We can do all sorts of things with wine. Of course, most of us prefer to drink it. There are few things better in life than enjoying a nice meal with a bottle of wine to go along with it. If you can complement your wine with the food, then you’re in for an even better experience.
Many of us also use a smattering of wine for cooking. In fact, there are many recipes, some of which we’ve spoken about on Xtrawine, for which wine is an important component of the dish. A little dash of Italian wine can add that extra bit of flavour, and give the food a touch of pizazz where other types of seasoning might fail.
So far, so normal, right? There are pretty standard uses for Italian wine. But what if we told you that some people use wine to make something a little more unusual?
Vinegar and wine don’t make for traditional bed mates. Yes, you may use vinegar to season a dish, but we bet that most of you have never looked at it as something that you can make from that bottle of red th Continue Reading→
For every Italian wine story that we have recounted that started due to the desire of one individual to do something new, or to return a region to its past glory, there are many more where family plays an integral role to a company’s success.
It never ceases to amaze us how the “gene” for Italian wine production, if you can call it that, seems to get passed through the generations. It’s also remarkable just how many children of great Italian winemakers want to follow on in their parents’ footsteps, or help them to achieve the dreams that they never quite reached on their own.
Such is the case with the company that we’ll be shining a spotlight on today. While La Spinetta has only existed since the 1970s, it has a history with wine that stretches back much further. Let’s take a look at what makes this particular company so special, before we examine a wine that we think will knock your socks off.
As we mentioned, many people believe that the La Spine Continue Reading→
October is here, which means it’s finally time to start celebrating the harvest and all of the wonderful things that it brings to the Italy. Of course, most people think of wine, olive oils, and perhaps even mushrooms, when they think of the foods that Italy has such an enormous reputation for. Pumpkins often don’t get mentioned at all.
However, you may be surprised to learn that the pumpkin is actually an Italian favourite. Knowing that, we’re sure you won’t be surprised to learn that there are plenty of recipes for simple pumpkin dishes that you can make your own to celebrate this wonderful time of the year.
And so, we’re going to continue our recent trend for combining the best of the Italian culinary arts with some wonderful wines with another recipe article. We’re going to take a look at a Zucca alla scapece, which is a marinated pumpkin dish that finds its origins in Rome. As usual, we’ll follow the format of telling you about the ingredients, followed by the Continue Reading→
Italy has entered a very special time of year. The harvest has come and gone, which means now is the time to enjoy the fruits of the labours of those who have spent so long tending their land.
Of course, the main point of focus for us is the Italian wine industry. However, there are many other festivals going on in Italy during this time of year that we’re sure you will enjoy. From chestnuts to olive oil, and mushrooms to wine, there is so much to celebrate.
At times, it can feel like every single region of Italy has its own festivals to celebrate this special time of year. We’re going to take a look at some of the most interesting festivals that the country has to offer. If you happen to be in Italy at all during the month of October, we recommend taking some time to visit at least one of the following.
Festa dei Marroni – Combai
There are few regions in Italy that are as famous for their chestnuts as Combai. As you can expect, October is a special time of year for t Continue Reading→
Sicily has had something of a tumultuous time of it when it comes to its reputation for quality Italian wines. Though always respected, the region has had its ups and downs, with some going so far as to decry the quality of some of the wines that were emerging from the region a number of years ago.
However, Sicily’s reputation for quality is being restored thanks to a new generation of wine producers who have placed their focus back into ensuring the region’s grapes and wine producing techniques receive the recognition that they deserve.
This winemakers are unlocking the true potential of the Sicilian land, which allows them to deliver quality wines that can stand proudly against any others that Italy has to offer. It has been a long time coming, but Sicily is now restored to its rightful place in the Italian wine industry.
And it’s all thanks to producers like the one that we are going to shine a spotlight on today in our weekly review article.
