Category: Bele Casel

Best beach wine? It’s got to be Prosecco!

Thanks to Prosecco’s low alcohol, freshness, approachability, and affordability, it could be the perfect wine for the beach.

It’s Memorial Day Weekend in the United States. It the holiday when our American friends celebrate the onset of summer by grilling outdoors.

For many of our American friends, it also marks the moment when lots of them will head to the beach for the first time.

When heading to the beach — whether on the ocean, on a lake, on one of America’s many beautiful rivers, on the Gulf of Mexico, or on the Gulf of California (in Baja California) — or even if you’re just spending time poolside, you need a wine that’s low in alcohol (so you can drink a lot of it without it weighing you down); a wine that’s fresh, because freshness is key when you are outdoors in the sun and in the hot weather; and you need a wine that everyone (adults, of course) will like.

That’s why Prosecco could be the “perfect beach wine.”

The other thing you need is a wine that doesn’t cost a lot. And that’s another reason why Prosecco is such a great wine for summer, when picnics and outdoor grilling are the order of the day.

People ask us all the time: What’s your favorite wine or what’s the best wine in the world?

Our answer? It depends on where we are drinking it, what we are pairing it with, and with whom we are enjoying it?

When it comes to the beach, lake, river, or pool, it’s just got to be Prosecco!

And by the way, for our California friends who are eating grilled Pacific Ocean fish and fish tacos and for our east coast friends, who will be eating lobster rolls and steamed crabs, Prosecco is one of the world’s greatest fish and seafood wines. So what could be better for summer and the beach than Prosecco?

Baccalà and why the Venetians love it so much.

Baccalà or salt cod is one of the most ancient dishes of the Venetian Republic. It’s also one of the most popular, even today.

Some find it ironic that one of the most famous dishes of Venetian cuisine and one of the Veneto region’s most popular does not come from Venice at all. In fact, the cod used to make baccalà or salt cod or stock fish, another name for the salt-cured fish, comes from the icy waters of the northern seas. Historically, baccalà first reached Venice and Venetian dinner tables from Norway during the Venetian Renaissance (in the 1400s and 1500s). You’ll find a detailed and compelling chronicle and history of the dish in food historian Mark Kurlansky’s excellent book, simply entitled Cod. It’s a great read and we highly recommend it.

One of the reasons that baccalà became so popular was that it solved a fundamental culinary problem: During the Renaissance, the Catholic calendar called for countless Lenten days or fast days when Christians were not allowed to eat meat, eggs, or dairy products. This tradition still endures among Italian Catholics who don’t eat meat on Fridays, for example.

Because baccalà was so easy to transport (because of its light weight) and because it was so easy to store (the salt acts as a natural preservative that makes it last seemingly indefinitely), it was the ideal food stock to have around for all those Lenten days. Salt was also a valuable commodity at the time, which made baccalà an attractive investment for Venetian merchants.

Today, for example, when you travel to the Veneto for wine and food tourism, you’ll find dishes like baccalà alla vicentina, stock fish soaked for days to purge its salt and then stewed with milk and potatoes until flaky and tender and then served over grilled white polenta. Vicenza, the city that gives the dish its name, isn’t located on the sea, yet its most famous dish comes from the sea.

It’s a great pairing for our Prosecco Colfòndo by the way!

Image via Kate Hopkins’ Flickr (Creative Commons).

Congratulations Chef Steve Samson on the launch of his new downtown LA restaurant Rossoblu!

Above: The mural that overlooks the main dining room at Rossoblu in Los Angeles, a new and much anticipated restaurant where pan-Italian and Emilian cuisine is featured.

From the Los Angeles Times:

“Los Angeles is poised for some major restaurant openings in 2017. Perhaps one of the most anticipated is chef Steve Samson’s Rossoblu, set to open in downtown’s gorgeous new City Market South development.”

From Eater LA:

“Seriously, Rossoblu is a stunner. From the full-wall mural at one end to the weaving gold bar to the black marble open kitchen in the back, this Marshall Group-built space is about as casually glamorous as it gets. And that’s to say nearly nothing of the ample patio space out front, which is almost Salazar-esque in its simplicity. Guests can walk and wander between tables, wine glass in hand, while the cool evening air surrounds them, then float inside to check out chef Samson expediting orders from the massive grill in the back.”

From LA Weekly:

“Rossoblu… one of our most anticipated restaurant openings of 2017.”

Congratulations, Chef Steve! We can’t wait to try your new restaurant.

And look out, Angelinos: We’ve heard talk that our Prosecco Colfòndo is being poured by the glass there. Stay tuned!

Have soppressa, will travel: Thanks to everyone who came out to taste with us at the FIVI fair this weekend

They came for the wine but they stayed for the soppressa.

Every since this year’s Vinitaly, it’s become something of a running joke in the Italian wine and wine blogging community.

It’s a traditional among Italian winemakers to bring classic and traditional salumi and cheeses to their stands at the fairs. After all, nothing goes better with your wines than the salumi and cheese that are produced in your own region. As the saying goes, if it grows with it, it goes with it.

And no matter what fair we are presenting our wines at (Vinitaly or FIVI etc.), we always bring an artisanal soppressa.

This year at Vinitaly, the roaming group of bloggers from the popular Italian wine blog Intravino stopped by our stand for their year visit. It didn’t take long for them to consume our entire stash of soppressa! That’s how good it is!

And so when we headed down to the FIVI tasting in Rome last weekend (the fair and marketplace organized by the Italian Federation of Independent Grape Growers), we made sure to bring extra.

