Do you ever dream of creating that perfect meal?
What does it look like to you?
Who would you invite?
What would you serve?
For me, this is a hard picture to paint…there are so many variables.
A great belly warming meal of succulent osso bucco that has been simmering for hours so it is as tender as butter served over a creamy polenta and accompanied by a lovely winter salad and ending with a glorious tart for dessert, laid out in front of a roaring fire with a few of my closest friends.
That’s my idea of a perfect winter meal!
But bring on summer and it changes dramatically.
Outside (always outside), a larger group of friends come together for a fresh and fun meal. To me, I see a starter of zucchini flowers picked straight from the garden, stuffed, battered and fried right in front of the guests. Then a giant barbecued porcetta shredded and served on a giant board with homemade fried peppers (both hot and sweet), the best buns you can find, some agridolce for added umami, a platter of grilled veg and then, to finish the meal in the best possible way ever, some warm homemade chocolate chip cookies, homemade brown butter ice cream and all the fixings for some epic ice cream sandwiches.
Both sound glorious, no?
But we really are missing something.
In my first winter scenario, nothing (seriously nothing) pairs better with that meal than a glass of full bodied red wine.
But, bring on the heat of summer, and there is always room for a refreshing cocktail.
I’ve been having these thoughts lately because I am going to be visiting a pretty spectacular place in Piedmont this week (I’ll actually be visiting a ton of places in Piedmont, but more on that later).
If you don’t know, Asti is a sparkling white Italian wine that is produced throughout southeastern Piedmont but is particularly focused around the towns of Asti and Alba. It was established as a DOC in 1967 and became a DOCG in 1993.
If you take a peek at what my Thursday itinerary is (below), you’ll see that tucked in there, I’ll be learning all about Asti!!
THURSDAY, JUNE 14TH, 2018
08.30 a.m. Private bus transfer from Fossano to Asti [1h15min – 62 km]
10.00 a.m. Guided visit to Asti D.O.G.C. Consortium
12.30 p.m. Lunch at Locanda del Bosco Grande
02.30 p.m. Private bus transfer from Montegrosso d’Asti to Torino [1h15min – 70 km] 04.00 p.m. Arrival at NH Piazza Carlina Hotel
05.00 p.m. Pick up at the hotel, transfer to the “Affini” cocktail bar
05.30 p.m. Welcome greetings in collaboration with the Chamber of Commerce of Torino
Vermouth tasting session at “Affini” cocktail bar
07.30 p.m. Pick up and transfer to the “Scannabue” restaurant
07.45 p.m. Dinner at “Scannabue” restaurant
10.00 p.m. Transfer to the hotel
There is a ton to know about this bubbly drink (and I’ll be sharing more about everything I’ll be learning when I return home).
But, until then, I thought I would tempt you to try a refreshing summer cocktail made with this lovely summer sparkling wine.
Give it a shot tonight while you’re on the patio.
I promise if you do, I will have a drink in your honour all the way over here in Piedmont!!
And watch me closely on social media while I teach you all there is to know about the other delicacies in the region!
- 2 spoonful softened lemon sorbet
- 1 ounce vodka (you can use citrus vodka, berry vodka or plain)
- 8 ounces Asti
- garnish: lemon slices and 4 strawberries
- Combine the sorbet with the vodka in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously. Strain into a champagne flute, add the champagne and stir gently. Drop 2 strawberries into each glass and garnish with lemon wheel