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  • Writer's pictureJennifer McIlvaine

Cantine Aperte!

..or more Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Fendi than you can shake a stick at! No, Cantine Aperte is not a handbag fashion show, but rather a day when wineries from around the world open their doors and hold picnics, concerts and tastings - more like drinkings. Needless to say its a really fun day! We started celebrating Cantine Aperte at our house on Saturday night - with dinner on the patio. We made proscuitto with melone, melanzane with a salsa of spring onion, chopped egg, tomato, caper, and raisins, mint and basil, spinach and walnut salad, panzanella salad, and paccheri with zucchini blossoms and tomato. After dinner, we headed over to the cantina of Arnaldo-Caprai, where a concert of music from the 50's and 60's kicked off the festivities. The next morning, I had to go back to Caprai to work with Salvtore. Every year Caprai holds an event called Mangialonga with 4 posts in various parts of the estate (the 1500 participants end up walking about 3 km) for eating and drinking the wines of Caprai. Il Bacco Felice is always the 1st post with Salvatore's famous Panzanella Salad. So after I picked about 100 bunches of basil, we headed over to Cantina Di Filippo, an organic wine producer in Cannara. They had a great event featuring pork cooked in different ways from around the world: Brasil, paired with Greccheto; Japan paired with Rosato; and Argentina, paired with Sagrantino; followed by roccetti, typical Umbrian biscotti paired with Vernaccia. All of the dishes were really great, and actually tasted like their country of origin...but of course, we are in Italy, so instead of serving the dishes with rice - especially the Brazillian and Japanese, they had bread - so close! Surprisingly, the Japanese pork was the biggest hit - people were going back for seconds. Italians tend to be very wary of all Asian cuisines, and except for major cities like Milan or Rome, foods other than the traditional regional cuisine are few and far between. And as much as everyone liked the Japanese pork, no one could touch the teaspoon of wasabi that accompanied it - they thought I was crazy for eating it. Oh well, baby steps... Two wineries is enough? No way, after the late summer rain shower passed (its may, but its been hot like august here), we took a coffee, and then went to Cantina Scacciadiavoli. There we drank a little Montefalco Rosso and drank a lot of water from their spring. One last stop at Cantina Benincasa for one last sip of Sagrantino Passito. They get my award for best t-shirt logo.

Originally posted May 2007

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