredients for 4 servings For the tartare 240 g veal leg 20 g extra virgin Taggiasca Roi Monocultivar olive oil 24 g fine sea salt For the smoked goat cheese 20 g soft goat cheese 3 sprigs of rosemary For the bbq red beet sauce 4 cooked red beets For the red beet air 4 cooked red beets 250 g still water 2,5 g soy lecithin
For the red beet sauce: char the beets on a bbq for 15 minutes; put them still hot in a mixer with 250 grams of water and blend for six minutes at maximum speed to obtain a smooth sauce. Line a fine mesh strainer with two sheets of absorbent paper, let the beet cream drain until it has released all its moisture. Add the lecithin to the obtained liquid. Store the cream and water in the fridge. For the goat cheese: in a steel bowl put 3 sprigs of rosemary, lay the cheese on a steel sieve, set the rosemary on fire. When the twigs have burned out, lay the sieve over the bowl and seal with transparent film; leave to smoke for about half an hour and put the smoked goat cheese in the fridge. For the radishes: break the leaves off the radish and cut finely, cut the slice the radishes and divide them into 4 triangles. For the tartare: with the help of a knife, chop the meat very finely and season with salt and extra virgin olive oil. Dish assembly: with 60 grams of meat per plate form a cylinder with the help of a steel circle mold; pipe seven buttons of smoked goat cheese and seven of turnip sauce on the upper face of the cylinder. Put the radish triangles on the goat's cheese, put the turnip leaves on the sauce. Complete with the red turnip air, obtained by mixing the turnip water with lecithin at maximum speed with an immersion blender..
For the leaf and radish meat 4 radishes
CHRISTIAN MANDURA - GERANIO IN TRATTORIA AND UNFORGETTABLE
Risotto with butter and raspberries ingredients for 4 servings 320 g Carnaroli Riserva San Raffaele rice 2 l water 100 g demi-sel butter* 50 g freeze-dried raspberries 25 g salt 10 g extra virgin olive oil 1 egg yolk salt and sugar for the brine
Per il riso: in una pentola mettere a scaldare i 2 litri di acqua. A parte, in un pentolino con il manico, unire il riso e il sale su una fiamma al massimo; appena il riso è tostato, far partire la cottura con un mestolo di acqua bollente e cuocere per 15 minuti bagnando il riso ogni qualvolta il liquido sia completamente assorbito. Per i lamponi: frullarne 25 grammi; lasciare interi i restanti. Per il tuorlo: lasciarlo in marinatura in sale e succhero (in pari misura) per due ore, quindi frullare per 10 minuti. Quando il riso sarà cotto, fuori dal fuoco aggiungere il burro e mantecare energicamente con l’aiuto di un cucchiaio. Montare il piatto: disporre circa 80 grammi di risotto a persona e spolverare con 6 grammi per piatto di lamponi liofilizzati; terminare con due lamponi sbriciolati grossolanamente. Guarnire con gocce di tuorlo marinato.
* Large quantity of butter is needed: the play on flavours is lent by butter and raspberries aslone, the rice is simply there for texture.
Charred lettuce, mustard and sablĂŠ breadÂ ingredients for 4 servings 5 heads of trocadero lettuce 200 g extra virgin olive oil 200 g breadvrumbs 80 g classica Dijon mustard
Trim the hard, outer leaves off the lettuce, film a large non-stick pan with half the olive oil, heat and add the lettuce leaves, which should be left to burn over high heat, turning them from time to time. After obtaining an even char, place the leaves in a baking pan. Separately heat the remaining extra-virgin oil in a non-stick pan, toast the bread and salt; use a spoon to obtain an even mixture so that the bread takes on a sandy texture. Assemble the dish: place the mustard as a base, arrange the charred lettuce in a disorderly fashion and finish with the breadcrumbs.
CHRISTIAN MANDURA - GERANIO IN TRATTORIA AND UNFORGETTABLE
Chamomile crème brulée ingredients for 4 servings 500 g heavy cream 4 egg yolks 1 whole egg 100 g sugar 20 g chamomile 40 g brown sugar 8 chamomile flowers
In a saucepan, steep the camomile in the cream over a low flame; as soon as the mixture is warmed, remove from heat and leave to steep for about 8 hours; then filter the cream and put it back on the stove. Separately whip the egg yolks, the egg and the sugar, and pour the mixture into the cream. Let it boil and with the help of a whisk to prevent the eggs from congealing, whisk to obtain a soft and fluffy cream. Remove from heat and pour the mixture into the crème brulée molds. Leave to rest in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. At the time of serving, sprinkle the brown sugar on the cream and with the help of a torch, burn the surface in order to obtain a hard layer of caramel. Finish garnishing the dish with some edible flowers.
