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Blog posts of '2014' 'September'

Luigi tells us about the history of Brunello

Welcome to my wine shop! Today I'd like to tell you a little about the history of the wine, which became one of the most famous in the world and is symbolic of Italian red wine: Brunello di Montalcino red wine.

In a country such as Italy, which has been producing wine for the last 3500 years, Brunello di Montalcino could be considered a recent invention. This is not a wine of tradition, rather the fine  result of the studies of a single grape grower, Ferruccuio Biondi-Santi. In around 1870, Feruccio Biondi-Santi began planting vineyards as a clone of Sangiovese, known as Brunello. The young oenologist noted a variation of Sangiovese, and called it “Grosso” to distinguish it from Chianti, which produced smaller grapes, which were also more resistant to the attacks of phylloxera, which devastated thereafter the vineyards of the area. At last, Biondi-Santi completely substituted  the vineyard with this variation of grape and made a very satisfying wine.

Biondi-Santi didn't stop there, going against local tradition; in general lightly sparkling red wines were of preference at that time, but the oenologist went ahead and let the wine age for 4 years in oak barrels and then bottled it. The first official year of Brunello was 1888 and the contents are pure testimony of the incredible potential that the ageing process of these vineyards has. Over the years of ageing the wine, it became silky in taste, a more harmonious with delicate and intense flavours.

Drinking a glass of Brunello is a unique experience , in my shop an exceptional Brunello can be found, my advice is to pair it with the right foods, obviously Italian. A good bottle of Brunello di Montalcino is an excellent wine for red meat and game, especially with mushrooms or truffles, and also goes well with cheeses (mature Tomo, Tuscan Pecorino, spicy Gorgonzola, Reggiano Parmesan). With dishes from international cuisine, the wine goes well with meat or well structured sauces. A suggestion: before serving Brunello di Montalcino, you should follow these precious rules: a few hours before enjoying, uncork the bottle and pour the wine into a carafe for the wine to exhibit the wonderful and unique bouquet of Brunello di Montalcino.

Luigi tells us about Sicilian wine

I am here to take you on a tour through Italy's flavours. Today we are talking about the land of the sun, sea and beauty: Sicily. Being a land of contrast, we are not surprised that this ancient island has one of the most important industries of wine, nor that the region, which is always distincted for its production of Marsala and Moscato, is now moving towards light and fruity white wines.

Sicily is the biggest island in the Mediterranean and has more vineyards than any other Italian region. However, aiming towards quality rather than quantity, the production of wine is slightly inferior to that of Veneto.

The best part of DOC is represented by Marsala, a wine that was created two centuries ago by English traders. Marsala is still timeless in Sicily, even though time has trivialised its use in the kitchen. Recently connoisseurs have regained interest, calling the wine one of the best in Europe for its extremely complexed aromas.

In Sicily there aren't many wines with the DOC status because the most part have the Sicilian IGT classification, even if a DOC Status for the whole of Sicily is being considered. There are another three productions in Sicily that have the DOC classification: d'Alcamo dry white wine, Moscato di Pantelleria and Malvasia di Lipari.

The Sicilian wineries have already been working to give privalage to quality instead of quantity over the past few years. The vinification techniques are being refined all the time and shall be until the wines reach a very high quality. This land of sun and aroma is able to produce very different vineyards to make structured or fruity red wines, fresh or light white wines or even dessert wines. It's hard to find a mediocre Sicilian wine, they are all at such a high level of quality.

Without a doubt the Nero d'Avola red wine is one of the best known in Italy and fantastic both for evenings with company and to drink as part of a lovely outdoor dinner. What to cook? Nero d'Avola goes well with large roast dinners of red meat, wild and braised meat or a mature tasty cheese.

Sicily has taken on the role of a sort of guide in the wine production of the modern south, the producers are always more and more determined to value the enormous potential that the Greeks and Romans have.

Welcome to Italia

Welcome to the passioneitaliana.com webshop where we sell good food according to our own philosophy. The site was born when three friends were chatting over their plates of pasta and toasting with a good Italian wine. The grand beauty that is Italy revolves around quality: the quality of its art, the quality of its history, the quality of its tradition and quality of food. Food, for the Italians, is a way to simply be together, a way to celebrate, food is culture.

