Beach Lover? Consider Calabria for Your Next Vacation
|La Cattolica, Stilo|
|Capo Vaticano, Calabria|
|Sunset in Cirella, Diamante by StudioEG|
|Grisolia, Calabria by StudioEG|
Clearly, Calabria is Europe’s version of the Caribbean, as the aforementioned was only a highlight. Anyone who loves the beach, sand and life by the sea would find pleasure in this region of Italy. The food, wine and culture are the icing on the cake.
Calabrese Gastronomy & Wine
The sea plays a huge role in the food and culture of Calabria. Much of their cuisine is characterized by lamb and pork dishes, ciambotta, or eggplant and other vegetables, olives, olive oil, dried tomatoes, peperoncino, seafood, swordfish and other cured fish, such as baccala or dried codfish. A typical Calabrian dish is caviale dei poveri or poor people’s caviar, made with herring and hot chili peppers. Breads, cheese, cured meats and pastas are all staples of Calabrese cuisine. In terms of formaggio, Caciocavallo Silano (PDO) is their star, while Soppressata, Capocollo, Pancetta and Salsiccia di Calabria all have PDO status. Nduja, a soft sausage made with local chilli peppers, is a favorite. Calabria produces some of Italy’s best olive oil, only second to Puglia.
The vineyards of Calabria also produce very good wines. Calabria has 12 DOC titles, but only 4% of the wine produced holds that designation. Cirò Rosso Riserva is one of them. Cirò is not only a commune in Calabria, but also its flagship wine. Cirò is produced as rosso, rosato and bianco and is considered one of the oldest named wines in the world. Over 90% of the wine produced in Calabria is red. Ciro Rosso is made from a minimum of 80% Gaglioppo grapes, while the remaining 20% is from other indigenous grapes. Greco Bianco and Trebbiano Toscano are used for Cirò Bianco and Cirò Rosato.
|Gaglioppo Grapes, which produce Cirò|
*The other DOC regions of Calabria are Melissa, Isola di Capo Rizzuto, Bianco, Bivongi, Donnici, Lamezia Terme, Pollino, San Vito di Luzzi, Savuto, Scavigna and Verbicaro.
All this talk of wine persuaded us to have a glass!
Our first experience with Cirò involved Cirò Rosso. This time, we decided to explore Cirò as a white wine. We tasted Librandi Cirò Bianco 2013. Made from 100% Greco Bianco grapes, this was pale yellow in appearance and had aromas of pear, apples and melon. It was crisp on the palate with a dry minerality, fruity green apples. and bursts of citrus. Cirò Bianco is a good, refreshing summer wine.
We paired this Cirò with fresh, sauteed clams over linguini-a favorite. Librandi Cirò Bianco would function well on its own as an aperitif, or with fish or crustaceans. As a lover of seafood, this was right up my alley!
Read about our experience with Cirò Rosso and watch our interview with Luigi, “The Handyman” from Calabria
Have you tasted wines from Calabria? Now that we have tasted both white and red Cirò, we understand why Cirò is wine of note in this southern Italian region and are more eager to visit this town.
Want more Calabria?
Join us on Twitter this Saturday @ 11am EST at #ItalianFWT to talk about the food, wine and travel to Calabria. We’d love to hear your experiences or just come to learn more about this southern region in Italy. Here are fellow bloggers sharing their insight into Calabria:
Vino Travels – Reinvigorating the Almost Extinct, Native Grapes of Calabria
Confessions of a Culinary Diva – Exploring Gaglioppo & Aglianico
Enofylz Wine Blog – Calabrian Gaglioppo Paired with Lamb Chops Calabria Style
Food Wine Click – Swordfish and Ciro from the Land of Scylla and Charybdis
The Wining Hour – Calabria: Sun, Sea and Ciro Bianco
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