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Via Caracciolo Via Caracciolo
The Christmas season is one of the best for immersing oneself in the Neapolitan atmosphere, when the city is at its best in anticipation of the most popular festivals of the year and rich in traditions: first of all the city's passion for nativity scenes involving hundreds of artisans and thousands of citizens. Here are some tips to savour one of the capitals of gastronomy, of cuisine and of street food, as well as of Christmas and the Nativity
NAPLES, MAGIC NATIVITY SCENE CAPITAL
D Via Foria
33 Museo Archeologico
H Via dei Tribunali
Via Galileo Ferraris
Corso Umberto I
Piazza Gesù Nuovo
Via Muova Marina Università
10 7 QUARTIERI SPAGNOLI
Piazza del Plebiscito
POSILLIPO Castel dell’Ovo
Naples, magic Nativity scene capitAl GAMBERO ROSSO
co lla bo ra tio n
by Valentina Marino
Naples, magic Nativity scene capitol
1 La Casa di Ninetta via N. Tommaseo, 11 0817647573 lacasadininetta.it Open daily for dinner except Sat. And Sun. – 40 euro Artist hangout and fine cuisine TRATTORIA. Carmelo Sastri is the smiling owner of this good "living room"––with carpets, paintings, candelabras, credenzas, antiques––a meeting place for (but not restricted to) intellectuals at a stone's throw from the sea. The cuisine is grandmother Emilia's, with the ragù that "pippìa" (simmers, onomatopoeic) for hours, a paper cone filled with fried stuff, pasta, potatoes and provola, the bucatini "alla puveriello", seafood specialties, minestra maritata (at Christmas), of course pizza, and closing meals with coffee made with a moka pot.
2 Il Comandante del Romeo Hotel via C. Colombo, 45 0816041580 romeohotel.it Closed Monday and Tuesday; open for dinner only – 120 euro Fine dining with views RESTAURANT. Once the headquarters of the wellknown Lauro family, today this is one of the most elegant
hotels in the city. On the 10th floor there is the gourmet jewel, surrounded by large windows overlooking the gulf. Mediterranean cuisine but open to the world, with dishes such as risotto "the sea in Milan", with cream of oysters, black cabbage and "forgotten" molluscs, abalone and Noah's ark, and mullet with cream of shrimp and sconcigli mollusks. Adequate service and extensive wine list. At Piano Zero Bistrot 9850, adjoining the dining room, and at Beluga Sky Bar, on the terrace, there's international mixology, fine coffee and herbal teas served with finger food and an amazing selection of cheeses and caviar.
STRONG EMOTIONS, TRUTHFUL AND NOT AT ALL TYPE-APPROVED The city's bond with food and wine is very strong, as mine is: as a Neapolitan before being the city's mayor. We have very old and solid recipes and traditions, but also a great ability to innovate and adhere to modernity. We are one of the most fast-growing cities in terms of tourism, and at the same time the younger students that train in the field of tourism and food and wine find it easy to find work: this means that the system works and manages to help the local economy. But we're also talking about flavours! My favorite food is ordered from a seafood menu. And the places to eat well in Naples are many and diverse. I think the quality of food in the city is on average very high and with a very favorable quality-price ratio. Moreover, it seems to me that we are not running the risk - as it happens elsewhere - of a downward standardization: we are increasingly an international world city, but we are not losing identity, which is the reason why so many come visit Naples... December and Christmas are a moment: I too live very strong, vital emotions. You dive into atmospheres that look like those of a Eduardo De Filippo comedy: and not only in homes, but also in the street. You don't need to enter closed places to see the Nativity scenes, those characters can be met in the streets. And food is a fundamental dimension of the Christmas atmosphere. – Luigi de Magistris, Mayor of Naples
3 Cru...do rè p.zza Vittoria, 11 0817645295 crudore.it Open daily - 70 euro Raw deliciousness RESTAURANT. It has the flavour of the ancient seafaring gatherings but in a modern way. Raw crudos and sparkling wines (from France and Italy) alone are worth the stop, but do also consider the octopus salad, soya bean emulsion and crispy boulot; the fish and shellfish tempura with mayonnaise and frier beards; the risotto with zucchini, squash blossoms, scampi and caviar, and sesame tuna tataki with aubergines and citrusy mustard leaves. For real amateurs, aided by the capable staff.
Dialetti vico Satriano, 9 0812481158 Closed Sunday 45 euro @DialettiNapoli Multicolor Naples BISTROT. A short name that speaks volumes: "narrating" food and wine as multicultural expressions, without limits and boundaries. It happens in a young, minimal place, with a service formula that spans lunch to intimate dinner by way of the "aperiVino" or the "aperiDrink." The menu changes every day, follows market availability, and doesn't like narrow boundaries. Think Sorrento tomato salad with mullet bottarga, pickled onions, basil, crusty
bread; or the spaghetti with datterini and basil with burnt eggplant, cooked "Lebanesestyle" in a wood-fired oven; or the spring onion noodles with octopus broth, sesame and chilli. The winelist features the best of Campania, key pieces from all over Italy and cocktails.