Feudi D Continue Reading→
Athletes treat their bodies like their own personal temples. They count every calorie and are exceptionally careful about what they eat and drink. After all, one wrong move could affect their performance during big competitions, and there are few things more heartbreaking for an athlete than to find that what they eat has prevented them from winning.
That brings us to the question of alcohol. Can athletes drink alcohol and still expect to perform at the highest possible level?
On one hand, the research suggests that they can’t. A Sports Medicine study, which was published in 2005, found that the rate of injuries among athletes who drank regularly more than doubled when compared to those who didn’t drink. The same study also found that those who had hangovers found that their athletic performance fell by over 11%.
It makes for bad reading for any athlete, but it also misses out one crucial factor. The study looked at those who perhaps drink to excess. After all, moderate al Continue Reading→
Over the last few weeks, your friends at Xtrawine have been helping you to cook pasta in the Italian style. If you take a moment to peruse our blog, you’ll see a bunch of great recipes for famous Italian pasta dishes, alongside some of our Italian wine recommendations that we think go perfectly with the food.
We hope you’ve enjoyed the recipes so far, and have crafted a few great meals for you and your family. We’re going to keep the trend going this month by taking a look at another great Italian favourite. Only this week, we’re steering away from pasta and heading into antipasto territory.
Bruschetta has been a favourite throughout Italy for many years, and has developed a bit of a reputation for quality elsewhere as well. Most people outside of Italy tend to enjoy Bruschetta with tomatoes, so let’s take a look at a great bruschetta recipe that makes use of both tomatoes and basil.
Of course, you can’t get to cooking if you don’t have any ing Continue Reading→
As we all know, the Italian wine industry has a huge amount of prestige behind it. Much of this comes from the many winemakers who have been plying their trade in the country for centuries. These people created the foundations on which a global entity was built, and now the Italian wine industry is the envy of the entire world. Even its greatest rival – France – is finding it difficult to compete with the Italians when it comes to wine production and, as importantly, consumption.
These favourable industry conditions have also led to a lot of new companies taking their place in the annals of Italian wine history. Alongside the famous names that we all know and love, there are a lot of newcomers who are looking to establish themselves. Some do this through innovation. They add interesting twists onto old classics, or use production methods that differ from those traditionally used in the creation of certain wines.
Others have their eye towards regeneration of a region. As spect Continue Reading→
It wouldn’t be quite accurate to say that there is a fake wine epidemic in Italy. However, it is certainly a problem, and one that has persisted for a number of years. Counterfeiters are always looking for ways to make more money, and they can do that by creating copies of successful wines and selling them onto people and vendors who are none the wiser.
Of course, this presents a huge problem to the Italian wine industry. For one, it takes money out of the pockets of the men and women who have worked so hard to create the original, and best, versions of these wines in the first place. People who buy a counterfeit wine based on the name attached to it also end up being duped. They get wines of inferior quality, despite paying as much as they would have paid for the real deal.
There’s also the issue of ingredients. Real Italian wines come with certification – IGT, DOC, or DOCG – that denote their quality and adherence to certain protocols. A counterfeit wine may carry a for Continue Reading→
As we all know by now, Italy is the home of truly great pasta dishes. If you ever have a chance to visit the country, you’ll even see that practically every region has its own spin on pasta, and a local dish that demonstrates just why Italy is considered one of the most important culinary cities in the world.
If you’re a regular ready of the Xtrawine blog, you’ll have seen that we’ve offered up a few recipes for pasta dishes in the past. Hopefully, some of you have given them a try and enjoyed your meal with a nice glass of Italian wine.
Today, we’re going to look at another great Italia pasta favourite. You may have heard of tagliatelle. While perhaps not the most popular of pastas, at least in international territories, it has an indelible link to the Italian wine industry.
Primarily found in the Emilia-Romagna and Marche regions, it looks almost like strips of pasta. Think of an elongated stick of gum and you have the right idea.
A rough pasta, it’s great whe Continue Reading→