Thursday, July 10, 2014

Bonarda DOC del Piemonte

This week, in honor of a dear friend who's a foodie and a wine connoisseur, we're presenting Bonarda Piemontese DOC. Even though we're in July, it's been a rather cold month here in Turin and this reminds of the temperatures we find when hiking on the Alps with our friend who never forgets to include a bottle of bubbly Bonarda in his picnic ;)

Bonarda Piemontese DOC

Bonarda is a general grape name used to make three varieties of wines in Northern Italy and one in Argentina. It goes without saying that the oldest variety is the Piedmontese one, known since 1700! 

It is an aromatic variety that used to rival Barbera and Nebbiolo in the western Piedmont vineyards. However, after the 1880s, due to a phylloxera epidemic, it has been replanted sporadically; most likely this had also to do with the fact that the vines offered very low yields and winegrowers rather pointed to re-establish their vineyards with a stronger economic approach.

Bonarda Piemontese DOC

In Piedmont, Bonarda is produced in the northen Asti province but there is also Bonarda novarese or UVA RARA
Bonarda Novarese comes from Novara, a Piedmontese city south of Lake Maggiore.
Uva Rara is the third Bonarda grape variety and back in the time, it used to be a rare vine. In this area, Uva Rara reds are blended with Nebbiolo to make Spanna, a typical local wine.

Bonarda Piemonte DOC

Bonarda facts

- it's a DOC red wine
- its rare rare vine was already known in 1700
- it's a very demanding vine variety which explains why it's grown only in a limited area
- color: deep ruby red
- aroma: winey, fruity, with hints of spices and black pepper
- body: soft, dry, slightly almondy and tannic
- texture: effervescent with a lively and persistent foam
- alcohol %: about 12%

Bonarda food pairings

Bonarda brings to your table the aromas of red fruits, spice and earth. It has a round and soft body but makes it up with its acidity. It's a straightforward wine meant to be drunk young therefore, you'll love it with strawberries and balsamic vinegar topped with some pepper, as fruity, tart and pepper bring out the full the Bonarda essence.
You can pair it with low acidic and mild savory dishes like shellfish, chicken, veal, pork served with creamy buttery based sauces, fresh/mild cheeses, salumi and soups.

It's also great with warm appetizers and filled pasta like ravioli, tortellini and the local agnolotti. It's superb with the local fritto misto a' la Piemontese, lit. a "mixed fried" dish composed of different savory and sweet items that are served fried.

Fritto Misto alla Piemontese

As you can see this is a rather rich specialty and traditionally, it can include: 
  • breaded meats: white meats, liver, sausages, veal fillet, rabbit legs and feet, internal organs 
  • fried trout and tench bits, typical freshwater fish in Piedmont 
  • vegetables: lightly cooked or roasted, breaded and fried vegetables of every sort
  • cheeses: breaded and fried fresh and smoked aged local cheeses like toma
  • fruit: cut in pieces, covered in a light batter and fried like tempura
  • sweet curds: lemon, vanilla, chocolate, elderberry creams and zabajone get also fried
  • amaretti cookies 
  • semolina pudding 

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