Vino Italiano: The Regional Wines of Italy (Anglais) Broché – 2 août 2005
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Descriptions du produit
Food for the Wine
recipe by Mario Batali
Like their neighbors in Basilicata, Calabrians relied on heat from peperoncini to spice up an otherwise poor cuisine. Calabria's best-known wine, Cirò, is a red that can stand up to a slight chill, and has a savory character that gives it an affinity for dishes with a little bit of heat. Cirò's soft tannins make it an especially good choice for spicy dishes, since tannins in wine tend to amplify hot spices.
Don't be afraid to throw a bottle of Cirò on ice a half-hour or so before serving the dish below: once you try it, the combination may become a regular part of your summer barbecue repetoire.
Peperoncini alla Calabrese
12 red or green Italian frying peppers or cubanelles
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 cloves of garlic, sliced paper-thin
2 cups fresh bread crumbs
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
1/2 pound young provolone cheese, grated
Preheat the oven to 450°F.
Make an incision in each of the peppers from the stem 2 inches down towards the point. Carefully remove the ribs and seeds as best you can and set the peppers aside.
Place 1/4 cup of the olive oil and the garlic in a cool pan and place over medium heat. Cook until the garlic is light golden brown, about 2 minutes. Add the bread crumbs and the parsley and cook until the bread crumbs are toasted a light golden brown, stirring constantly, about 4 minutes. Place the toasted bread crumbs in a bowl to cool for 5 minutes.
Add the chili flakes and the grated cheese to the bread-crumb mixture and stir to mix well. Then, with a teaspoon, carefully stuff each of the peppers through the incision with as much of the cheese-bread crumb mixture as possible. Place the stuffed peppers on a cookie sheet and drizzle with the remaining oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste and place in oven to cook for 20 minutes, or until the skins start to blister and turn dark brown or black in spots. Remove and allow to cool 5 minutes before serving. These are also excellent at room temperature.
Présentation de l'éditeur
Vino Italiano is the only comprehensive and authoritative American guide to the wines of Italy. It surveys the country’s wine-producing regions; identifies key wine styles, producers, and vintages; and offers delicious regional recipes. Extensive reference materials—on Italy’s 300 growing zones, 361 authorized grape varieties, and 200 of the top producers— provide essential information for restaurateurs and wine merchants, as well as for wine enthusiasts.
Beautifully illustrated as well as informative, Vino Italiano is the perfect invitation to the Italian wine experience.
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The book lovingly covers all of the regions of Italy. Each chapter is a self-contained essay on an individual Italian region, with wine as the focal point. But don't think that the wine commentary is the only reason you will enjoy owning this book. It's full of absorbing discourses on Italian life, told through anecdotes that illustrate the character of a region's wines, food, people and history. For example, you'll go on a Tuscan boar hunt, watch a soccer match between Lazio and Roma, learn about the art of making Balsamic vinegar in Emilia-Romagna and discover where the Italians hid Mussolini under house arrest in the mountains of Abruzzo.
Each chapter is organized in the same fashion: an introductory essay that illuminates something telling about the character and history of the region; a simple map locating the DOC areas; descriptions of white, red, sparkling and sweet wines grown, highlighting significant producers; wine production statistics, including recent successful vintages; a few select restaurant recommendations; a guided tasting that compares and contrasts flights of wines within the same DOC's; and a recipe or food indigenous to the province with wine selections to match. Throughout are portraits of key people and properties that set the tone for the Italian wine scene today. A data bank at the end lists all major grape varieties grown in Italy and an index of 700 producers who represent a solid if subjective list of Italy's best.
