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We encourage everyone to make his or her own Pandoro at home: it is much easier than it seems; although somewhat laborious, you achieve a great sense of satisfaction in the end.  The smell of freshly baked Pandoro is unforgettable.  And the heavenly texture…later, you will see how hard it is to resist eating all of the warm Pandoro. The recipe that I am going to present is from the famous sisters, Margherita and Valeria Simili, found in the book, “Bread and Sweet Stuff.” Before I begin, it should be

Paolo and Giampiero Bea: the Sagrantino natural wines Browsing around the Montefalco wine bars, a few miles from where I was born, Paolo Bea’s bottles always called my attention, with those special labels, similar to a vigneron’s notebook. They look hand written.  They detail many things, from how the vintage was, to how the wine was aged, and even list some of the wine’s characteristics.  Just as every wine has its own unique personality, each label of each wine and vintage bottle is also unique. When I finally met Giampiero Bea I understood that these

When I return to my homeland around Christmas time, I cannot keep myself from visiting Giampiero Bea, who always honors us with spectacular tastings. At this time of year, the Sagrantino bunches destined for Passito are resting on mats waiting to reach the perfect pulp concentration.  The grape is drying slowly and naturally in a room, where thanks to manual regulation of the window openings, temperature and humidity are controlled in order to prevent mold. In addition to Passito Sagrantino, a white version of Passito traditionally existed as well, produced from the

All traditional Tuscan meals end with the customary dipping of the Cantuccini in a small glass of Vinsanto, the sweet wine of this region.  Cantuccini is a very crunchy type of biscuit with almonds that melts in your mouth after being soaked in wine.  The biscuits can be eaten alone or accompanied with a cup of coffee, but without a doubt, these biscuits are addicting and, as with sunflower seeds, you can’t stop eating them one after the other. The name given to these types of almond biscuits (common

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