Red Shrimp and Wine Glasses

Gambero Rosso Tre bicchieriIf you appreciate Italian food and wine then you have, at one time or another, encountered the Gambero Rosso (red shrimp). Not as a center of the plate entree but as a guide to the best food travel and wine in Italy. Unlike Pinocchio who wandered into the eponymous taverna where the villainous Fox and Cat trick him into paying for their supper, this Gambero Rosso won’t lead you astray when searching for the best restaurants and award winning wines when traveling in Italy.

Originally an 8-page insert about food and wine in a 1986 publication of Italy’s Communist Il Manifesto, Gambero Rosso, the “red prawn” has become the definitive guide to the tastes of Italy. Their annual 1,000-page guide to Italian wines, Vini d’Italia, is considered by many to be the Italian wine bible giving top wines, those considered extraordinary, a three glass (chalice) Tre Bicchieri rating. Gambero Rosso markers of good taste now include Three Forks for restaurants, Three Coffee Beans and Cups for coffee bars, and Three Leaves for producers of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

Gambero Rosso has recently established Citte’ di Gusti, cities of taste,  where demonstrations, workshops, lessons and courses are offered for both professionals and amateurs with an interest and love of Italian food and wine. Gambero Rosso opened the first Citta’ di Gusto in Rome and now has centers in Naples, Salerno, Catania, Palermo, Torino and Lecce.

Appreciated by Popes and Kings

The Italian wines from the hills of Piacenza have been appreciated by popes and kings and those who would be including Napoleon, Michelangelo and me. Colli Piacentini Gutternio is made from two of my cousin Roberto’s favorite grapes, Barbera (70%) and Bonarda (30%). It has a brilliant ruby red color with shades of purple red and an aroma of dried cherries and spice.  It is a vino rosso that can pair well with white meat (petto di pollo – chicken breast), light pasta dishes and cheese and is perfect for all seasons. Because it is little known outside of Italy and often overshadowed by the wines of Tuscany, this wine may not be as familiar as a Chianti, Brunello or Super Tuscan but well worth your consideration.

Colli Piacenti Mont’Arquato Duca di Ferro (Iron Duke) Gutturnio Riserva is A Taste of Cositutti in Italy Wine Selection from Castello Gropparello. I had this wine at an afternoon meal in the castle’s medievale taverna with cheese and laurel made in the castle kitchens and tortellini, pork and a chocolate semifreddo for dessert. 

*gutturnio comes from the Latin word “gutturnium”,a Roman silver goblet used to serve wine in ancient times.