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Wednesday, November 27, 2019

A Taste of Travaglini Gattinara

The Travaglini family is obsessed with Nebbiolo and I don’t blame them. Nebbiolo is a grape native to the Piedmont region of Italy and it’s the grape in wines from Barolo and Barbaresco. But the Travalglini family is from Gattinara, a region of Piedmont that received a DOCG certification for wine in 1967 and wines produced there must be at least 90% Nebbiolo (a tiny amount of Bonarda and Vespolina are also allowed). In Gattinara the grape expresses itself in a way that is extraordinary—it has incredible minerality and earthiness, but also freshness, with spicy, fruity, floral and herbal notes, terrific acidity and elegant silky tannins. Imagine a wine with raspberries, cherries, violets, roses, and even a bit of licorice and sometimes tobacco. I’d say it’s a great wine for Thanksgiving because it pairs with just about everything. Drink it with pasta, with cheese, with game, with turkey, with beef, even with fish.  Nebbiolo is named for nebbia , the Italian word for fog. But it’...
Friday, November 01, 2019

The Art of Escapism Cooking Cookbook Review

Lady and Pups is a blog by Mandy Lee an expat living in Hong Kong. But perhaps living is not the best word to describe it. She is suffering in Hong Kong, and before that, she suffered in Beijing. Cooking is her refuge and her blog is a chronicle of how she throws herself into cooking as an escape, hence the cookbook title, The Art of Escapism Cooking . In many ways, her blog and cookbook, are like any others — lots of great photography, impressive recipes and personal stories. Except for one thing, Mandy Lee is unapologetically negative and dark. She does not try and sell some happy vision — real or imagined. She wallows. The politics and pollution are major downers in China, I totally get that. Though I could be wrong, I am fairly certain she does not work outside the home. Her recipes are not the “quick and easy” type, but rather the type that relies on ingredients many Americans are unlikely to have on hand and take a degree of preparation and time that is at times daunting. Tha...