The holidays insist on lavish and traditional meals. And this is true both in Sault Ste Marie at my uncle-and-aunt’s and at my mother’s as well as here in Pittsburgh. The New Year’s Eve meal here in town, that we’ve come to call ‘the all meat dinner,’ had 8 different dishes. It’s been a month of big dinners.

Tonight, I wanted a simple meal – rapini sautéed in olive oil and seasoned with garlic and hot pepper flakes, a sharp Australian cheddar, a crusty baguette  and a glass of Chianti.

I’ve been forced into a transition – a shift away from a hard-copy newspaper. For years, I’ve been getting the New York Times daily and I read half of it with breakfast and half with dinner. Well, this week the paper hasn’t been there in the morning. To compensate, I moved my laptop to the kitchen and began reading the Times online. (i miss turning the pages – yeah, yeah i know – turning pages is so 20th century)

Also, since my November visit to Sault Ste Marie, I decided to have a glass of wine with my dinner. (in the past, i would have wine with meals only when visiting with my immigrant family and friends or if i went out to dinner) This shift was prompted mainly by my uncle’s discovery of the Spadafora Winery’s Terrano Rosso. Its grapevines run the south-west side of the mountains that Aprigliano sits on; and this Rosso is exceptional. (i was born in aprigliano/cosenza, many moons ago) And thanks to LCBO online – Liquor Control Board of Ontario – I was able to order a case and it’s waiting for me at my cousin’s. (my uncle is great at discovering new wines and the LCBO brings in many calabrian wines that he judiciously samples) In the image below, the Terrano is the second from the left.

The Prosecco – far left – is from the Prosecco Hills of Conegliano e Valdobbiadene a UNESCO World Heritage Site, north-west of Venice. This bubbly was the inspiration to go back to northern Italy this coming May. (i’m saving this last bottle for when my friends move into their new condo) The Terrano, besides its low tannins and its home-town appeal, I’m keeping until I can retrieve my reserves from my cousin’s. The Appasimento is another Venetian; this Passito Rosso is full-bodied with a 14% ABV – alcohol by volume. My fellow immigrant from San Giovanni in Fiore introduced me to this hardy red. (it’s my only bottle, so until i can get more it’s gonna sit and look pretty, i love the label) And lastly the Chianti with its classic fiasco bottle wrapped in raffia, it’s imported into Pennsylvania by the Emilio Pio Group of California. (the prosecco, terrano and appasimento are from the LCBO, the chianti is from the PA state store)

Both of the above images were shot with my phone camera.
The featured image – not shot with a phone camera – is the label on the Appasimento bottle.