Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Cantina Wine Festival

Every year the local wineries open of their vineyards on the 3rd Sunday in May for an open house. This is a great chance to visit wineries and taste the local wines. Many of the vineyards also have live music and provide local delicacies as well as free wine. This year we decided to go to Luciano Bessich early in the day and were talked into going to Castello di Porcia later by some friends. Boy, were we so glad we did! Not only was it better wine but their Cantina had an Old World charm. The owner was also very nice and extremely helpful even though he didn't speak a lick of English. Thank goodness we had our good friend Tony along for the ride. He translated and did most of the speaking for us. We were also able to sample each of his wines and decided on the oak barrel aged Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso -"This wine is quite powerful with a deep violet color. You can also taste a strong currant, wild berry, and plum flavor. The wine after being aged for a period of four-to-ten years, also begins to achieve a higher quality unlike many of the local table wines. " It was exceptional. We also liked the Extra dry Prosecco.

After our visit to the winery we decided to stop by a local festival in Ceolini for old time sake. For those of you who know our good friends the Kosmala's they lived in Ceolini when stationed here. We also remembered running into the Skoglund's at the same local fest last year. Believe me as we sat and fellowshipped each of them were on our hearts and minds. It seems the whole day was filled with so many bittersweet moments.

We had a local Italian favorite, Frico- a cheese fritter made by grilling grated local Montasio cheese and potatoes until it crisps and comes with a portion of polenta on the side. this of course is my friend Kat's favorite part of the fest. :) We also had fried calamari-"Squid" and patata fritas -"French fries" and to top it off we all either had local Red wine, Prosecco, or a Spritz con Aperol.

All in all we had a great time, but were once again reminded of how short life really is and how it's so important to take the time to enjoy as many moments as we can with family and friends, because the simple truth is time has a way of slipping by so fast and we may not be given another opportunity... So a special thanks goes out to all of our dear friends for making and sharing such amazing memories with us!

Asolo, Italy

On Saturday, we loaded up the Odyssey and set out for some sight seeing in the beautiful wine region of Asolo. Frommer's guide book says, it is known as the "Town of a Hundred Horizons" because of its panoramic views, this nub of a medieval hill town (though it was founded during the twilight of Imperial Rome) has become the secret hideaway for true Veneto aficionados. It's a required stop for folks interested in meandering the backcountry or driving the wine roads, and it's a great place for those on bike tours to take a midday break.

Asolo was the Renaissance-era home of Caterina Cornaro of Venice, who was awarded the realm of Asolo for her help in (unsuccessfully) keeping the Turks out of Cyprus. Much of the 15th-century charm you see today is a result of her 12-year presence and patronage in the town. Other VIP residents were the English poet Robert Browning and Italy's early-20th-century grande dame of the stage, Eleonora Duse.

We started by taking a ton of pictures, and then all three girls (we had one extra) wanted to eat. After a great little lunch, Michelle told us it was time to work it off. We ended up walking all over the little town, and finishing it off by climbing over 300 steps up to Queen Cornaro's castle. It was an awesome time, and we'd highly recommend visiting this quaint town, which is located about 70 miles from Aviano. Trust me, you won't be disappointed.