5 George's del Grand Hotel Parker's c.so Vittorio Emanuele, 135 0817612474 grandhotelparkers.it Closed Sunday; open for dinner only 90 euro Good news in high places
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RESTAURANT. Recently benefitting a grand style renovation that also affects the hotel - the oldest 5-star luxury in Naples - this restaurant is a new gourmet destination that should not to be missed. Dreamy terrace, a relaxed and impeccable team at the same time, and cuisine of instinct and reason that ranges from "sgummero", marinated mackerel with beans from Controne, molasses of figs and red onion; to the Ischia style rabbit genovese pasta with yogurt. Only Italian wine list, but very refined. Children's menu, too.
6 Granafine via Gian Lorenzo Bernini, 74b 08119172428 closed Monday; open for dinner only except Sat. And Sun. - 45 euro Modern concept and Neapolitan substance BISTROT. BISTROT. Northern-European style decor for this modern eatery in the heart of the Vomero neighborhood. Three enterprising partners and a concise menu with a wine-by-the-glass offering that includes almost everything in the wine list, many French, first of all Champagne. The dishes are tied to the territory for the ingredients, but there's creativity in the execution: selection of vegetables, "mixed" pasta with shrimp bisque, cuttlefish and chips made with its black ink, fish with cucumber, carrot and radish, free range guinea hen with beer glaze, New York cheesecake with red fruit compote.
8 stops in the city of street food A Krapfen at Bomba via Alabardieri, 8 0817944131 accademianikoromito.it Another star of the Niko Romito gourmet universe has arrived with the Bomba concept, dedicated to the krapfen pastry: from the irresistible classic filled with pastry cream, to the unmissable savoury version with escarole, raisins, pine nuts and anchovies.
B Tripe at Antica Tripperia O’Russ via Sant'Eframo Vecchio, 0815991701 – closed sunday
Tripe, served in every which way: with salt and lemon juice, stewed with potatoes, "alla Buonocore" with celery, onions, carrots and tomatoes. And then there is "'o per e' o muss" (pig's trotter and snout). Also for takeout.
F Potato croquettes at Friggitoria Vomero
C Donuts at Chalet Ciro via Caracciolo (di fronte via Orazio) 081669928 - chaletciro.it closed Wednesday; always open during summer Homemade, fried and eaten hot, from morning to night, by generations of Neapolitans: the classic donut, but also cone-shaped and filled with gealto.
D The fiocco di neve at Poppella via Arena della Sanità, 29 081455309 pasticceriapoppella.com open daily Locals flock here for fiocco di neve: a fluffy briosce (super-secret recipe) filled with whipped cream and ricotta, dusted with icing sugar.
E Pasta frittatine by Di Matteo via dei Tribunali, 94 081455262 - pizzeriadimatteo.it closed Sunday Bucatini, pomodoro, beschamel, peas and ragout. And obviously, a secret ingredient. This
– despite being a pizzeria – is the right place for legendary "frittata" made with pasta. Also exported to London..
via D. Cimarosa, 44 0815783130 – closed Sunday Eighty years of fried snacks. But the first prize goes to the house potato croquettes. Don't forego the mixed "cuoppo" paper cone filled with assorted fried delights. La Pizza fritta
G da Antica Pizza Fritta Da Zia Esterina p.zza Trieste e Trento, 53 0814421364 – open daily Gino Sorbillo's hand (and brain and verve) is clearly visible in this place that's one of his spin-offs of the parent company. Esterina worked in Via dei Tribunali, today her recipe is here.
H Sfogliatelle at Attanasio vico Ferrovia, 2 081285675 sfogliatelleattanasio.it closed Monday Baked around the clock and and never enough just the same. An irresistible fragrance at a stone's throw from the train station. The sfogliatelle - riccia or frolla - are eaten here.
7 J Contemporary via A. A. Depretis, 24 081 5800543 j-japaneserestaurant. com closed Sunday; open for dinner 50 euro Trendy and more JAPANESE. After the success in Portici, the chain opened a branch in Naples in 2016, and then one in Sorrento on the rooftop of Hilton Sorrento Palace. Soon it becomes the new gourmet destination for VIPs and celebrity football players. At the entrance is a stylish cocktail bar, segue into two large dining rooms with open kitchen, refined atmosphere, fast service, ample menu. If not selecting sashimi, uramaki and nigiri, there are interesting examples of creative fusion cuisine: the Miura roll, with fried futomaki, shrimp tempura, cheese and strawberries; miso soup, as well as classic salad of seaweed and sesame. Good cocktails, and big name wine labels, sourced in Campania and the rest of Italy.
8 Palazzo Petrucci via Posillipo, 16 0815757538 palazzopetrucci.it closed Monday for lunch and Sunday evening; June to September closed Monday at lunch and Sunday (Jan. 31 8 open for dinner only) – 100 euro Elegance, style and gourmet cuisinet
RESTAURANT. Stretched out on the Posillipo promontory, the space is bright and welcoming, with an open kitchen and a view of the gulf. In the new premises for the last two years (at the original location in the historic center there is a pizzeria now, with a terrace facing the obelisk). Lino Scarallo is still at the helm, offering territory and season, inspiration and innovation, surf and turf: beef tartare with marinated zucchini; cooked milk and crispy sweet garlic; linguine with roasted aubergines, squid and sea lemon; mullet stuffed with provola cheese, curly salad, chives, potato and yogurt sauce. The wine list is well structured; service is professional.
