Tag Archives: wine🍷

Let’s do Mother’s Day again!

Mother's Day 2018
6 Original Recipe, 6 Tenders, 8 Hot Wings – long live the Colonel!

Of all the Mother’s Days in years past, none included fast food and certainly none in Italy meant a bucket from KFC. I actually don’t mind cooking (something special of course) but as we were celebrating USA and Italy, I knew the day would be much more relaxing if I didn’t need to lift a finger in the kitchen.

Tajima beef
The total weight amounted to just over 2 ounces at 199.00€/kilo

Who am I kidding?!! I went back on my ‘no cooking’ stand as soon as I spotted imported beef…from Japan. If someone had told me 5 years ago that wagyu would find its way here to major supermarkets in Italy and not just trendy restaurants, I would’ve thought them overly optimistic. I made sure to scrutinize every detail on the packaging. Born, fattened, and slaughtered in Japan. Butchered in Italy.

Tajima beef from Japan
I’ve never seen marbling like this, up close and personal

The 3 tiny pieces (2 x 4 inches, more or less) required only a quick flip on a very hot griddle and they practically melted in the mouth. Such a special treat to have another country represented at the table and a better choice than what is proffered as sushi at a grocery store. Italy towered over the Colonel by way of Tuscan Belsedere – nice ass – a name that probably only Italians can get away with, no?

Belsedere
Belsedere – Sangiovese, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon

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Barolo tasting as easy as 1, 2, 3…and 4

If you’ve chanced upon this page looking for expert advice on Barolo the wine, I’m sorry, but expert I am not. What I can tell you, however, is how easy, fun, and educational an afternoon of wine-tasting can be if you visit the Enoteca Regionale in Barolo. With 32 labels to choose from, I dare you to walk out of there without feeling several sips wiser on tasting Barolo!

Barolo 101: the soil

Made from 100% Nebbiolo grapes, one Barolo can differ from another depending on the type of soil where the grapes were grown. Vines grown in sandy terrain yield wines that are fruity and less tannic, while vines grown in clay are more tannic. The enoteca takes the guess-work out of where to begin by grouping various Barolo in 3 soil types: sand, sand and clay, clay.


Categories 1 (sand) and 2 (sand and clay), originally uploaded by Rubber Slippers In Italy

Each category has 8 labels to select from. This gives visitors an ample opportunity to note the nuances between various winemakers in any given soil type. Not fond of harsh tannins? Stick with category 1. Want to try them all? Start tasting in numerical order from less tannic to more tannic. A 4th and final category is dedicated entirely to bottles of aged Barolo. We tried only one (year 1984) and it tasted almost like a dessert wine.

Barolo 101: pick a wine, any wine

You’ll need to leave an identity document with the staff to receive a wine card and wine glasses. The automated system is super easy: insert card in single slot above category, place glass under dispenser, push screen to dispense, remove card and carry on.

Pours are about 1/8th of a cup. Prices are listed for each label and range from 2€ to 4€ (the older Barolo in category 4). When you’re done, return card to the staff and they’ll total your pours. Great way for a do-it-yourself introduction to Barolo, and you can purchase bottles to bring home. Nice plus: the enoteca is dog-friendly too.

Mister B was so terrified but he found a hiding spot from which to check things out.

Nice, France unpacked

“MISTER, I know you can smell these freshly baked baguettes but these are not for you!”

I bet it wasn’t easy having a warm bag of fragrant baguettes sitting in the back with them. Poor guy, just look at his face!


Note the Mackie’s Mature Cheddar & Onion and Haggis & Cracked Black Pepper!

If I were to come up with a Top 10 list of goodies to bring back from France, potato chips would be at #1, cheese #2, wine #3, chocolate, cookies, baking ingredients, seasonal produce, soap bars, kitchenware (♥ Emile Henry) and baguettes for the rest and in no particular order. If anyone here in Italy knows of where to find Mackie’s line of products, ice cream included, please share in the comments!

L-R: McVitie’s Hob’Nobs, 1 kilo-size icing sugar (Italy sells tiny bags), bottle of vanilla extract (difficult to find anything larger than teeny vials over here), wine, Scott’s porage oats.
Front: pâtisson/scallop squash, vanilla beans, thai oiseau peppers, turkish figs, McVitie’s Sablés Anglais, potimarron/red kuri squash. All purchased at Auchan – La Trinite – in Nice.