Thursday 23 January 2020 I have been, as every year, to the "Born autochthonous"of the Association GoWine at the Hotel Michelangelo in Milan. Once again I found it a Interesting little event to discover some goodies and confirm a few good tastings done previously. This year had a special flavour: it was the first wine event where I took Francesco and afterwards we also took the opportunity to go to one of my favourite sushi in Milan: Jin Sushi Experience! This event dedicated to indigenous Italian grape varieties presented more than 80 labels from all over Italy and beyond in its tasting counters, but for this article I decided to choose only five. 😋 😎
... An important selection of wines, expressions of hidden terroirs and new flavours, for a unique journey among the most unusual and rare Italian autochthonous wines.
Autochthonous is born: Act Twelfth - GoWine
Autochthonous one is born 2020 - #1 Ca ed Curen, The misunderstood
A grape variety that I like very, very much is Muscat. It is not at all 'banal' as some may think because, of course, it is the type of vinification that makes the difference. For example, L'incompreso di Ca ed Curen is a dry Muscat and, for the area, is already a rather alternative method. In fact, this small family-run winery is located in Mango, a village in the Langhe in the province of Cuneo over 500 metres above sea level famous for its Moscato, but certainly not vinified as a still, dry white wine! I have known Michele for several years now and, when I can, I follow his evolution. I must say with great pleasure that he has made an incredible growth and made a real leap forward in quality for the company.
Misunderstood is made from white Muscat (85%) and Favourite (15%) grapes. After manual harvesting, the grapes are crushed and gently pressed. Fermentation at a controlled temperature of 14 °C enhances the aromatic profile of this grape variety. It then matures in steel on the noble lees and bâtonnage takes place for a period. This vintage presents an amazing sensory bouquet compared to the previous vintage, with notes of ripe yellow peach, sage and especially ginger, which I also found in the mouth in both taste and spiciness. One goblet leads to another!
Autoctono si nasce 2020 - #2 Rossovermiglio, Sannio Aglianico
I have known this winery for three years thanks to their sparkling wines which, unfortunately, I also saw 'mistreated' during this GoWine event by a guy who didn't want to taste them because Martinotti Method or Charmat Method, call it what you like!
Golly, but is it possible that in 2020 there are still oenophiles with prejudices? So, it's true that there are plenty of sparkling wines made with this inferior method, but it's not as if the classic method is any better! Then I bet you that Prosecco (and not the good one like this of Bellenda) you drink it up anyway! As in every aspect of life, there are wineries that work well and wineries that work badly, stop. Obviously, if a Metodo Charmat stays 30-40 days in an autoclave it is 99% a piece of junk (or almost). But what do you think the Metodo Classico just because it spends at least 9/12 months maturing is better? I would have just a few to let you taste to dispel this myth... and in any case "Frenesia', the Falanghina del Sannio DOC Brut which this year it came out spectacular, is a Metodo Charmat Lungo and is aged a good 12 months on the lees and then rests a further 2 months in the bottle before being put on the market. So?
However, today I want to award the Sannio Aglianico DOC 2014 because it excited me. After manual harvesting in small crates, fermentation takes place in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks and maceration of the skins lasts 15 days. It then matures for 12 months in French oak barriques and 6 months in the bottle. I tasted both the 2017 vintage and the 2014 vintage, which I found to have an extra edge thanks to a precious elegance. Ah, the 2014, what a controversial vintage! Here the aromatic bouquet is broad, with notes of fresh cherry, cinnamon, tobacco leaves, plum and undergrowth. In the mouth, it is very balanced and pleasant.