(from the Antica Osteria di Nonna Rosa in Vico Equense , who developed the menu), also offered in a take-out version. Creative and traditional sweets and coffee made with a moka pot close the meal. Precise and warm service.
10 Soulcrumbs via del Chiostro, 11 0810609549 soulcrumbs.it closed Monday, Tuesday night and Sunday – 30 euro Unusual bread BISTROT. This "gastrobakery" was born born from the project of Carlo Di Cristo (biologist and university researcher), Vittorio Valoroso – both producers of high quality bread – and Raffaele Rega, who was born a musician but today is a chef with a Nordic-Mediterranean style background. Think smorrebrod with rye or multigrain bread stuffed with blue fish prosciutto; Vesuvio tomatoes and miso mayonnaise; oak leaf with oyster sauce and rye bread crumble; charred bread with candied apple and vanilla gelato. The cellar features natural wines with spontaneous, biodynamic and organic fermentation. Open in the morning with specialty coffee and open until late in the evening.
9 Sea Front PastaBar del Pastificio Di Martino p.zza Municipio, 1 081 18496287 closed Sunday evening and Monday – 35 euro Pasta mon amour RESTAURANT. Pasta dishes only, made from durum wheat semolina: welcome to the outpost of Pastificio Di Martino, with a shop on the ground floor and the actual dining venue boasting refined and essential design, kitchen within the dining room and a counter in front of the fires. Enjoy the linguine with garlic, oil and anchovy colatura from Cetara; broken bucatini with Ischia-style rabbit ragout; spaghetti with tomato sauce "according to Peppe Guida"
11 La Stanza del Gusto via Santa Maria di Costantinopoli, 100 081 401578
lastanzadelgusto.com closed Sunday; Jan 1-8 open for dinner only – 55 euro Naples and beyond RESTAURANT. In the heart of Naples, the table of Mario Avallone, chef and host, is an unconventional one, made of cross-fused traditions: there's "o roie" (homemade bucatini pasta with tomato sauce, pecorino cheese and creamed cheese); roasted gnocchi with calamari, lemon and ginger; fried cod and papaccelle. The tasting menus are quite convenient. At number 41 there is the Drugstore Napoli, a shop with a selection of food products, but also arts and crafts, including cosmetics.
12 Veritas c.so Vittorio Emanuele, 141 081 660585 veritasrestaurant.it closed Sunday evening and Monday; open for dinner, except on Sundays and holidays (June to Sept. Closed Sunday; open for dinner only) – 65 euro Stat virtus… RESTAURANT. Two brigades present, in the dining room and one in the kitchen, a professional welcome, and on the table creations by Gianluca D'Agostino, tasty but essential, fruits of his Irpinia origins and relying of technique and great ingredients. Examples are the octopus salad with spinach, clams and potato cream;
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the tubettoni pasta with poached octopus and curly endive; braised grouper with tapioca and hazelnuts. Important wine list.
13 Wapo Natural Food p.zza F. Fuga, 9 081 2292261 waponaturalfood.com closed Monday – 50 euro Well-being and flavour RESTAURANT. Wapo meaning steam, "w" for wellness and "natural food" as a subtitle. The restaurant boasts thirteen different types of wood finishings, the kitchen is more or less in view, the position is in one of the upper part of the city's piazzas. The philosophy here is very simple: no gluten, East Asian
influences, steam and, if possible, uber-local ingredients. The bread is baked in a steam oven and comes in many flavours; there is furthermore a curated selection of salts and peppers. What's on the menu? Donna Summer, for example, which is a "45 rpm" made of pink shrimp and seasonal steamed vegetables; or the "tonnonnot": sashimi and Mediterranean tuna tartare with puttanesca soy noodles. Regional wine list.
Saturday (in summer always open for dinner) – 70 euro Japanese-Mediterranean fusion JAPANESE. In one of the most central streets of Vomero, this is a small and elegant restaurant with two dining rooms and an open kitchen. Elegant and playd on dark colors, boasting capable and attentive service. Ingredients are of excellent quality at the base of an intelligent fusion cuisine that's respectful of Japanese tradition, enhancing freshness yet lending the appropriate attention to aesthetics. The menu offer ranges from sashimi, nigiri and rolls to carpaccios (amberjack, tuna belly, mackerel and salmon) that are skilfully marinated; from blue lobster
14 Zenbu via M. M. Stanzione, 2c 081 18900018 zenbu.it closed Sunday; open for dinner only, except Friday and
tempura with Japanese mayonnaise made with with spicy Cognac, toasted pine nuts and Wakame seaweed, to various soups, to oysters with ginger mousse and panure. Classic wine list with Champagnes of great maisons.
