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Christmas Italian wines and food

December 10, 2008 Tags:
Christmas is around the corner and for us Italians, it is a very important day and time of the year. Not only because of its religious meaning, but also because of what will happen on the day or better, the days. Our Christmas celebrations start on the 24th and finish on the 26th of December and during these3 days, with plenty of food and wine and we will rarely leave the table, it will be a three days eating marathon. The menu will be different from region to region, from city to city and even from village to village, but a few ingredients will be uniting Italy, the panettone or pandoro, the spumante and the torrone, they will be on every Italian table.

The wines, together with the food, will vary depending on where we are and they will tend to be local wines. Italian wines are made to match the food and each menu will feature local food matched by local wines. The wines I will be drinking with my family, in Italy, will be the Prosecco to accompany my mum's appetisers, The Pomedes with the lasagne and the Barolo with the lamb. To finish, plenty of Spumante with the Panettone and the other local biscuits my mum will make. I guess my dinner will be somewhat of different, because I will match Abruzzean dishes with foreigner wines

A couple of days ago I received a copy of the magazine Taste Italia. If you remember I have already written about it because they were only featuring wines from supermarkets and I had written an email to the editor asking why. The response I received said that the reason behind their choices was to review easy to access wines. With the internet and us shopping online, everything has become accessible now, so the response did not stand out. I also want to mention that the editor promised she was going to publish my letter and this has never been done.

Following my letter, I noticed that suddenly, their wine writer left, or at least his name is not mentioned anymore. If before Brian St Pierre had his name and photograph on the wine page, now there is no mention of who review the wines. So, apparently my letter, something did. However, no change of approach has been taken with regard to the wines with the majority of wines still being sourced from supermarkets with the odd good one sourced elsewhere but without any logic. On the last issue they put on the same page a £3.62 Soave Classico, I invite everyone to buy and drink it, and a £13.75 Tocai Friulano which is good wine but does not offer good value for money. At least, when Brian St Pierre was running the wine section, the wines were from supermarkets, the usual Italian wines, but at least were good ones.

On the following page, this month they have reviewed panettone. Again, all panettones are the ones available from supermarkets and the only one really made in Italy is obviously the editor choice, what a difficult choice. However, if you type panettone on google you will get plenty of handmade panettones imported by companies like that are miles better than the ones reviewed. I am Italian and I think that the people behind the magazine running the wine and food section, have no idea of what Italy really offer and should go the extra mile to find something unknown, not the obvious. We have a fabulous wine and food tradition, with thousand of small producers, and the best Taste Italia can do is to go shopping in supermarkets. Boycott Taste Italia magazine if you are a lover of Italian food and wine.
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