Soppressa is a classic cured pig’s meat salame produced in the provinces of Verona, Vicenza, and Treviso (as well as in other areas of what was once called the Most Serena Republic of Venice).

Technically, for it to be called soppressa, it must be produced using pigs raised in the production area (as you can read in the official appellation regulations for Soppressa Vicentina, for example).

We just can’t tell you where we get ours! That’s best kept secret!

Thanks to everyone who came to our stand at FIVI in Rome! Whether you came for the wine or the soppressa, we were equally happy to see you!

Happy Mother’s Day!

In Italian you say, di mamma, ce n’è una sola.

Literally, it means, “there’s just one mother.”

But it is understood to mean, “everyone has just one mother.”

In other words, be thankful for that one loving and lovely mother who brought you into this world.

Happy Mother’s Day! Buona festa della mamma!

Wine Wankers, one of the world’s most popular wine blogs, features Bele Casel!

We couldn’t have been more thrilled to discover that Wine Wankers, two of the world’s most popular and most followed wine bloggers, featured Bele Casel’s Colfòndo on their Instagram and Facebook.

Here’s what Drew, one of the bloggers and social media users at Wine Wankers had to say about our Colfòndo:

“Trend alert! Bearded hipsters are about to go nuts once they discover Prosecco has a cooler brother; it’s a style called Col Fondo. It’s basically unfiltered Prosecco where the wine is sold with the dead yeast cells that caused it to become sparkling still in the bottle. It’s an ancient tradition making a revival, and it gives #prosecco lovers that want more flavour from their wine a reason to celebrate. This tasty version is from @bele_casel.”

The post on Instagram received more than 900 likes! Wow!

Thank you, Wine Wankers! We love your blog!

Best restaurants for wine in Rome…

What are your favorite wine bars and restaurants in Rome?

We wanted to share this great post published today by Slow Wine Guide co-editor Giancarlo Gariglio on the Slow Wine/Slow Food blog.

As he points out, the Italian Federation of Independent Grape Growers (FIVI) is about to head to the Eternal City for its spring fair and marketplace.

We’ll be there: Not only are we members but Luca also serves on the association’s technical advisory board.

We can’t think of anyone better than Giancarlo to recommend the best places to drink wine in Rome.

If you happen to be in town for the fair or for whatever reason, you’ll know where to find us!

Millennials and wine: Researching the connection

Millennial and their approach to wine is a topic that is on everyone’s mind today after a Italian wine writer and celebrity sommelier published a widely read post.

In case you don’t know Adua Villa (and because she writes only in Italian, we realize that many of our American friends may not be familiar with her work), she is one of the most popular Italian wine writers and celebrity sommeliers working in Italy today.

It seems that the entire world of Italian wine (at least those who live and work online in the world of social media) is talking about a post she published today on one of Italy’s most widely followed wine-focused websites.

The title says it all: “Is there a formula that connects Generation Y (Millennials), trends, social media, and the world of wine?”

Of course, that’s the question that is on the minds of many of us in the Italian wine trade as we try to increase our reach and augment our sales in the U.S. where the Millennial generation has come to define the work of marketers and marketing strategists. After all, for there to be a future in Italian wine, we need to win over young wine drinkers who have an (adult) lifetime of drinking wine ahead of them!

Adua’s article was based on a recent study of Millennial wine drinking habits and attitudes and how they are reflected in social media. According to the findings, Millennials are looking for the following elements in the approach to wine (translation by our blog master).

– easiness
– comfort
– fun
– opportunity
– socialization
– openness
– curiosity and lack of accountability

We couldn’t have been more thrilled that Adua named Bele Casel as one of the wineries who has excelled in making strides among Millennials through the use of social media. She used the photo above from our Instagram as an example of our connection to Generation Y.

Thank you, Adua!

A shout-out to our importer Petit Pois/Sussex for the Northeast United States!

Another thrill for us during our recent visit to the United States was a meeting with the sales team from Petit Pois/Sussex Wine Merchants, our importer for the northeast corridor of the United States.

We were extremely glad to learn that our wines are their best selling estate!

Thanks again Petit Pois/Sussex Wine Merchants for taking time out to meet with us.

To contact them, please call 856-608-9644.

What a thrill for us to meet Alice Feiring in New York

We have so much to tell about our recent trip to the East Coast of the United States. But first things first: The biggest highlight of our trip was our meeting with Alice Feiring, the leading advocate for natural, organic, and biodynamic wines in the U.S. (and possibly in the world today).

Her books on natural wine (one of which has been translated into Italian by the editors of Slow Food and Slowine) have reshaped the conversation not only on natural and organic wines but also the very concept of what wine is and what role it plays in world culture today.

Every since we began our conversion to organic farming practices here at Bele Casel many years ago, we have seen our mission not only that of creating better and more wholesome wines but also of helping to revitalizing the land and our appellation — for us, for our children, and for future generations.

Alice is one of the rare wine writers who doesn’t just publish or post her tasting notes and reviews. She writes about wines in the “bigger picture.” Wine and food are something that we put in our body every day: Shouldn’t we be as careful with the wines we drink as we are with the food we eat?

She is one of our heroes and she is a hero and champion of a generation of grape growers and winemakers in Italy today.

Thank you, Alice, for spending some time with us.

That’s Alice, second from left, above, with our American blog master Jeremy Parzen on the right.

You can read Alice’s blog, signup for her newsletter, and find links to her books on her site here.