15 50 Kalò p.zza Sannazaro, 201b 08119204667 50kalo.it open daily Ciro Salvo is now one of Italy's undisputed stars. There's always a queue here: both for the central location, near the seafront, and for the pies baked in the beautiful ceramic ov-
Antignano at Vomero neighbourhood Market In the hilly part of the city of Naples, in the oldest part of the Vomero neighbourhood, the city's shopping district, is home to Mercatino di Antignano, in the small hamlet from which it gets its name. Few markets like this represent a point of reference for those who intend to do their food shopping according to ancient Neapolitan concept made of knowledge, participation and even conviviality. This may be why chefs and pizza chefs meet here to do their grocery shopping. In this colorful market you enter as customers and come out as protagonists. Some stalls are almost one hundred years old: Carni Troncone Since 1922 this is the only butcher in the market, small but where everything can be found, even sausages more than 3 feet long.
Add’o Tedesco "At the German's", owned by the Moriello family, gets its name from the founder, blond with blue eyes and ...ca 'capa tost' (hard-headed), third generation, fruit, vegetables, vegetables, already trimmed and cleaned, in a blaze of colors and scents.
Pescheria Peppino Historical market stall, whose display invades the street: and for some years now one of the sons converted a part of the activity in administration of the catch with Fish Experience
Il Granaio Bakery with exceptions including rotisserie food, cooked takeout dishes and pastries, bread not to be missed.
I Antignano Market - via Marcello Casale de Bustis, 13-17
ens. A very personal, hydrated, lively dough is at the base of a light, digestible pizza, with a crisp and friable mouthful, with a large diameter and an average thick rim. The wine cellar is equally tantalizing.
16 Acunzo via D. Cimarosa, 60 081 5785362 closed Sunday Historic pizzeria (54 years of activity) today in the hands of the new generation of the family. The young Gabriele has carefully studied flours, leavening processes and ingredients and, apart from the classic pies (Pulcinella, Fusilli, the "qui rido io", for example), he offers creations such as the "SVB", with peasant sausage, seasonal vegetables and burrata; or the Cinque Cereali with buffalo added raw at the end, prosciutto, basil pesto, mesculun salad and pinenutflavoured olive oil.
17 Da Attilio alla Pignasecca via Pignasecca, 17 0815520479 pizzeriadaattilio. com closed Sunday If this city had a heart it would be beating right here, in the Pignasecca––the street of the tripe sellers, the Spanish Quarter and the market, which is among the most beautiful in town. The pizzeria boasts 80 years of honourable service, with Attilio presiding over the oven and his sister Angela at the reception.
The pizza is light, fluffy, well cooked and topped to perfection.
closed Sunday; open for dinner only This is the first real branch of the Enzo Coccia franchise, nearing its tenth anniversary, dedicated to gourmets, with even a leavening room in plain sight. The ingredients used for toppings, such as the selection of beers and wines, are of high standard. Reservations are accepted only from Tuesday to Thursday. At 'O Sfizio d' 'a Notizia (located on Via M. da Caravaggio 49), one of the three company locations, is the stage for the fried pizza and bubbles pairings.
18 Ciro a Santa Brigida via Santa Brigida, 71 0815524072 ciroasantabrigida. it closed Sunday; open daily in December A pioneer of the "Ciro" restaurateur franchise in Naples, the Santa Brigida branch is the initiator of a tradition deeply linked to the city's food scene. The pizza here is thin in the center with a soft and thick rim, toppings and filling are well-dosed and distributed. The dough is digestible, the ingredients are all of good quality.
21 Oliva da Concettina ai Tre Santi via Arena alla Sanità, 7bis 081 290037 pizzeriaoliva.it closed Sunday evening Another champion of the fierce team of "leaveners" from Campania, Ciro Oliva proposes an offer studied in every detail, including drinks (craft beers, plus more than 100 labels of regional, national and Champagne wines). Meals start with potato croquettes, frittatine made with pasta (classic, Genovese, or pasta and beans), "montanarine" fried pizza nites. The menu continues with pizzas that are the result of continuous research, a mix of tradition and reinterpretations: La Terra Mia is with broccoli, potatoes, red wine reduction, lardo and rosemary; The Sole della Sanità is topped with yellow cherry tomatoes, mozzarella and oregano, without
19 Masardona p.zza Vittoria, 5 0812452243 @lamasardona closed Sunday Two completely different addresses for the Piccirillo family (the other, the parent company, is in Via Capaccio). Fried pizza or "battilocchio" (from the smallest size) in fifteen variations, as well as salads, croquettes and arancini. Meals end with the sweet "battilocchio", and for the accompaniment a small but dense wine and beer list.
20 La Notizia via M. da Caravaggio, 94a 08119531937 enzococcia.com
forgetting the Margherita or the Marinara. The "Annarelle", on the other hand, are a kind of delicious sandwich.
22 Sorbillo via dei Tribunali, 32 081 446643 sorbillo.it closed Sunday The unstoppable Gino Sorbillo in his official "homebase" (with branches, in addition to New York and Milan, also in Rome, while the others in the city are Lievito Madre al Mare, on via Partenope 1, and Antica Pizza Fritta Da Zia Esterina, see below). The par excellence representative of Neapolitan pizza does not reserve less attention to the original site, that's always very popular, for lunch and dinner, in a street that offers a glimpse of the most genuine Naples. The pies show the craft learned from the family, used in a personal key, as well as the meticulous selection of ingredients (mostly organic). Examples above of all, are the Margheritta or the unmissable tarallo version.
