Category Archives: Ciliegiolo

New Year’s Day 2021

The holiday celebrations were most unusual this year, and New Year’s Day was no exception.  We did manage to stick with one tradition — eating lentils.  As in many other cultures, Italians eat lentils to celebrate the coming of the New Year.  The legumes are thought to resemble coins and eating them brings the promise of prosperity and all good things for the year ahead.

IMG_4110The view from our window on New Year’s Day.  The Befana, a witch who comes on her broom bearing gifts on January 6, made an early stop at our house.

IMG_4111We started our meal with speck, smoked ham, and mostarda, fruits preserved in a mustard syrup.

IMG_4117Next we had cotechino, an imported Italian pork sausage, which comes pre-cooked.

IMG_4116These are the lentils.  They were simmered with prosciutto rind, celery, carrots, onions and garlic until they were tender and flavorful.

IMG_4120Though mashed potatoes often are served with cotechino and lentils, we opted instead for sauteed broccoli rabe with garlic and chili.

IMG_4118Cotechino and lentils, ready to be served.

IMG_4122On the plate, the cotechino, lentils and broccoli rabe with a piece of mostarda.

The Wine

IMG_4124Ciliegiolo IGT Toscana 2016 made from 100% Ciliegiolo from the Pisa Hills. Fattoria Fibbiano The soil is medium and rich in marine shells. The vineyard is at 200 meters and the planting density is 2.29 x 0.80 and the pruning is spur pruning cordon. Hand harvest takes place in the middle of September. The grapes are destemmed and crushed and then go into specialized stainless steel tanks for 10 days. Alcoholic fermentation takes place through indigenous yeasts living on the skins. The wine is aged for 4 months in cement tanks where malolactic fermentation takes place. Then 12 months in Slavonian wooden barrels and finally 4 months in bottle before release. This a fruity red wine with hints of cherry, raspberry and blackberry and a touch of leather. It was a delight to drink and a perfect combination to the food.

For dessert, we nibbled on some Christmas cookies and toasted with Champagne to a happy and healthy Year 2021.  Happy New Year to all!


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