Orange is the New Black

Castello di Stefanago
Stüvenagh Orangiosauro 2019
“Mi stai sulle bucce!”
Provincia di Pavia IGP
Fortunago, Lombardy, Italy
80% Chardonnay, 20% Cortese
Organic, hand harvested, ambient yeasts and unfiltered
Winemakers: Antonio and Giacomo Baruffaldi

Jail jumpsuit orange. Raising the glass and there’s orange, tangerine, and oooh barnyard. Waiting for the yard to bail out (not as much on day two).Ok it’s starting to fade and orange blossoms are added, but the hint of dark is still there (on day one), followed by salt and smoke. Sipping orange and orange blossoms, lemon, salt, and a lick of granite. There’s still some earthy darkness, but on day two it’s pretty much gone. Replaced with super light honey. Let it breathe more and it is refreshing, tangy and definitely fun. A fashionable glass of sunshine that would really go well with anything with cloves

Pairs with Cheez-It’s: more light and smooth. I kind of prefer it before the pairing.

This isn’t just an orange wine, it’s a wine that beer lovers would seriously enjoy. Kind of makes sense because on their website it says they partner with Stüvenagh brewery (and their logo/name is on this wine label). Also learning that Stüvenagh comes from the Celtic word for Stefanago. Another fun fact it the brewery is just as organic as the winery. If you want to get a good look as to how magical their lands and castle are, please check out this video. A little more than a minute of your time will take you on a vacation that we are all longing.

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Magical Mixture

Amaro Alpino
Lombardy Region
Bormio, Italy
Invented by pharmacist Francesco Peloni
Rested in Slavonian oak barrels
Acquired at D.O.C. Wine Bar after an amazing dinner outside

Served neat. Dark amber more reddish brown color. Take a deep breath in and it’s all sorts of herbs, piney, juniper berries, orange peel, cloves, and the whole forest floor with a touch of briney. Going in for the sip and it’s sweet and bitter at same time. Also tastes just like all of the above listed for scents. It’s better than a ricola and much more healthy. This will cure what ails ya!

Thank you Francesco Peloni for being so into herbs and creating this robust concoction back in 1875. From what I’m reading some of the herbs, plants and berries still used in this magical mixture are gathered on Monte Bràulio in Stelvio National Park, and are dried in the crisp mountain air and then ground before being added to the alcohol. Post mixture they hang out in stainless steel tanks for a few weeks and near the end some mountain water is added. I can’t imagine how strong that must smell. After extraction here’s where the Slavonian oak barrels come in. 15 months later, you have the perfect “secret” recipe and masterpiece.

Oh and obviously, no “Pairs with Cheez-It’s” since I was dining out, but I can pretty much guarantee it would be a big fat NO!


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Tangled Tingle of Fun

Tenuta Belvedere
WAI 2018
Sparkling Rosé
Oltrepò Pavese in Provincia di Pavia Lombardy Italy
Pinot Nero 100%
Organic, biodynamic, ancestral method
Winemakers Federica and Gianluca Cabrini

Pretty, pretty orange pink glass named after a respectful and auspicious Thai greeting. Sniff and there’s a salty breeze, strawberries, orange blossoms, and raspberries. The first taste is a tangled tingle of young strawberries, raspberries and an orange peel dash, a little hay, some mineral/granite and seltzer. Nothing sugary about this glass. It’s clean, elegant, and fresh fun summer love.

Pairs with Cheez-It’s: raspberry and strawberry presents but still not sugary. Everything is fresh

Tenuta Belvedere’s wine history dates back to the 19th century, and now it is helmed by the latest generation. Federica Sarchi joined her life with Gianluca Cabrini, he felt the call of the vines, and now they hold the reigns of the winery. From all I find, they are firm believers in the old natural ways and are organic and biodynamic. I really wish I could learn more about them from their website but it is currently under construction, so I will rely on Facebook and Instagram for a little more insight. What I’m finding is a beautiful vineyard with bird nests and ladybugs, a happy family, darn good people, hard work, and a lot of other wines I’m dying to try.

Oltrepò Pavese is the largest wine producing area of Lombardy and they seem to be really into Pinot Nero. This comune is a foodie’s dream. Not only are there amazing wines of diverse native grapes, but there’s also their much loved and revered salame di Varzi. Oh what I wouldn’t do for a slice right now. Another find from the area is their truffles! They range from white to black and are oh so wonderful. Take a tour with a dog and maybe you’ll win the lottery. You can also rent a Vespa (and score a picnic basket), cruise along city streets or roll through the countryside in style.

Venturing outside of Oltrepò, yet not really that far is the Castello di Montesegale (still in Pavia). The site may have had a foothold of a tower as far back as the 11th century, but the Castello was officially built in the 14th century and over the years destroyed and rebuilt to it’s regal medieval status. Now the ancient architecture houses a museum of contemporary art that was launched back in 1975, and has exhibited the likes of Ernesto Treccani (who founded Corrente) and Julian Schnabel.

On to one more thing outside of Oltrepò, but still in Pavia. This I truly stumbled upon and had no idea this was possible, but you can test drive a Ferrari on a real race track for an hour or two. You can let that baby just go and go and go. Does it make me a little scared to think of trying it, YES! Would I do it if I could…hell YES!

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