23 Starita via Materdei, 27 0815441485 pizzeriastarita.it closed Monday The brand is now in many other locations in Italy and abroad, but the Materdei branch, started more than a century ago as a winery, and over time becoming a place for tastings of typical dishes,
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fried foods and pizzeria, is not easily forgettable. From generation to generation–– currently at the fourth–– here the authentic "pizzaiuolo" style continues. And so patrons can appreciate a well-leavened dough, that's digestible and enriched with refined ingredients, thanks to tradition and a creative drive. Please start your dining experience here with fried pizza, and then continue with Margherita, Marinara, sausage and broccoli pies. To drink, wine and beer.
24 Archivio Storico via A. Scarlatti, 30 081 19321922 archiviostorico.com
local of the Acampora brothers immediately gained a place in the sun in the quality mixology scene, and not only in the city. The decor is in retro style, intimate, in the heart of Mergellina, manned by Gianluca, great entertainer, and by the namesake "twins", Giorgio and Ugo, great professionals at the bar counter. Here cocktails are a very serious thing, in a lighthearted atmosphere and with a proposal trat spans classics and experiments on the base of a tested technique and excellent framework. .
closed Monday; open Oct. to May Contemporary and unusual place, with a decor reminiscent of the Bourbon reign. On the place's mixology, between a classic Bloody Mary and signature creations based on mezcal, there is no discussion, but there's also good wine. To keep the palate busy, nice snacks, which may even solve dinner.
25 Twins Cocktail Wine Coffee p.zza Sannazaro, 66 333 3539216 twinscocktail winecoffee.com closed Sunday morning and Monday Open since January 2018, the
Sweet Breaks Caffè Bar
via Bernini, 64 345 5328421 closed Monday morning The city's first "specialty coffee" which for Naples is already a challenge. In the Vomero neighbourhood there's a dream team of professionals offering single origin and coffee blends from all over the world, in different extraction methods (espresso, aeropress, V60 and, the lately added syphon), all very well curated in every phase of the realization.
27 Gran Caffè La Caffettiera p.zza dei Martiri, 25 081 7644243 grancaffe lacaffettiera.com open daily
3 must-visit Christmas Markets L San Gregorio Armeno Undoubtedly the first and the most famous, in the historical center: in the Christmas period, going through the streets can be a challenge, but it's worth it to buy Nativity figurines or laugh at the caricatures of famous people.
M Santa’s village In Quarto, on the outskirts of town, there are rides, gazebos for delicious treats and the possibility to leave letters directly to Santa Claus.
N Pignasecca In the city center, the permanent market at Christmas takes on an unforgettable atmosphere. The tripe stalls, the fishmongers chasing the capitoni eels that escape from the baskets, the coloured vegetables for Christmas soups, the shops that display in their windows all the products with Christmas decorations, the voice of the street vendors who sing Christmas songs even in Neapolitan dialect, a must-visit without a doubt.
This is one of the city's most popular coffee bars, both in the exclusive environmen - with retro charm – and in the proposal. Located in the heart of Chiaia, the place also boasts a fine outdoor seating area, with the view of one of the city's most elegant squares.
28 Etoile via Montagna Spaccata, 449 0815883846 closed Monday afternoon For those who love tradition but are open to novelty too: from six am, the sweet and aromatic coffees are pulled from the best Neapolitan blends, but also creative cappuccinos, croissants, Neapolitan sweets and excellent homemade gelato.
babà, pastiera, roccocò. Other locations in via Chiaia 189, piazza degli Artisti 4 and via Scarlatti 84..
Bilancione via Posillipo, 238b 081 7691923 gelateria bilancione.it open daily; closed Monday between Nov/ March The history of gelato in Naples. The place has existed for forty years, and is one of the best known and most visited in town. The other branch is in the Vomero, on via Solimena 108.
31 Remy Gelo via F. Galiani, 29a 081667304 open daily Almost a century old, the place is located in a small pedestrian area, steps from the seafront. The gelato is delicious, creamy, sugary without being cloying. Try the nobile milk cassata. Their kefir is also excellent.
30 Casa Infante via Toledo, 258 366 1542587 casainfante.it open daily Rigorously hand-crafted goods in what has been a reference point for several years. In addition to coffees, also worthy of note hazelnut and stracciatella gelato flavours, as well as less conventional ones, like annurca apple,
Pastry Shops & Bakeries
32 Vincenzo Bellavia p.zza Muzii, 27 0815584475 pasticceria bellavia.it open daily
"Palermo tradition, Neapolitan creativity". This is the motto of the Bellavia family, since 1925 in charge of one of the best bakeries in town. Cassate and cannoli, as well as sfogliatelle ricce or frolle, and double puff pastry, leavened goods, and even pasticciotti.
