Sunday, February 26, 2017

Mr. Sirah from the Mandrarossa family, best friend ever... I mean wine!

A real friend never lets you down, especially during hard times. Right?
The other night it was pouring down heavily, my train was delayed and when I finally got back home I was exhausted. I had one of those days in which you don't stop for a second, and when you can finally relax, lie on the sofa and watch some telly, your brain just won't let you, because is still busy thinking a gazillion things.

I decided I needed a good friend to keep me company, one of the few that never disappoint you because they are truthful and sincere, so I went for my massive cellar (a tiny cabinet in the kitchen...) and uncorked one of my favorite Sicilian wines, the Mandrarossa Syrah from Cantine Settesoli, Menfi (AG).
Photo source:

The Syrah cultivated in
this part of Sicily (south-west/Agrigento province), also known as Shiraz, is unique and definitely a superb product.

Essentially for two reasons: the sandy soil where the grapes grow and the perfect weather that gives the wine a fruity, tasty but delicate flavor.

It is a quite structured wine with a red intense color and purple tinges and
notes of figs, lavender and elderflower. 

It can be used as a "mono-cultivar" (100% sirah) or blended with Nero d'Avola.

Best served at room temperature (16-18 degrees).

The perfect pairing for this red are dishes like grilled vegetables, semi-matured cheese and the traditional macco di fave, the fava bean mash.

As I was ready to eat, I looked outside the window and the rain had stopped. I could see the light of the moon. I switched on the heating, cut a slice of bread, had some grilled aubergine with cheese and poured myself a glass of this lovely wine, and I soon felt warm and reassured.

Never underestimate what a good friend can do for you.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Palermo is the Capital of the Italian Culture for 2018


Dear friends,

I am so proud to announce that Palermo two days ago has been nominated by the Mibact Commission <<Capital of Italian Culture for 2018>> and I personally want to celebrate this victory sharing this beautiful video created by Giovanni Santamarina and posted by Vivendo Palermo.

How to describe Palermo? 

Palermo makes your heart beating fast, because is a contagious mix of feelings.

It's joy and chaos, it's breathtaking monuments, dirty streets, millenium of history, people shouting for no reason, the Festino
on the 14th of July, the smell of pane e panelle, the sun that burns your skin, the opera dei pupi, the Phonicians footsteps, the car left in the middle of the street, the Marzipan fruits on the 1st of november, a sketch of Ficarra & Picone, a refreshing glass of acqua e anice, the sculptures of Serpotta, the blood shed from our heros, the sea that cools you down when the scirocco is blowing from Africa, and it's more people shouting for a lot of valid reasons.

For these things and for a thousand more there is no other place like Palermo.

Palermo is light and darkness, it's silence and noise, it's legality and crime, it's welcome and exclusion, it's a bay and a mountain, it's love and hate, it's culture and ignorance, it's honesty and corruption, it's laugh and cry, it's humanity and inhumanity, it's life and death.

It's a sweet slice of cassata with a bitter black expresso. It's everything and beyond.

There is no such thing as a good or a bad description of something so incredibly complex and difficult and so extraordinary at the same time. Palermo is an unspeakable beauty with thousands of different souls and colors, and after you visit it you will never be the same, because it will simply take your breath away.

It will stay in your eyes, find a place in your heart
and never leave you.

Proud that my city has got such a rewarding recognition and I do hope is gonna be used in the best possible way!

And you? How would you describe Palermo?