With the passioneitaliana.com webshop we wanted to introduce tradition to technology, we made the 2.0 generation available for typical Italian products all excellently and exclusively made in Italy. We hope to share the pleasure of conversing around the table full of typical Italian products with you. We are convinced that it will be really easy to bring a bit of Italy to your home. With only a few clicks, products can be with you in a few hours: a pasta of high quality packaged in bronze, the right tomato for preparing a tasty sauce, extra virgin olive oil, buffalo mozzarella, Italian wine... and much, much more.

On the website you can find recipes to guide you in the preparation of lunches and dinners for your guests, on our blog you will find endless advice to buy particular products and to choose rightly. We aim to bring our Italian Passion- Passione Italiana directly to your door!

White, red and… ? Italiano!

Do you remember the scene with the meatballs in “Bianco, rosso e Verdone” where Mimmo tells Sister Lella off for eating one of the meatballs in secret from his plate at the autogrill? The legendary Sister Lella didn't love “hospital food”, neither in reality nor in fiction. In the film, due to her cholesterol levels, she had to eat light and fat free foods. For this reason she steals a tasty meatball with ragu sauce from her grandson's plate. How wrong! A meatball with a grand glass of red wine and a slice of bread to mop up the sauce... it is a really tasty culinary moment, typical of Italy.

Red wine that is produced in Italy from different grape vines is tasted in each special glass of wine and should never be missing from the table, especially those with meat based dishes, like meatballs, roast beef, braised meats, all dishes that require a red of a certain body. In Luigi's Passione Italiana wine shop you have a way to find the Italian red wine that will surprise you with both its taste and aroma.

If you prefer, on the other hand, a lighter or fresher wine, you should choose a summery white wine that can well accompany a lunch or a fish based dinner. To stay with the themes of Italian cinema and white wine, we can remember the film “Mid-August lunch”. Here we have, again, a grandson and his grandmother, emblems of a typical Italian family, that are drinking during a lunch in the mid-August holiday together with some funny old ladies in the summer heat of Rome.

So, white or red or..? As long as it's Italian.

Italian flavours and aromas in a few clicks

Do you fancy eating Italian food but you don't want to spend time looking for a shop, which will search for the kind of product you want? Passione Italiana is the shop that does it all for you, letting you find typical Italian products accurately selected with excellence through a few clicks. Imagine going to a market and finding a trustworthy delicatessen, a wine seller and an oil and vinegar shop, of pasta, sweets and liquors, all of this without queueing and easily from your home, from your tablet or smartphone. All of this and more on Passione Italiana, the perfect marriage between tradition and technology.

You will have a vast range of Italian products at your disposal and they will arrive directly to your home in just a few days from your ordering.

Many delicacies are awaiting you to let you experience the aroma of Italy and to taste its flavours. A good glass of wine, a plate of pasta, a slice of ham or cheese, a little piece of Parmesan or simply a drizzle of olive oil on a slice of fresh bread. Italian slow food comes under those good habits, which have been forgotten with the frenetic lives we lead. Preparing a Mediterranean dish is simple and fast but also tasty and healthy. Passione Italiana is proof that eating well with a speedy preparation can happen.

Fast food, made in Italy

The good food culture has always been a must for Italians. From north to south, choosing quality products from the starter to wine is the Italian prerogative. Over the past few years, the motto “you are what you eat” has been a guideline for people all over the world, not only in Italy. The logic of fast food is opposed and slow food is favourable. It is important to realise that eating well doesn't mean not being able to eat something that is prepared quickly, rather choosing the right products and assembling them i the proper way.

A very famous Italian chef says that even a simple sandwich can be a high quality product and can easily fall into the famous Mediterranean diet  that is good for both our physique and our taste buds. If we choose good oven baked bread, or, why not, even one homemade by us, along with a quality ham that we know the origin of: the best being a culatello or a Parma ham, we can add a slice or two of Reggiano Parmesan cheese and a couple of salad leaves seasoned with extra virgin olive oil or balsamic vinegar from Modena. A quality sandwich, fast to make and fast to eat... fastfood- Italian style.

Suggestion: When you are on your lunch break, remember to take some time for yourselves, accompany this delicious sandwich with a glass of good Italian red wine and then go back to your working day.

