Drinking Italy – Summer 2015

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I was thinking of writing such a lovely post about how beautiful the vineyards were in Italy, how driving through the hills of Tuscany there were miles of sunflower fields, like an endless sea of yellow. We learned that all those sunflowers were used to make oil… interesting. I was thinking that I should fill you in on how serious the Italians are about their wine. Black roosters and DOCG. Brunello vs. Chianti and Chianti isn’t Chianti, if it isn’t made in Chianti. The deliciousness of the Sangiovese grapes and that we learned all grapes are white inside, it’s their skins that make the red wines… well, red.

Then I was just thinking about how freaking hot it was. 102 degrees one of our days in Florence and how we were melting in Sienna, even though it was only 98 degrees that day. And then I thought how delicious the ice-cold beers were and that for the first time, I realized that alcohol actually never cools you off, it makes you hotter. Maybe because we were in Italy, the heat wasn’t nearly as offensive as it can be here; or maybe it was because it was generally a dry heat, like Arizona and Vegas instead of the humidity laden muck of summer in New York City. Beer played as important a role in our drinking this trip, as did the wine. I even tried to enjoy Campari. There’s something so sexy about a Negroni. Well it wasn’t happening… too medicinal for me. The disappointment on the handsome Italian bartenders face. In his head I’m sure he was thinking “f*cking Americans!” But the beer, that was a great relief. Here’s what we drank along our travels.

HOTEL L’OROLOGIO, FLORENCE

Our home away from home in Florence, one of our favorite parts of the hotel stay was the bar. Crisp refreshing cocktails and an impressive spread of free bar snacks. The bartender made me my first Aperol Spritz. Delish! Everyone else seemed to be ordering them, too.

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POGGIO AMORELLI, CHIANTI

We had a wonderful afternoon visiting the Poggio Amorelli winery. A family run vineyard, we enjoyed a tour, wine tasting and lunch. They specialize in Chianti and other wines, as well as making their own olive oil and balsamic vinegar. They also made a killer cheesecake which they served for dessert alongside our Vin Santo and biscotti (my favorite). Here I learned that the whole “Italian” ricotta cheesecake thing found commonly in the States, is actually not even Italian. I guess it’s more of an Italian American tradition? Like chicken parmesan and spaghetti & meatballs.

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Other wines we enjoyed and my favorite Italian beer…

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Watch out Italy! The Jacobson’s will be back soon, hopefully not in the middle of summer. Maybe a springtime trip to Milan with a visit to Modena and Bologna next time. Meanwhile, I wonder if they sell this beer here in the US?

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