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Ricciarelli: the recipe for the typical Christmas cakes of Siena

The home made freshly baked ricciarello is the nicest cake in the world. It has a taste of Tuscany, of Christmas, of local traditions and affection

Nothing at all to do with the commercial ones!

 Ricciarelli and Vin Santo_Fattoria del Colle

Ricciarelli and Vin Santo_Fattoria del Colle

Traditional, easy and fragrant, it helps you rediscover the pleasure of almond paste. The ricciarello is the Sienese Christmas cake and since 2010 it is a product protected with the IGP certification. A traditional delicacy from as far back as man can remember. It seems that the oldest recipe is a document in a convent in Buonconvento  20 km from Fattoria del Colle. Its name has a legendary source and come s from the Crociato Ricciardetto della Gherardesca who it seems brought the recipe from theMiddle East. However the word ricciarello appears only in the 19th century so centuries and centuries after the crusades. Most surely the use of almond paste came about in the houses of the rich Sienese bankers from the southern part of theMediterranean, prior to the 15th century, because from that era one was served  “marzapani alla costuma senese” or “morzelletti” probably prepared in convents.

The most appropriate wine for this very Sienese delicacy is the Vin Santo, the most traditional dessert wine in Tuscany. Want some proof? Come to Fattoria del Colle and you will find both!

Read the recipe below!

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Italian All Saints’ Day dessert recipe: Pan coi Santi

Donatella Cinelli Colombini presents the secret repice of the pastry chef Patrizia 

Fattoria-del-Colle-Tuscany-Pan-coi-santi-

Fattoria-del-Colle-Tuscany-Pan-coi-santi-

Pan coi Santi” is made each year at Fattoria del Colle in the occasion of All Saints’ Day in November. It is possible to buy it in the cake shops and in all bakeries. It is an ancient cake with a mixture of tastes: sweetness of the dried grapes and spiceness of the black pepper. This cake tell us the ancient and noble history of Siena, the gothic capital where bankers and medioeval merchants brought in town money, tales and gastronomic cultures from abroad.

 

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Italian dessert wine: Vin Santo del Chianti D.O.C. 2005

Donatella Cinelli Colombini’ s Vin Santo cellar is under the roof of the 16th century villa in the centre of Fattoria del Colle in Trequanda in southern Chianti

Vin_Santo_Donatella_Cinelli_Colombini

Vin_Santo_Donatella_Cinelli_Colombini

Two rooms which are warm in the summer and cold in the winter where the amber sweet wine ages slowly in barrels of various ages and sizes: from 50 to 200 litres. The visitors can visit these rooms going up a staircase at the end of the wine cellar. Here one can see the old Vin Santo from Fattoria del Colle labels designed by Vittorio Zani, the graphic artist also designer of the Monte dei Paschi di Siena logo. On the walls of these rooms are splendid photographs by Giuseppe Cucco which develop a study regarding the image of food carried out by Vincenzo Pagano. The 2005 vintage had a variable climate which however permitted the production of fan excellent harvest whose distinctive characteristic was the very high acidity of the grapes. Traditionally every year the Vin Santo clusters are picked before the rest and are chosen one by one. Put into crates, which are piled one on top of one another, the grapes get moved every day according to the sun the humidity and the aeration. A very time consuming job possible only thanks to the passion that Barbara Magnani the cellar master has for sweet wines.

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