~ Mozzarella di Bufala “Stacks” with Salsa Balsamico ~

 It’s 18 degrees and it’s snowing.  But at TuscanVines, we haven’t given in just yet.  Motivated by the 60 degree temperatures this past weekend, we momentarily ignored the fireplace and bid a proper farewell to warmer weather with some fresh antipasto and a crisp Pinot Grigio. 
 
A few notes on the Antipasti : 
 
There is nothing more classic than Insalata Caprese and since I’ve got basil growing in window boxes,  whenever I find nice tomatoes, this antipasto leaps to my mind.  Try presenting it in stacked form as above for a dramatic effect and do use Balasamic Glaze instead of vinegar and your absolute best extra virgin olive oil. 
The other antipasto was an Arugula Salad that I first had at Gordon Ramsay’s “The Narrow” in London.  The Narrow is an unprentious out of the way Gastro Pub with an excellent menu and fair prices – by London and Manhattan standards.  The salad is nothing more than Baby Arugula, dressed with salt, pepper, your best extra virgin olive oil and shards of Parmigiano Reggiano.  It’s wonderful – just be sure not to dress the salad until you’re ready to toss and serve or it will wilt quickly. 



~ Two Antipasto:  Caprese w/ Yellow Tomatoes and the Capezzana oil I used for both ~

With both of these antipasti  we open a bottle of the newly released 2013 San Angelo Pinot Grigio from Castello Banfi.  A single vineyard Pinot Grigio you say?  And I say, yes!  With resounding success I may add. 
 
This lovely white is pale golden in color, almost clear.  But the flavors and aromas are there in spades so don’t let the color fool you.  Intense aromas of pineapple, lemon oil, flowers and flinty minerals are easily notable.  On the palate, the wine is crisp and so refreshing.  Lots of citrus notes with mineral and wet stones mingle with the core of bright fruit.  This is the best San Angelo Pinot Grigio I’ve ever tasted from Castello Banfi and it was the perfect match with both of these dishes. What’s more, it’s a complete steal given the price of comparable Pinot Grigio on the market.   91 points.  Approximately $15.

~ San Angelo comes from a single vineyard on the Castello Banfi estate in Montalcino ~

Viva L’estate!

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