A Wine Moment | Valentina Cirasola | Author and Designer

Cacc’e Mmitte sounds as an unpronounceable strange name for a wine and perhaps it is, but the flavor is unbeatable. It’s not a new discovered wine for me since I come from the same region of the wine, I am surprised to know that a few wine representatives now carry the Cacc’e Mmitte in their selection of wines for restaurants and pubs.
In the Southern Italian dialect form, this name refers to the easy drinkability of the wine after it has been freshly pressed and the easiness to refilled the glass with a wine that doesn’t need much aging.
In reality making this wine is an ancient procedure. In the remote times of south Italy, farmers rented all the wine making equipment for only one day to anyone who wanted to make wines, but the pressing process had to finish in one day to leave the premises free for the next person. At the end of the procedure the wine must was taken out of the wine pressing tanks “Cacce” and transported away to a new cellar premise, then a new tenant came in for one day and used the same tanks “Mitte” to crush their grape and produce a wine style of their liking.

The Cacc’e Mmitte is a D.O.C. wine originated in Lucera, in the Foggia district of Puglia region, where the Gargano shows off the beauty of the Adriatic cost.
In 1995 Italian laws set the D.O.C. label to protect names, origins, production methods and characteristics of Italian food and wine, therefore it stands for Denominazione di Origine Controllata (Denomination of Controlled Origin).

I love its ruby color and its intense aroma, its alcohol content is about 11.5%. What do we pair this wine with?

A few days ago, I tried it with Valdeón Due Leche Blue cheese from the Spanish region of León, wrapped in sycamore maple or chestnut leaves. It’s made with cow and goat cheese, hence the name due leche and I must say the odor is pungent, but an incredible bombardment of flavors happens when brought in the mouth. Needless to say we consumed a large piece of the Valdeón in a short hour and only two people.

Now take out your tulip shaped calyx, pour yourself Cacc’e Mitte wine, enjoy it with the Spanish Valdeón, add a few nuts and forget the world. Ciao,
Valentina

http://www.valentinadesigns.com

Copyright © 2013 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

Val in ParadiseValentina Cirasola has been in business as an interior designer since 1990 improving people’s life by changing their spaces. Most often she designs kitchens and wine grottos; outdoor kitchens and outdoor rooms; great rooms and entertainment rooms. Her deep interest in food led her as an autodidact in the studies of food in history, natural remedies, nutrition and well-being. Finally she wrote two books on Italian regional cuisine and one book on color theory. Get your copy of Valentina’s books on
Amazon: http://goo.gl/xUZfk0
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w

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Roll In The Cheese | Valentina Cirasola | Author and Designer

Hello everyone,
I am back after one month of vacation and preparation of the launch for my book #3 , just published last weekend.

(Find cheese utensils at: MyHabit.com)
(Find cheese markers at http://www.napastyle.com/home.jsp)

It is so vivid in my mind how many times I have eaten cheeses at the end of each lunch and dinner in this last trip back home to Europe.
Europeans eat cheese with ease because they walk a lot, thus burn those calorie day by day. Cheese is not seen as something to entertain with, but something to enjoy everyday with a glass of wine.
In Europe we serve it without any pretense, we take cheese out of the refrigerator while we are preparing dinner and we leave it on the counter at room temperature to bring out the full bloom of each taste. The same is valid when serving cheeses at parties.

(Find cheese pots and boards at: MyHabit.com)
Many serving utensils are part of the ritual of putting cheese on the table, from knives, cleavers, marker signs to fondue pots, raclette grill and cheese cart.
There is nothing sophisticated about serving plain cheese. It comes from the milk of an animal and often is kept in rustic stone cellars, or left to ferment for months.
I can’t wait to have a bunch of boisterous friends sitting around a fondue pot tasting the latest cheese I brought from Europe. I have a Canestrato Pugliese, aged in caves for a year, with a hard rind and dark yellow interior color.  The mature version is savory and aromatic. Best paired with a red Primitivo from Manduria, a wine with a lot of round body.

The vessels needed to serve any cheese are slate stones, wooden boards, marble slabs, or clay platters, the rougher the better. It is good to mark each cheese with the proper marker fork to distinguish goat cheese from cow or sheep milk products and in the absence of these small markers, a hand-written tag placed near each specialty will suffice. The basic cutlery is simple: a cleaver and a semi-heart shaped knife will cut hard and semi-hard cheeses; a thin blade knife will cut a semi-soft cheeses and a round knife will be the spreader for soft cheeses; a shaver will help shaving the cheese, although this utensil is more used at the table to shave a hard cheese directly over the plate. If you want to get fancy and make a good presentation add grape scissors to all cheese cutleries.
One of my favorite cutters is the Swiss scraper “Girolle” used with “Tête de Moine” or Monk’s Head, a cheese from switzerland. The Girolle will shave the “Tête de Moine” cheese in small florettes, or ruffles. It is an expensive cheese, but it is worth it.

(Photo above found on: http://cookingguide101.blogspot.com/2010/12/tete-de-moine-cheese-real-gourmet-swiss.html)

I have seen cheese paired with jelly, grapes, edible flowers or other extravagant food. My favorite accompaniments are raw celery or fennel slivers, olives, nuts, or chicory heads to cut the sharp smell and balance the flavors. Don’t be afraid of serving smelly cheeses. The fermented cheeses at the end of a dinner are good to help the digestion. If you add truffle sliced paper-thin over any soft cheese, mamma mia, what a kick in flavor and in the presentation!

Stores are filling up with all kinds of food and table accessories. This is the right time to get some of these fun utensils and make your food look really good for the holidays.
Once they are in your kitchen repertoire, you will find that it is easier to treat yourself everyday, rather than waiting for the holiday to roll around to use them again.

Cheeses are a good source of calcium and protein. Don’t be afraid of having small bites everyday. Visit my Pinterest board for food inspiration – http://www.pinterest.com/vcvalentina/food-with-character
Ciao,
Valentina
http://www.valentinadesigns.com

Copyright © 2012 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved


Valentina Cirasola has been a lifetime designer in fashion and interiors. Her extensive knowledge of colors and materials led her in both directions successfully. Besides her regular work, Valentina is now teaching etiquette, table manners, table setting and life-style. Her deep interest in food led her as an autodidact in the studies of food in history, natural remedies, nutrition and well-being, then finally she wrote two books on Italian regional cuisine and one book on the subject of colors. Find Valentina’s three books on
Amazon: http://goo.gl/xUZfk0
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w

 

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