Monday, September 17, 2007

Oh Modena

I may never stop recovering from our most recent onslaught. We tackled Bologna, Rome, Orvieto, Siena, Florence, Pisa and more into eleven days. It was amazing and I adore the rush of trying to cram as much history as possible into one day. It also makes it possible to appreciate how these overwhelmingly famous cities contrast their quieter counterparts. The difference alone makes Italy's slower moments all the sweeter.

I recall one such moment with particular fondness. We visited the organic vineyard Corte d'Aibo in Modena, a town known for its exceptional food production outside of Bologna. We were given a tour and an opportunity to taste the young wine in various stages. An early sip is a tight concentrated juice, the next try is sharp and overly sweet. Slightly older brews indicated the hopeful presence of alcohol.

The tour ended in a legitimate wine tasting with delicious food. We tried their Pignoletto, a fun frizzante white that was refreshing on the sunny day. Our host was generous enough to open a Cabernet on request, as well as offer me my choice of Grappas (a liquor made from leftover grape skins).

The spread was a thing to behold; fresh parmesan, pecorino and mozzarella, flavorful tomato, assorted salamis, bread and some sort of tough rindy food that resembled skin. I beheld all of it in my mouth, although that rindy stuff was a challenge. They followed it up with panna cotta and a tart both featuring a blackberry compote that they make at the vineyard. Punctuated with coffee of course.

We had a languid dinner and then broke off to take touristy photos of the perfect scenery and play with the farm kitten. It was perfect. Our hosts were warm and funny and kind. I had to have a bottle of their wine just to take some of their magic home with me. I mean it.

No comments: