Viña Tondonia White Reserva 1987, Rioja, Spain

October 18, 2010

A couple of weeks ago, we drank a very special type of wine, a white Rioja, vintage 1987, called Viña Tondonia White Reserva! Our wine-making friend, Timo Mayer from the Yarra Valley had brought the bottle all the way from Europe to Bangkok.

The winery is owned and managed by the third generation of the López de Heredia family. For a hundred and thirty one years this enterprise is producing exceptional and unique wines. The founder of the company, Rafael López de Heredia y Landeta, defined in the late nineteenth century what a “Supreme Rioja” wine could be. Viña Tondonia White Reserva 1987 bears witness to this philosophy.

Timo Mayer opening the bottle in our kitchen

The wine is made from Viura (about 70%, also called Macabeu in France) and Malvasia grapes. It was kept for 10 years on the yeast in old, large oak barrels and for 13 years in the bottle before the wine is finally released.

1987 is the current vintage! Who can afford to leave wine for 23 years in the cellar?

The wine is a unique experience. It is completely dry, has a fine bouquet with a hint of dried fruit. First, we did not know what to make of it but with each sip it dawned on us that we held something very special in our glasses. Awesome stuff, indeed. One can taste the passion which went into this wine.

Cheers mate

The wine can be bought in Germany from “Weinhalle“. It is not cheap but worth to be explored if you long for a unique and amazing wine experience.


Garbatella highlights: Pizzeria ‘Er Panonto’, Rome, Italy

August 23, 2010

Address Pizzeria ‘Er Panonto’ in Garbatella

I have told you about Garbatella, the neighbourhood in Rome where I once lived. I have also mentioned our old pizzeria, Er Panonto. Frankly speaking I have no clue what ‘Er Panonto’ stands for. But the place is just great, a traditional family affair, a Roman pizzeria at its best.

We had dinner there when we visited Rome in July this year. The following pictures give you an idea of the food which is very traditional and needless to say: super delicious.

Antipasti buffet

Bruscetta di pomodori

What a delicious pizza

Frascati wine from Colli Albani near Rome

I love the wines from the Colli Albani, the Albanian hills, as they are called around Rome. ‘Er Panonto’ buys the ready made wine and bottles it for its pizzeria. Some people claim that Frascati wine has been made in this region for more than two thousand years. I guess that’s true.

Frascati wines are usually blends of two-three varieties. According to the DOC laws about 50% of the wine needs to come from Malvasia biance di Candia grapes. The rest is from Trebbiano, Malvasia del Lazio, Greco, Bellone and other local white varieties. I like the wines because they are fresh and light with high acidity; in short they are ideal summer wines.