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On a research project in May of 2010, I had a number of gracious invitations to dine "at home" with a number of vintners.
Here are some photos of Italian home cooking.

================================================

CASA MANCINI
Pesaro, Italy
with Luigi & Shayle Mancini



They make some terrific wines...I went to explore Pinot Noir, but came away with a new appreciation for Albanella (in the glass above).  It was a simple, but satisfying white wine and perfect partnered with the salumi.

Luigi took care of masterfully cooking a bistecca.


The pan was dusted with salt...the steak set on top and heat applied...


Shayle had a sink full of "weeds," a delightful mix of greens which she sauteed.

And we ran into some old codger who was foraging for wild asparagus on the Mancini estate and Luigi persuaded the old boy to part with some.

Pencil thin...delicious!


And the Mancini Impero, a Pinot Noir vinified as a white wine, was stellar.
I'm a big fan, as well, of their Pinot Noir...and they make a curious red called "Blu," which is a Marche Rosso made of Ancellotta...deep and dark in color and teeming with black fruits.


Team Mancini

================================================

 

FRANCESCO & CHIARA MARIANI

"RAINA"
in Umbria

They invited me to stick around for dinner and I made a little stop in the nearby town of Montefalco to pick up a few things...


The Prosicutto is from Umbria and the salame has some funghi character.

I had purchased a few bottles of wine from other producers to taste with the Marianis.




Pasta Puttanesca...and it was a good as it looks!

While I was in town, I found a nice little fruit torta...


I did like the Raina Sagrantino best, followed by the Milziade Antano 2004...

==================================================

 

GIULIA MASI GRADUATES!

CUCINA DI ANNA MASI

Finally...6 years later, Giulia graduated from the University.
A bunch of friends and family gathered for a little celebratory dinner at the Masi house in Tavarnelle.


Sister Angela Masi brings out some Tuscan Prosciutto.


Fiori.

We toasted Giulia with a lovely sparkler from Berlucchi.


Some antipasti...

The 2008 Franz Haas Manna was nice, but not quite as lively as earlier vintages.


Pasta Number 1.


Pasta Number 2.



More pasta anyone?

 

Then we had a plate of peppers...

Anna had prepared a fantastic roast...


And since one roast is not sufficient, we have a second!


Ferrari's Demi-Sec is not seen in the US, so it was a pleasure to taste it in such a good setting as with dessert.

===============================================

I was visiting some estates in the Chianti Classico zone and happened to arrive just in time for a home-cooked lunch at the winery of RENZO MARINAI.
Marinai's brother and a bunch of old friends were all there for lunch, so they set a place at the table for me, too!

The pasta is made at a nearby factory from grain grown on the Marinai estate.

A simple sauce of pumpkin and tomatoes...

Then they brought out some stewed or braised chicken.


Some roast beef to go with the delicious Chianti.




Tiramisu with a shot of Marinai's Vin Santo...

Tante grazie, Renzo e Team Marinai!

==================================================

Our friend Pierre, from Santa Clara, was in the Veneto and drove to Chianti to meet up for dinner.

The Masi kitchen was in action and we had a memorable dinner, thanks to Chef Anna and company!


I brought a bottle of Ca del Bosco Brut to dinner...


Some nibbles to start...funghi, prosciutto, olives, carciofini...

We then were treated to a serving of The World's Best Seafood Risotto.

Anna used 7 kinds of fish/sea creatures in preparing this...
I can tell you, any restaurant in the world would have been pleased to serve such a risotto.

Chef Anna had roasted some fish, too.

And there were even more sea creatures...

For dessert...fruit cooked in the oven...


Pierre and I brought some frozen treats from a nearby store.

Tante grazie a la famiglia Masi per l'ospitalita!!!

 

====================================================


GIAMPAOLO & FRANCESCA COOK A SATURDAY NIGHT DINNER

Orrechiette pasta with Broccoli.

And then a pork roast.

Tiramisu for dessert.

 

===================================

 

CUCINA DI MILANO DA CARLO & BEATRICE


Chef Carlo Perini was wielding a knife...


Beatrice took care of slicing the salame...

We enjoyed a bottle of a Trentino spumante from Madonna della Vittorie.


Andrea


Chef Carlo Perini.


Gloria.


Red hair...red wine...

Carlo's Zucchini Risotto.


Braised Beef.


Masseto 1997...very fine.  Deep, nicely developed, yet still with a youthful quality.  The fruit was still vibrant and quite good.


A Gloria's Dessert.

Andrea found the wine to be a bit floral.

The dessert wine was a Malvasia from La Stoppa.

A piacevole passito from Piacentini.



============================================


CRAZY MILANESE DINNER


Marta and Giovanna


Ubaldo and Barbara.