Autoctono si nasce 2020 - #3 Tre Monti, Thea 2016
In my personal podium of the best Romagna Sangiovese DOC there is definitely also Tre Monti's Thea... which plays a splendid game with Nicolucci's Vigne del Generale and Trerè's Amarcord d'un Ross. Let's make it a 4-step podium, because I also want to throw in Gabriele Succi's Monte Brullo (Costa Archi). It is made from old vines planted in 1968 on a clayey-sandy soil in the name 'Oriolo'. Harvesting, strictly by hand, takes place one of the very first days of September. Maceration lasts 12 days at a controlled temperature of 28-30 °C. Maturation, which lasts 9 months, takes place in new barriques from the prized Allier forest. The 2016 vintage is extremely elegant, with a broad bouquet ranging from sweet liquorice to dog rose, from berries to pink pepper. On the palate it is firm, balanced and consistent, with fine tannin and beautiful length.
Autoctono si nasce 2020 - #4 Cieck, Alladium Passito 2010
All right, I confess: at the Merano Wine Fest 2019, in the company of dear Lia, I had already tasted it in a spectacular vertical tasting... but since Francesco had asked me to end on a sweet note, I couldn't resist 'taking another ride on a merry-go-round that I had enjoyed'! To have had a sliced duck breast like the one we had for dinner last night... perhaps with a fabulous escalope of foie gras to go with it I would have been a very, very happy child. But you can't have everything they say... 😅
Erbaluce is a grape variety that I adore because it has a terrific acidic backbone, a good sugar content, and very characteristic scents that turn, mainly, to aromatic herbs. Erbaluce di Caluso passito is a wonderful wine that I recommend not spoiling by serving it at room temperature (especially in summer) or, in any case, at too high a temperature.
To produce it, the best bunches of erbaluce are selected, the perfectly healthy ones with the thinnest and sun-coloured berries. They are then hung to dry in a well-ventilated room according to local tradition. In March, the withered berries are removed from the bunches, thus doing further selection work. The undamaged berries are gently pressed in an old wooden press, then the must is cold decanted and fermented with selected yeasts. It ages 3 years in small oak barrels, then matures in the bottle for about 6 months. Already the colour fills one with satisfaction, but it is the nose that excites me: an interweaving of dried fruit, candied citrus fruits, butter biscuits and balsamic notes! In the mouth it is very balanced, very long and not too sweet, a characteristic I appreciate very much!
Autoctono si nasce 2020 - #5 Ocone, Bozzovich Bianco
I admit, I admit it: I tasted this wine only because I was struck by the label: it reminded me of a drawing by one of my favourite Art Nouveau artists, Alfons Mucha! The other is Gustav Klimt... whose books I have been collecting since the days of I attended the Liceo Artistico in Ravenna! See how important it is to dress the bottle in an intriguing way? Ocone I had never heard of it, although producing wines in the Sannio region since 1910! The label actually takes up the original poster designed by artist Sergio Bozzovich to advertise wine during the First World War! When I can combine wine, art, architecture and flowers in the same concept, I am a happy child!
This wine is a blend of three local indigenous grape varieties: falanghina, fiano and greco. The grapes are harvested by hand in September, some slightly in advance to favour certain aromatic scents and keep the acidity high. Although I could not do a professional tasting at an event, I can tell you that I found it a fine aperitif wine, very pleasant thanks to a delicate bouquet where scents of flowers and herbs intertwine. In the mouth it is very fresh, savoury and consistent. What can I say? I can't wait to taste the black Bozzovich as well... 😍
The best All Can You Eat sushi in Milan? Have a Jin Sushi Experience!
At this point I must make a dutiful premise: I hate almost all fake-Japanese all-you-can-eat restaurants. I've tried about a dozen of them in my life: fish that tended to be old and 'sterilised' with a good old-fashioned culling, which, however, did not make it lose its stench (often 'covered' by generous amounts of rice vinegar and soy sauce)... unpresentable sushi... hundreds of place settings... questionable hygiene. No gentlemen, I am for quality. And you pay for quality. Even geese destined to become foie gras gorge themselves against their will, how is it possible that we humans can be more of a foie gras than an animal?
