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Luigi presents Montepulciano d'Abruzzo

The region of Abruzzo is formed of two thirds mountains and a third hills, the natural land is a strong advantage for the vineyards. The winemakers prefer Montepulciano and Trebbiano as they are very productive vines. Despite the apparent simplicity of the region's DOC certified wines, a few details of the Abruzzan production deserves to be clarified. The local grape, Montepulciano, (not to be mistaken for the Tuscan city, which makes Vino Nobile) has a very convincing character and had many international admirers.

In some parts of Abruzzo, particularly in the north of the province of Teramo, Montepulciano wine becomes of irresistible character, full and robust, with a certain potential of ageing. Montepulciano, however, is a very flexible wine and is also well adapted as a young wine. The vines cultivated at high altitude tend to be lighter and they are intense pink in colour.

Trebbiano, on the other hand, is not as easy to find. Few wineries still work with the true Trebbiano d'Abruzzo, which becomes more complex after four-five years of ageing.

Montepulciano is one of the simple wines, which doesn't pretend to be what it isn't. I, however, always suggest  enthusiastically because it is one of those wines, which never lets you down and always adds pleasure to the meal.

Aldo takes us on a journey through the flavours of Italy.

I have always maintained that those who really want to know Italy must absolutely know its flavours. Every Italian region has a characteristic product that denotes that land and that tells part of its history. So welcome to my shop, I am Aldo and with me you may discover regional and unusual flavours. Many of you will think, "this is just a deli that wants to tell stories!" Well, follow me in this blog and together we will discover the corners of Italy that will leave you open-mouthed... through food we will take a special trip!

If I say, Emilia Romagna, do you not immediately associate it with Parma ham or Parmigiano Reggiano? Emiliana Tortellini come to mind immediately, Bolognese sauce... and if I say Tuscany? Well then we think of the Fiorentina steak and finocchiona, a very particular salami with an unusual taste. If we want to take a trip to the beauty that is the Lazio region, we can not forget spaghetti alla Amatriciana and its bacon or extra virgin olive oil of Sabina.

Every corner of our country will surprise you with special tastes and flavours, and each time that you return from your trip to Italy, you will have the desire to renew this experience through food and maybe share it with your friends... and then? What better opportunity to visit my online delicatessen at passioneitaliana.com, order high quality Italian specialties, have them at home in just two days and then use any in the kitchen. A plate of pasta, a good Italian wine, a plate of Italian meats along with the right company, and you have spent a wonderful evening still traveling through beautiful Italy!

Fabio's shop, perfect for finding that after dinner delight.

Welcome to my shop! I really like to be here for my customers who come back to tell me of their evenings. It's usually like this... you usually come into my shop because you're planning a dinner with friends, a special evening which takes planning, to get organized for a family dinner or to find a precious gift. The thing that fills me with joy is that every time a customer tells me what they are looking for, it is a happy moment. We chat about the menu, the dessert and what is being celebrated to make sure that my advice goes hand in hand with the evening plans. I finally fully understand my customers' tastes, from what people have already prepared from fresh or have chosen, and then we have fun together in making different combinations of ideas.

A drink together is always a happy moment of the day, the important thing is knowing how to choose a quality and fair product. In my store all products are of quality, I personally select the wineries, always choosing the best production.
Since we are in Autumn, I would say that if you are thinking of organising a dinner with friends or even a romantic evening, then I recommend you choose a good grappa to end the meal, grappas in my shop are all of excellent quality and it is up to you to choose the one that is right for you and your guests. I'll give you a tip: always serve grappa with a quality dark chocolate or a chocolate cake to bring out the flavour of the grappa.

Mario's Italian gold: Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Coming into my shop seems just like entering a boutique but then again I've always said that my shop is a real gem. I present only champion Italian products to my customers, things that are only ours and that make Italian excellence what it is. Sorry, I was forgetting! I'm Mario and in my shop you will find golden Italian products. I have that one ingredient that no dish could be without, and with which even a slice of bread becomes an absolute delicacy... you have probably figured out that I'm speaking of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

Browse my shop and you will find a variety of prestigious extra virgin olive oils, all the bottles are produced from certified olive farms and are of the highest quality. For us in Italy, extra virgin olive oil is an integral part of our daily lives and not only is a key ingredient of the Mediterranean diet, the  absolute best dietary ailment.

The extra virgin olive oil that you find in my shop can be found flavored with various spices, I recommend using this type of oil on meat or in soups: a little flavoured olive oil gives a special taste to dishes. You can also find plain extra virgin olive oil and with this you can really cook anything, I'll let you in on a secret ... even a simple bruschetta or pasta with olive oil and parmesan exalts the true flavor of my extra virgin olive oil.

Luigi presents the treasure of the Castelli Romani

Here we are again, learning once again about the world of Italian wines, a boundless variation of excellence. Today I have decided to talk to you about the wines of Lazio, one of the regions where calibre wines are not usually found, but lovable wines most certainly are. Delicate and pleasant aromas give wines from Lazio something for everyone. 

The area of Rome is particularly attached to Lazio's white wines. When we think of Lazio, we  imagine wines of the Castelli Romani, Marino and Frascati. The simple and genuine flavour of these wines have made their mark on many an evening in the Fraschette's little folk taverns, which make for an evening to be enjoyed amongst friends, while eating and drinking in style.

In antiquity, even Orazio cites the wines of the Castelli, highlighting the whites but also talking about Lazio's reds wines , which are still of interest to connoisseurs today.

The hills of Lazio benefits from the sun and its volcanic land, which seem destined for the production of white wine. Lazio's white wines  from Frascati and Marino are semi-sweet, pleasant, light and great for an everyday choice.

Today, the utilisation of new vinification methods at low temperatures have transformed the personality of the Castelli Romani wines from simply lovable to dry and inclined to ageing, giving new horizons to the business. Lazio's white wines, with few exceptions, are pleasantly lively and fruity. They are wines that are easily adapted to a wide range of dishes. The red wines from Lazio are extremely popular and always present at a Roman dinner table.

Elena's shop and her sweets

Welcome, everyone, to my shop. I am Elena and I take care of the corner of delights, the sweetness and beauty... this is exactly how my customers see my shop, not simply a place to buy items but above all, my shop represents a moment to lose yourself in the aromas and flavours of another time.

Having a sweet is without a doubt the best part of the day, whether that be in the morning at breakfast, in the afternoon with tea or after dinner. The moment when sweets are brought to the table represents a time to relax, a break, a moment just for us and for the people that we hold dearest.

I am pleased to say that my shop only sells products of high quality and that all that can be bought is of excellent homemade quality from experts in the industry. Today, I would like to introduce you to typical Tuscan sweets, which are very well known and used as a dessert, Cantucci aka Biscuits from Prato. Best accompanied by a good Vin Santo del Chianti Classico.

After serving a tasty dinner, my advice is to end the evening by putting an elegant confection of Mattei Cantucci in the centre of the table with a bottle of Vin Santo Chianti Classico and... dipping the Cantucci in the wine before tasting them is the best way to enjoy. Another word of advice: Mattei Cantucci are also a great gift for relatives and friends. With the elegant blue confection, there is no need to even wrap them!

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.