33 Di Costanzo p.zza Cavour, 133 081450180 dicostanzo pasticceria.it Do not forego the "black" cassata, with chocolate, or the Fior di sale, with salted dark mousse and salted cocoa shortcrust, but also great classics like delizia al limone. Attentive and kind service.
34 Torteria Varriale via G. Filangieri, 75 081 405221 – closed Monday afternoon
The Gambero Rosso Città del gusto in Naples Città del gusto in Naples has been the most important and prestigious reference for food and wine lovers for the last decade. Not only hosting tastings dedicated to the best food and wine but also large and exclusive events involving great protagonists of the food and wine world selected by Gambero Rosso experts. Unique opportunities to know and get in touch with territories and products reserved for food and drink lovers, but also for professionals and companies, to create opportunities for BTOB events. Città del gusto Naples is not only a city dedicated to events but above all the headquarters of the prestigious Gambero Rosso Academy, where higher education reigns supreme. Professional courses for aspiring pastry chefs, gelato makers and pizza chefs, but also management courses for future dining business people, marketing and wine professionals. Many cooking courses for both sweet and savoury lovers; and for those who appreciate international cuisine Città del gusto Naples a year ago also opened, in partnership with GIAPPO ITALIA the Giappo Academy, Italy's only cooking school dedicated to Japanese cuisine..
O Interporto Campano di Nola "Palazzo dei Servizi" - Nola (NA)
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Salvatore Varriale is a famous name in these parts. In his headquarters, mornings start with soft brioche, veneziane pastries, croissants, muffins, cookies and tea biscuits. There are obviously babà, mini pastries, riccia or frolla sfogliatelle, lobster tails, fruit tarts, éclairs and macarons, as well as gelato, cakes and party canapees
35 Volpe v.le Colli Aminei, 225 081 7419657 pasticceriavolpe. it closed Monday Tasty stop in business for over thirty years by Gennaro Volpe, talented and experienced master baker and author of spectacular twists on classics, like babà and sfogliatelle, alongside cassata, lobster tails and zeppole of San Giuseppe, a revisited Caprese cake made with lemon, and excellent pastiera. The mignon pastries and gelato cakes and semifreddi is also very rich and inviting. All supported by an equally valid coffee bar.
36 Cioccolateria Gay Odin via V. Colonna, 15b 081 418282 gay-odin.it closed Sunday A name that doesn't need an introduction, the city's historic brand present through-
out Italy as well as in the city (with nine shops). Among the best known specialties, now also abroad, the Foresta chocolate bark and the Vesuvio.ro, la Foresta e il Vesuvio.
THE RETURN OF GENOVESE AND PIZZA FRITTA I'm biased - yes, I am! - but were it not really good I wouldn't mention it: I'm talking about my brother's restaurant, La Casa di Ninetta, which for is truly a point of reference for me, as well as being the place of the heart. Furthermore, for me, Naples is the GayOdin chocolate shop, a magical place, just as the permanent attraction "‘a banc’ell’acqua…" kiosks at the water's edge who would mix drinks with ferrous water (which today no longer exists) and lemon together with a bit of bicarbonate: thirst-quenching and one of my fixed stops. And of course there's pizza: my stalwart is the pie baked at Ninetta, which reminds me of the pizzas of my childhood. Nowadays, pizzerias abound, and the pies are very good. Back then, however, the choice was much narrower: we would hit up Trianon (via P. Colletta, 4 - 0815539426), behind Porta Capuana. And I'm not talking about a hundred years ago! There were only two types of pizza then, at Trianon served either on a dish or fried and bought on the street by De 'Figliuole at via Giudecca Vecchia, 39 - 081286721). Today fried pizza can be found everywhere, in every corner of via Toledo, but I always remember that one. Today, in Naples, everyone eats in the street much more than I once did, it's now a characteristic of the city: constant eating in the street. Until 7-8 years ago Neapolitan cuisine was not trendy: there was sushi. Today back in vogue is the pasta Genoese or pasta, potatoes and provola... They are very popular, so you have to choose carefully to find where it's made really well! – Lina Sastri, actress
37 Enoteca Partenopea v.le Augusto, 2 081 5937982 enotecapartenopea. it closed Thursday afternoon and Sunday This is one of Fuorigrotta's best-known stores. Founded as a delicatessen half a century ago, fast becoming a place of wine, today it's a reliable reference point for anyone seeking a good bottle. There is no shortage of select food specialties.
38 Gastronomia Il Tagliere via San Giacomo dei Capri, 29 b 081 5604058 iltagliere prodottitipici.it open daily Meats and cheeses, with a focus on regional specialties (buffalo mozzarella, fiordilatte, Agerola sausage, buffalo soppressata, etc.), for a family-run shop. Another branch on Via Edoardo Nicolardi 48. Online e-commerce.
The story begins at the beginning of the 1900s in the alleys of Naples and Via Caracciolo, where grandfather Leopoldo Infante pushed a cart selling taralli. Then, his kids opened the first branch on Via Foria (still active) and the grandkids, in the decades leading up to now, have started the network of Leopoldo Cafebar in Via Luca Giordano, Via Vittoria Colonna, Via Toledo and in via Croce in Spaccanapoli, the largest and most chic, where the glasspaned production laboratory still operates.