Then one evening by chance I try Jin Sushi Experienceat 10 Luca della Robbia Street, dragged after a tasting in the neighbourhood. Just a couple of weeks earlier I had dined at Io, Milan's à la carte sushi restaurant with 1 Michelin star, where my companion spent around €320 for a dinner for two washed down with a good bottle of Champagne (€50). You see my concept of sushi was high... and I was convinced I would be as bad as all the other sushi with the ACYE formula. Well, I changed my mind immediately! At Jin Sushi you find everything from tuna belly (the most prized cut) to scallops to red prawns. In the top photo the nigiri are with tuna belly and salmon with goose liver, in the bottom photo the salmon rolls are with quail egg and truffle. The % of fish on the rice is plentiful and the seaweed is always crispy, a sign that it is not recycled (as we experienced in December at another place).
The starred dinner then was fantastic, but minus the wine, we are talking about 140 € per person to eat a quality that is not 8 times as good as the price... on the contrary! Two dishes were really exceptional: the oyster and the lobster rolls. The rest I have forgotten. Believe me, if you love sushi and you're in Milan, take a trip to Jin Sushi and write to me in a comment how you found it... we will - if in doubt - be back very soon!
Coronavirus: is it safe to eat in Chinese restaurants and all-you-can-eat sushi?
Last Saturday evening, returning to the presentation of the Bigot Index in the Moratti family's splendid Cigognola CastleWe stopped -for a change- to eat at Jin Sushi Experience. Normally it is always full and finding a place is very difficult even between weeks, let alone Saturdays! It has to be said that unlike the terrible Sushi All Can You Eat that you find around, Jin Sushi, making quality, inevitably makes few place settings... at a rough guess there are less than 50 inside! Well I was absolutely amazed not to see it overflowing as usual... Francesco says it's because we arrived early, a little after 19:15... but we left at 20:30 and it wasn't full yet! In my opinion there is the hand of the Coronavirus psychosis... so I want to make a small note on the subject, then if you want in a future article I will elaborate!
Attendances at Chinese restaurants and all-you-can-eat sushi restaurants dropped by 20-50 % within weeks, indeed days. This despite totally unjustified scaremongering: the fresh ingredients are all of Italian origin, at most European.
What does the official website of the Ministry of Health think about this?
Furthermore, as reported on the Ministry of Health's official website, which is updated daily:
Normally, respiratory diseases are not passed on through food, which must, however, be handled in accordance with good hygiene practices and avoiding contact between raw and cooked food.
Can parcels and goods imported from China transmit the infection? The mode of transmission and survival characteristics of the new coronavirus are still being studied, and there is as yet no specific information concerning transmission via imported goods or parcels. However, based on the low survival of other coronaviruses (SARS, MERS) on surfaces, it is estimated that the risk of transmission from goods or packages imported from China (kept for a few days or weeks at room temperature) is very low.
For my part, I was sorry not to have at Jin Sushi two glasses of Incompreso or Bozzovich Bianco to go with the nigiri... the only thing Jin Sushi lacks is a decent wine list! 🍷 👎🏼 Let's just say that a trip to "Autoctono si nasce" would do them a lot of good too! 😁
To go, to leave, to return...
This is the title of a Nek song, my favourite from when I was 12... 2 years before I discovered Franco Battiato and convert to him forever. In the sixth grade I listened to Golden Age Hip Pop and dressed in baggy trousers, chains of all kinds... the picture of the proper young lady with all "A's" on her report card, in short! Even as a child I presented certain contradictions that... er... let's just say I hide better today! 🤣
After being gone in Milan for the wonderful tasting and delicious sushi, here we are on the metro on the red line that let's start to retrieve the car and return home! Ovid said that "wine prepares the hearts and makes them more ready for passion"... isn't it actually the case that "wine makes the beds and makes us more ready for bedtime?" 🤔😂
See you on Thursday 20 February 2020 in Milan for "Barolo, Barbaresco and Roero“? I find it another unmissable event for all lovers of great red wines also organised by GoWine at the Hotel Michelangelo!
PS Have you been to Autoctono si nasce 2020? Which wines impressed you the most? Have you already tasted any of the wines I just mentioned? Tell me in a comment here on the wine blog! 😍