One of the most interesting aspects of Italian wine today is the emergence of (and backlash against) the so called "international style." In most regions, this means a shift in emphasis from native grapes and vinification techniques towards extracted wines made from classic French varietals (e.g., cabernet, merlot, syrah) and the use of new oak. Vino Italiano tackles the subject head-on in an even-handed and relatively dispassionate manner, including several passages on the style of the prolific modernist consultant Riccardo Cotarella. Is he a force for good or evil? Vino Italiano gives you the background, you get to make the decision. There is also a wonderful little digression on the improvements wrought by adoption of modernist techniques on the wines of Barolo and Barbaresco. As, usual, Vino Italiano makes the subject clear and entertaining.
Negatives? Well, the words are so vivid I would have paid twice as much for the same book with some beautiful color plates that capture the places, people, and food described. Some of the recipes were a little too complex for me, but maybe not for you.
If you love Italian wine, food, and/or Italy itself, this is the kind of book you can grab off a nightstand, open at random, and happily lose yourself in for hours. Put another way, if the authors ever sponsored a wine and food tour of Italy, I'd be first in line. Highly recommended.
This book gives the lover of Italian wine, food, and culture a lot to be excited about. It is divided into chapters that cover an Italian region (or in one case, two minor regions) and each chapter contains more information than some lesser books contain in their entirety. Included are regional recipes, maps and other essential information (e.g. significant producers, grapes grown, etc.) related to its wines, and stunning black-and-white photos that make it tempting to regard this as a coffee-table book. But I think the best part of each chapter is a well-written and entertaining essay that includes anecdotes that frame the character of the people, history, and culture of the region being described.
Of course, the centerpiece of it all is wine. But authors David Lynch and Joseph Bastianich understand that even in Italy, that subject cannot stand alone, and so they bring in discussions of hunting, and football, and fashion, and Mussolini, and cars, and artisan vinegars, oils, and cheeses.
Reading over what I have written here, I feel that I have not done this book justice. There is such a range of well-researched information here presented in such an accessible way that a different reader might pick it up and enjoy the book just as much as I do but for an entirely different set of reasons.
Perhaps the best way to conclude, then, is with my own brief anecdote: Italy is a country very understandably proud of its culture of food and wine, and the domestic Italian best-seller lists always have a few new books on those subjects listed on them. And yet every time - without fail - that I show this book to my Italian friends, their comment is, "Why can't we have a book like this in Italian?"
"Vino Italiano" is an not only an exceptional introduction to the world of Italian wine, it goes further than many (and many excellent) wine books I have read or consulted. This book places the wine in context- beginning each regional chapter with a short vignette which helps us gain a feeling for who might drink these wines, in what kind of setting, and with what kind of food. It goes well beyond the usual formula of explaining laws, grapes, producers, geography, history, and wine making methods, although it describes all of these thoroughly as well (though it is not deeply technical). It is not only a pleasure to read, it seems to me to be the beginning of a long and rewarding path into learning about the world not only of Italian wine, but Italian wine as a part of Italian culture- and especially representing regional culture when paired with regional foods (a couple well-chosen recipes at the end of each chapter). I was originally skeptical about the presentation, including each chapter's introductory vignette, and the recipes at the end of each chapter, but after reading, I have to admit that the construction of the chapters seems to provide a natuaral path to approach learning about each region, and in fact has helped me to remember more of the nuts-and-bolts information about each regional wine. (I would certainly welcome more wine books about other countries written in the same format.) In the end, there is a wealth of information that adds to the overall purpose I had in buying the book- to increase my understanding, knowledge, and ability to gain enjoyment from Italian wine. "Vino Italiano" is also very easy to access as a basic reference on the wines of Italy. It is not, however, a catalog, although there is plenty of material here for a beginner or probably even an intermediate to base his/her shopping on. "Vino Italiano" will provide you with a very pleasurable means to building a foundation upon which to understand, seek out, taste, and ultimately to enjoy the many varied and delicious wines of Italy. Highly recommended.
I found the sections on some of the lesser known regions of Italy fascinating and the Tuscany and Emilia-Romanga sections contain much information that was enlightening as well.
Much more than a coffee table book, this will serve as a fine guide to purchasing Italian wine for a lifetime.