Elixir for longevity: red wine

You never age at the table! The proverbs are the wisdom of the people and, in this case, medical studies confirm it. A good diet keep us young! Many foods such as kiwis, green tea and chocolate contain antioxidants, which act against ageing. Red wine is also part of this category. Recently, two Italian researchers, Andrea Bellavia and Nicola Orsini, who work at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, published a scientific study with which they demonstrated that, thanks to the equivalent of a glass of red wine a day, people live longer.

The phenol contained in the skin of the grape is responsible for its anti-ageing quality and red wine is made with must. This is different to that of white wine that is obtained without the contact of grape skin. So, Fromm the skin of the grape, the elixir for a longer life is made.

We need not fear ageing any longer! A good glass of Italian red wine will give us a longer life.

If we add the benefits on the cardiovascular system due to its antioxidant properties, we can confirm that at the Italian table, you never age!

Spring picnic

Finally the springtime is showing itself and so we may begin to go for outdoor strolls with the family and for bike rides through the fields. Being together in this lovely weather is a great opportunity to regroup, to relax our minds and have fun. In Italy a spring picnic is tradition and on Easter Monday this is absolutely indispensable. However, we all know that no one wants to give up our typical Easter Monday Lunch so we have to organise ourselves well! The passioneitaliana.com online shops give everyone the possibility to buy high quality products at convenient prices and above all without moving from your house. Have you already thought of what to cook? Then there's no time to lose, get to our online market and begin filling up your basket.

First of all, I'd like to let you know that our food is certified for its quality, all products are Italian from small businesses, which are close by and work on the products on their own land. You can prepare a yummy omelette with truffle cream, a salad with balsamic vinegar from Modena, a pasta salad with buffalo mozzarella and pachino tomatoes. To have an original picnic, you can even choose a local loaf of bread and buy all of your products from the Lazio or the Campania region and let your friends taste an unusual Easter lunch. Don't forget to take a good bottle of Italian wine with you to toast this special day!

A special gift

For Italians, choosing a good wine is never easy. Special attention must be paid when purchasing wine because it is associated with special occasions: organising a dinner for friends, a romantic dinner, even a treat to take to friends' and relatives' houses. Buying an Italian wine can not be rushed, it is a choice that is to be pondered upon and all the factors need to be taken into account: who the wine is for, what food will accompany it, if there will be women present, where the guests come from and many other shades of decision making technique.

We can give you advice on how to make a grand impression and to enjoy a night in company with a lovely glass of Italian wine. First of all it helps if you know, even more-or-less, the dishes that are to be served, we can  give you a few suggestions: if the menu consists of fish, obviously we advise an Italian white wine, like Passerina. This is a wine, which goes well with all sea food dishes and can be enjoyed right from the starter. If, on the other hand, the meal is set to be land based and you would like to exalt all of the flavours, a red wine would be ideal, preferably the Amarone di Valpolicella; it is an important wine, full bodied and a definite must-taste, one of those wines that just takes you. We suggest that you pour out this wine about an hour before it is due to be enjoyed, however. If you have decided to wow your guests with a homemade pie or pastry dish and you want to give a gourmet feel to the meal, a dry white wine such as Vermaccia di Oristano di Riserva is by far what you need to make the most of the evening.

The Italian spin on wine, cuisine, a perfectly laid table and the people who you most enjoy spending your time with will not only better your day... but your life!

Suggestions by Aldo: pizza bread with mortadella

Welcome, everyone! Today I'm here to tell you about one of my biggest passions, Italian food... I know, my body doesn't keep that secret very well, but I'm here to tell you that having a plate of Italian food in front of you is a real pleasure both for one's eyes and for the spirit. The delicatessen is my kingdom and that it becomes for everyone who visits to try my delicacies. I can't stress enough the importance of my products all being local to the area, all cold-cuts are packaged by certified companies; bringing Italy to the table is my joyous mission.

My customers can take an Italian holiday through the flavours of our regions without moving from their own homes. Anyone can take advantage of my sound advice whenever needed by visiting passioneitaliana.com and opening the chat. Know that the true Italian flavours can be found even in the most simple things, such as a panino, and so today I would like to suggest a typical Italian snack from Rome: pizza bread with Mortadella di Bologna. It's taste is unique and inimitable if, and only if, the ingredients are of top quality. Let me paint you a picture: lunch break, nice stroll, bench, sun and tranquillity, “a quarter of pizza with Mortadella di Bologna” (as the Romans say) and a glass of light and fruity Italian white wine... a day like this is like no other. And you have Aldo's word.