Sunday, August 21, 2011


Cinqueterre five lands make up this DOC located on hillside terraces practically falling into the Mediterranean Sea.  You can see all the strength the vines use up to stay put on these steep slopes, they are holing on for dear life.
The locals here are very proud of their history and take their fishing for anchovy, making the most flavorful and freshest pesto, and educating you on their wonderful wines very seriously.  The way that the wines work here is they are all co-op.  There are so many families that own little plots of land sometimes down to the row, and when it is harvest time they all pitch in to pick and transport the grapes.  And a good things too.  
In the old days the farmers used to have the vines literally lay on the ground to protect it's self from the harsh climate of strong winds from the sea and intense sun.  Then lifted off the ground for circulation and ripening purposes.
Today the farmers use a very low to the ground Pergola training system.

Harvest here typically happens late September until the beginning of October.  The grapes would be transported in baskets carried on the head or shoulders.
They would have to be carried down steep harsh trails that sometimes would consist of over 300 steep, dangerous steps to a boat that would take them to the cantina.
Today the farmers use Cogtrains to harvest and move the grapes safely to the cantina.

Sciacchetrà one of this regions most prized wine was created in 1973.  Sciacchetrà is a wine found in every cafe, restaurant, and bar in Cinqueterre.  It is a wine made of 60% Bosco and 40% Vermintino, Alborola.  The process for this wine is the grapes are harvested after normal harvest and like many Italian sweet wines are left to dry on racks in the shade.  The pressing happens before November 1st it is not a long drying time for this wine.

Some ancient grape varieties that once flourished in Cinqueterre but today are no longer.
Nero Amerikàns

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Let's have a DRINK

When you are out in Boston Massachusetts you must go to Drink if you are feeling thirsty and need a libation.  This is where I get my libation on!

Once you walk into the door you are met by a split staircase up to go to Sportello and down to go to Drink.  If you are not there by the time they open at 4 you probably will not get a seat right away.  This place is so loved by the locals that it is packed the moment they unlock the door.  And for a good reason too.

The bartenders know their stuff and are not stuffy in fact they are a bit dorky but in a way you can tell they are passionate about cocktails.

Here is what we got the last time I went.

Sweet Vermouth
lemon peel
It all started out as a cocktail called "Milano-Torino" because the Campari was made in Milan and the Vermouth Torino.  It wasn't until a surge of Americans came through the Campari bar where they served this cocktail and loved they loved it so much that the Campari Cafe changed the name to Americano in ode to all those thirsty Americans.

Equal parts
Sweet Vermouth
orange peel
Got it's name from Count Negroni who wanted a something a bit different and asked his bartender to strengthen his favorite drink the Americano so the bartender put in some gin and garnished with and orange peel instead of a lemon to signify it was a different drink.

LIttle Giuseppe
Sweet Vermouth or Punt e Mes
Lemon Juice
Orange Bitters
(note: the salt needs to go on the ice cube that is above the surface to slowly make it's                               way into the drink)

The story behind this is just an old fashioned game of telephone