39 Tarallificio Leopoldo via Benedetto Croce, 30 0810108027 leopoldoinfante.it
40 Sagra via Ruoppolo, 29 3496121468 sagraprodotti tipici.it Husband and wife share a love for good and genuine things: Salvatore in constant search of farmers, affineurs, history and traditions of food culture, and Grazia at the sales counter tells their story. When you enter the shop shoppers are amazed by the products and involved by Salvatore and Grazia. FYI it’ll be impossible to leave empty-handed.
NAPLES, MAGIC NATIVITY SCENE CAPITAL
10 specialty musts, streetside or at the table 5 Spaghetti a vongole
1 O pere e o’ musso Pork trotter and boiled snout are sold in the street in a paper cone with only a splash of lemon and salt
2 Taralle cavere Ring-shaped crackers made with lard and pepper, sold hot
The original way to eat pizza, folded in 4 and on the go
4 Frittata di pasta A recycle dish, a frittata made with leftover pasta
via Belvedere, 112 3288562466 campaniamia.it Ciro Arenella, musician and gastronomist, combines in a single passion two ways of experiencing art in a small shop of wonders in the Vomero district where shoppers can buy and taste excellent products. A must is the casatiello prepared by his father using ingredients supplied by Ciro, a true masterpiece. Taste the Stringata by Berardino Lombardo. And then, all the rest of hypergluttonous specialties from Italy and the world. 4
6 Genovese Pasta seasoned with a sauce made of slow-cooked meat in a ton of onions that end up melting
7 Pasta e patate con la provola
3 Pizza a portafoglio
41 Campania Mia
Pasta with clams can be plain or added with pan-seared tomatoes
Traditional way of reusing leftover mismatched pasta (today it's called mixed pasta and is also found in already pre-mixed packages) is this thick soup of pasta and potatoes topped with smoked cheese
4 ideas for a charming overnight stay
8 Polpo alla luciana Octopus dish typical of the fishermen of Santa Lucia (neighborhood close to via Caracciolo, on the seafront)
9 Sautée di cozze e vongole Sautéed mussels and clams is a typical coastal dish
10 Acqua pazza Traditional, simple and tasty way of cooking the freshest fish
stands this brand new hotel connected by funicular to the sea and the city center.
42 Attico Partenopeo
44 Costantinopoli 104
via Santa Brigida, 72 0815424248 atticopartenopeo.it In a historic building in the heart of Naples, near the port, 8 rooms and a terrace overlooking a seventeenth-century dome.
via Santa Maria di Costantinopoli, 104 0815571035 costantinopoli104. it Elegant nineteenth-century villa, an oasis of charm and relaxation in the cultured and lively old town of Naples, at a stone's throw from the Archaeological Museum.
43 Relais Villa San Martino
45 Palazzo Decumani
via Giuseppe Bonito, 76 3313580996 villasan martinonapoli.com On the hilly area of the beautiful Vomero district, near one of the three castles of the city, Sant'Elmo and Certosa di San Martino, located in a liberty villa of the early 20th century
via del Grande Archivio, 8 0814201379 palazzodecumani.com In the center, accessible to cars for guests, this charming residence combines ancient and modern with great taste and room for relaxation. e relax.
Almost all the reports of this "mini-guide" are extrapolated from our guides: Restaurants, Bars, Pastry shops, Gelaterias, Pizzerias. The guides are on sale at newsstands and in bookshops; some are available on the app. Inside you will find more details in addition to those published in these pages ( for example the famous Gambero Rosso restaurants scoring in percentiles). To learn more... buy the guides!!
Thanks to the kind collaboration of Michele Armano Map by Alessandro Naldi
GAMBERO ROSSO www.gamberorosso.it SENIOR EDITOR Lorenzo Ruggeri PHOTO EDITOR Rossella Fantina LAYOUT Maria Victoria Santiago CONTRIBUTORS Stefania Annese, Giuseppe Carrus, Vittorio Castellani, Gianni Fabrizio, Valentina Marino, William Pregentelli, Marco Sabellico, Loredana Sottile PHOTOGRAPHS AND DRAWINGS Finanno Fenno, Alessandro Naldi GR USA CORP PUBLISHER & PRESIDENT Paolo Cuccia Advertising Class PubblicitĂ SpA Milano, Via Marco Burigozzo, 8 - tel. 02 58219522 For commercial enquiries: email@example.com Advertising director Paola Persi email: firstname.lastname@example.org Gambero Rosso and are registered trademarks belonging to Gambero Rosso S.p.A. GAMBERO ROSSO is a Registered Trademark used under license by GR USA CORP Copyright by GAMBERO ROSSO S.P.A. 2018. All rights reserved. Nothing may be reprinted in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher. GR USA CORP is not responsible for loss, damage, or any other injury as to unsolicited manuscripts, unsolicited artwork or any other unsolicited materials. December 2018
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