The forever young Beatrice with Ubaldo and Carlo.


Marta and Ubaldo.


Antonio, Barbara, Ubaldo, Giovanna, Tibor, Sylvia, Gerald, Beatrice & Carlo.



Tibor has written a book...

...It's about Italian fashion and famous designers.

If you want to bone up on Italian fashion and can read Hungarian, this is your book.


A nearby shop makes fresh pasta daily...


As we finished the bubbly, the kitchen crew assembled and watched as the pasta was cooking...







Truffle butter was the sauce for these delectable little pillows of perfection.


Syliva & Tibor.



Giovanna & Antonio.

After a bottle of Lagrein Riserva from the Abbazia di Novacella, we had a lovely Pinot Nero from Franz Haas.



I don't think I heard the word "no" when it came time to seconds for the pasta!


Sylvia brought out a platter of Barbara's wonderful Carne en Croute.

And we opened a magnum of a wonderful Pinot Noir from the Mancini estate in Pesaro.

Focara 2007.  Medium garnet in color and bright cherry fruit...young but very drinkable...


She looks even younger at the main course than she did during the pasta!


An expert in olive oil, this gal also knows a bit about wine.


Il Perini Piange.


Ubaldo.


Time for dessert!


Time for dessert and Carlo is wondering how Beatrice keeps getting younger!

Barbara treated us to a Vin de Constance, a South African dessert wine...

Tante grazie to Barbara for hosting and to The Crazy Milanese!

=============================================

 

LUNCH AT THE DEMARCHI ESTATE IN LESSONA


Antipasti...


Working on the risotto con salsiccia.


Capers and a sort of tapenade...


Luca DeMarchi opened an excellent bottle of the 2006 Sperino "Uvaggio."
Mostly Nebbiolo, this gives good Barbaresco and Barolo a run for the money.


And the risotto was soon ready...

Many thanks to the DeMarchi's for inviting me to stick around for a Lessona lunch!

===========================================

A COUPLE OF CENAS DALLA CASA CORDERO
in Piemonte...


Prosciutto e Melone with Vietti's dynamite 2009 Arneis.


Pasta alla Manuela


Luciana carves up some meat...



Lorenzo Cordero is recovering from a car accident...


Some sort of tiramisu dessert...


Mario Cordero.


THE NEXT EVENING...


A lovely Vietti Arneis and a grand Chassagne from Guy Amiot with a little salad.


Risotto...

Followed by some oven-roasted fish...

Chef Luciana Vietti-Currado

Doctor Manuela was successful in surgery.

Someone brought out a bottle of Nebbiolo from Australia.

Afterwards, we had a little "toast" to our dear, recently "departed" friend, Alfredo.

Having had a couple of Montelena Experiences, we used to bring a bottle of Chateau Montelena to drink with Alfredo every once-in-a-while.
This older bottle of Cabernet was deftly decanted by Mario and enjoyed by one and all.

We miss Alfredo...he was a dear friend and left a great legacy in Piemonte.
He touched thousands of people and will be missed by many.



Afterwards, Mario brought out a nice bottle of old, well-aged Piemontese brandy.


=================================================


CASA DI LUCA & ELENA
A Sunday Night Dinner for American Friends


Luca had some nice bottles of Rose Champagne for us...



We then sat down at the table...


Carne Cruda and Salsiccia di Bra.

The 1999 Vietti Barbera "Vigna Vecchia" was stellar.

I chuckled as I thought of the postings of a bunch of bloggers who had been invited to taste Piemontese Barbera wines earlier this year.
Most had suddenly developed an allergy to Barbera matured in oak.
You're certainly entitled to your own opinion and own tastes, no matter how particular or peculiar.  But this wine, matured in small oak, was fantastically fine (and not showing tons of wood, either).

 

The wines for the evening...

1999 Vietti Barbera Vigna Vecchia "Scarrone"
1997 Vietti Barolo "Brunate"
2004 Vietti Barolo "Villero" Riserva Speciale
1988 Vietti Barolo "Rocche"
and a magnum of 1989 Vietti Barolo "Rocche"



Insalata Russia served by the lovely Francesca.


La Chef de Cucina...Francesca



Meanwhile, Francesca was serving up a dynamite bowl of "Plin."





Ronnie pours Vietti 1989 Barolo "Rocche" from a magnum...this was exceptionally fine.


The room fell rather quiet and that's saying something, what with Floribeth and Eric amongst the assembled group.


Italian "Soul Food."

And for dessert, a Piemontese "Bunet."


Some berries and profiteroles, too.

Many thanks to the Currado's and Team Vietti for including me in the festivities!!!

===========================================

 

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