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  • Culinary Cam

You're Invited to the 2023 #ItalianFWT Series - Starting with Sicily

Buon Anno! To kick off a new year, the group decided to move around the boot, again, starting in the South this time. I jumped into host Sicily for January 2023. I haven't been to Sicily since the Summer of 2001, but I am looking forward to reading all of the inspired posts from the Italian Food Wine Travel group!


Palermo, Sicilia, July 2001


Around the Boot

image from winefolly.com


There are nearly twenty regions around the boot. I'm going to start at the toe and work my way around to the heel, ending with the islands of Sardinia and Sicily. Apologies in advance for this Odyssey-long post. But, if you stick with me, I hope you learn something new...or are tempted to track down wines from these areas.


I have actually been to Sicily. More than once. I love it and its surrounding islands! When I lived in Rome for a year, after college, I took a week long trip through Sicily and ended up on Lìpari, the largest in a chain of islands in a volcanic archipelago situated in between Vesuvius and Etna. I rented a cottage on a family's farm in Lìpari and was able to see them putting up a tomato harvest for the year. Truly amazing. Then, a few years later, I returned to Sicily with my husband and some friends and family. We stayed in Palermo then were stranded on Ustica, an island off the northwest coast, for a week. I write 'stranded' because we had only planned to be there for two days; but storms came in and no boats were returning to Palermo. That was one of my favorite travel delays. We had rented a house from a man named Antonio who left us fresh herbs and fresh eggs during our stay. He also sent us off with some salt-cured capers. Before that, I had never seen capers growing in the wild. If only I had a slide scanner, I would share some photos of my travel through Sicily. I was still shooting on slide film back then. I still dream of those sun-kissed islands that smelled of citrus, salt, and cypress trees. The largest island in the Mediterranean, Sicily's climate is perfect for viticulture. Nero d'Avola produces some fruity, medium-bodied reds while Grillo is made into juicy, luscious whites. In southern Sicily, Nero d'Avola is often blended with Frappato for the Cerasuolo di Vittoria DOCG. Other grape varietals include Nerello Mascalese, Carricante, Catarratto, and Inzolia. Read a few of my Sicilian pairings: Gnocchi Con Salsa di Pistacchi + Donnafugata Sherazade Rose 2014; Sicilian Regaleali Rosso + Pasta Con Le Sarde; and, with a white wine from the Etna DOC, I paired Pesce Spada al Salmoriglio (Swordfish with Salmoriglio Sauce).


How to Participate

Details for participation

Are you ready to jump in and participate in the Sicilian #ItalianFWT event? Here are the details…


Send an email to tell me you're in or post in the Facebook event group: Include your blog url and Twitter handle. If you know your blog post title now, include that...but you can send me that a bit closer to the event, I'd like to get a sense of who's participating and give some shoutouts and links as we go. The email is culinarycami[at]gmail[dot]com. Send your post title to me by Monday, January 2nd, to be included in the preview post. I will do a preview post shortly after getting the titles, linking to your blogs. When your post goes live, the published title should include "#ItalianFWT" but it doesn't need to be included for the title list. Publish your post between 12:01 a.m-7:00 a.m. ET on Saturday, January 7th. You can always schedule your post in advance if you will be tied up around then. Include a link to the other #ItalianFWT participants in your post, and a description of what the event is about. I'll provide the html code you can easily put in your initial post--which will link to people's general blog url--then updated code for the permanent links to everyone's #ItalianFWT posts. Get social! After the posts go live, please visit your fellow bloggers posts' to comment and share. Sponsored posts OK if clearly disclosed. Please be sure to disclose if your post is sponsored or if you are describing wine or other products for which you have received a free sample. Live #ItalianFWT Twitter Chat January 7, 11 a.m. ET: Participating bloggers and others interested in the subject will connect via a live Twitter chat. It's a nice bring way to bring in others interested in the subject who didn't get a chance to share a blog post. You can definitely still join the blog event if you're not available for the live chat.

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