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3 posts from February 2011

02/16/2011

wine tasting dinner

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On Thursday 3 February we met at Osteria degli Angeli, located in via delle Volte, the main artery of the medieval part of Ferrara, where we had a wine tasting dinner with excellent wines from Veneto presented by our Sommelier Nicola Zanotti.

 Each wine was accompanied by a dish  specially selected to enhance the appreciation of the individual wines. There is something about the perfect combination of flavors in wine that can highlight, enhance and harmonize with the flavors in your food: The Bianco Chardonnay Garganega was just perfect for a risotto with radicchio e taleggio and the Amarone della Valpolicella with Brasato e polenta.

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 As wine appreciation requires experience to develop Nicola was able to show us how to taste wine even if you are a beginner, so that everyone could get the most out of the experience.

 Nicola started by explaining that when opening and pouring the wine, one easy mistake to make is filling the glass to the top, we need to only pour about 1/4th of a glassful because it’ is important to have room to swirl and sniff the wine. Next we will have to look at the wine, assessing  color, clarity, or viscosity. Then we turn to the aroma of the wine, quoting Nicola “swirling the wine will help to volatilize it  so you can smell it better”. At that point we should  come up with ways of describing what we are smelling: fruit aromas, earth, wood, smoke, etc. The good news is that there are no right and wrong answers, it is subjective. Finally it’s time to take a small sip and determine its taste. Is it sweet or dry? Is it full bodied? Is it bland or intense? How is the texture of the wine on your palate? Main thing do we like it?

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 As the dinner went on Nicola show us also the proper way of tasting wine: taking a small sip and moving it around in the mouth for a few seconds before swallowing, and letting it reach the palate, sucking in some air to help further liberate its perfume. 

02/03/2011

Jazz Club Nights

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The Jazz club in Ferrara has been voted, by an important national jazz magazine, best venue 2010, and it is certainly a wonderful setting for playing jazz. Located in a  fortezza, part of the  medieval city walls that surround the city, the Jazz club Il Torrione is a "must do" activity for our newly arrived students.

Last Friday we had the chance to attend one of the finest live performances since the club has opened the winter season. Gregoire Maret has played with artists such as Cassandra Wilson and Herbie Hancock. Last Friday he was performing with its newly formed quartet.

 

02/02/2011

Welcome to Ferrara

Castello full view 

 

Ferrara greets you with its rather special and peculiar atmosphere, a mix of colours: the green of its parks and secret inner city gardens, the red of the bricks of the walls that surround the town for 9 km, the intense blue of the sky on a spring day, or the soft white mist during a winter day.

Try to visualise yourself walking in front of a perfectly preserved medieval castle, the Castello Estense, whose moat is still filled with water, a sumptuous Cathedral, a harmonious mix of gothic and Romanesque style, wandering in the Jewish ghetto or cycling through the wide streets planned during the Renaissance that earned Ferrara recognition as the first modern city in Europe.

" have come to better understand Italy through the rhythm of everyday life. The melody of the language, the clink of coffee cups in the bar, the day interactions between neighbours, the leisurely pace of a long lunch..."

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