This month I will not give you a wine pick, says Asa. Instead I will recommend something that can be more of a gastronomic experience. When the tourist season is finished, the harvest is over and stored in the barns, or the cellars, the Italians begin putting on the table all the delicacies that autumn and winter brings.
End of October is when you press the olives and who can resist a novello, the newly pressed olive oil on a slice of grilled bread (or toast if you do not have an open fire) that has been rubbed with a clove of garlic and sprinkled with salt? Try it! Even if you can not get your hands on a novella you can do it with any good quality olive oil. It requires a little bit of preparation but it is well worth it. I have tried it and I promise you it is delicious.
This is how the Italians do when they taste the Olio Novello on a bread: Make think slices of fresh white bread. Grill the slices over a fire or in the oven (it is preferable to do it this way rather than in a toaster). When the bread is golden-brown you rub the surface with a clove of garlic that you have cut in half. Sprinkle with some salt and pour a good measure of olive oil on the bread. Don’t skimp on the oil. You’re supposed to get all oily and messy. (You can always lick your fingers afterwards.)
You also need a glass of decent quality Italian everyday wine: a Chianti, Valpolicella or a Dolcetto would go perfectly with it. And then you can just sit back and enjoy. Just like we do in Italy at this time of the year!
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