Friday, January 31, 2020

Godendo Aperitivo Prima di Cena #ItalianFWT

I received samples for the creation of this post.  All content, ideas and opinions are strictly my own.  I received no monetary compensation for this writing.

Today we are discussing Italian Wine Cooperatives with our Italian Food Wine and Travel Group.

Join me for Apertivo as we talk.......

When Kevin of Snarky Wine invited us to join him in celebrating Co-op wines I really had no idea what the heck he was talking about.  You, my dear reader, will not have that problem because Kevin wrote up a great invitation post explaining the Italian Cooperatives in language that even a novice such as I can understand.

Then Susannah of Avvinare and Vigneto Communications was able to procure some samples for some of us to taste for this event.  I was thrilled to receive 3 bottles of sparkling wine from Val D'Oca  Cooperative Winery located in Valdobbiadene.  I was lucky enough to have tried Prosecco Wines from this area in the past. You can learn more about that experience by taking a look at this post.

As Kevin explained so well in his article, a wine co-op is that same as any other co-op.  It is a business owned by it's members who work together to offer the best product at a reasonable cost.  In Italy nearly half of all the wine production comes from cooperatives.

According to Prestige Wine Imports, Val D'Oca cooperative was founded in 1952, has nearly 600 members and specializes in Prosecco wines.  They focus on sustainable production and business practices.  According to me.....these wines are wonderful!!

I am starting off my article today with a glass of Sparkling Rose that I enjoyed as an Apertivo while preparing the dinner I am sharing with you today.  At a srp of only $12.99 I found this wine to be an exceptional value.

Let's talk a bit about enjoying Apertivo.  I liken it to the American tradition of Happy Hour or before dinner cocktails often served with light appetizers prior to our main meal.  This tradition of Apertivo is found in all areas of Italy and the purpose, like our cocktail hour, is to whet the appetite.  I found this glass of sparkling Rose paired with a spicy cheese spread absolutely perfect for this purpose.

My apertivo was followed by Dinner (Primo de Cena) that I prepared using a bottle of Pertinace Nebbiolo wine that I purchased for $20 from   Pertinace winery is a smaller cooperative that was formed by 12 farmers who became good friends.  The winery now consists of 15 growers over 170 acres mostly located in the Barbaresco DOC.

While sipping your apertivo, open a bottle of red wine and use it to create this delicious Brasato al Vino Rosso or in this case, Brasato al Nebbiolo.  Beef in Red Wine sauce, in this case specifically Nebbiolo wine.  Any red wine can be used and only a 1/2 cup is required for the recipe leaving you plenty to enjoy with dinner.

Using the Instant Pot, I was able to have dinner on the table in about an hour and a half.  Okay, perhaps we had 2 glasses of Rose each during that time but we were safe and sound in our own home and the bubbles were calling out to us as we peeled potatoes and sauteed Brussels sprouts.

And the bottle of Nebbiolo?  If you are not familiar with Nebbiolo but like a dry, spicy wine, do yourself a favor and pick up a bottle of this wonderful wine from Pertinace.  It was such an amazing pairing that I'm going to order up some more bottles and repeat this comforting, homey dinner with guests.  Buon Appetito!!

Please join us at 11 AM ET, tomorrow, February 1st for Twitter Chat as we discuss the Wine Cooperatives of Italy.  You will find us by following #ItalianFWT.  We would love to hear your thoughts and ideas.  Here are the topics we will be discussing.......

Instant Pot Brasato al Nebiollo

Instant Pot Brasato al Nebiollo

Yield: 4 servings
prep time: 20 Mcook time: 1 hourtotal time: 1 H & 20 M
Fork tender, flavorful pot roast, on the table ready to enjoy in less than an hour and a half.


  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1 pot roast, I used an English Roast
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 carrots, scraped and diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 T. tomato paste
  • 1 t. Italian herb seasoning
  • 1/2 c. Nebbiolo wine (or other dry red wine)
  • 1 c. beef broth
  • 2 T. cornstarch
  • 1/4 c. cold water


How to cook Instant Pot Brasato al Nebiollo

  1. Turn the Instant Pot to saute.  When hot, add the oil and heat until hot but not smoking.   Season the pot roast with salt and pepper.  Add to the hot oil and sear for about 7 minutes until golden brown.  Flip and sear another 5 minutes.  Remove to a plate and set aside.
  2. With the Instant Pot setting still at saute, add the onions, carrots, celery and garlic.  Cook and stir, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan.  Stir in the tomato paste and Italian herbs.  Add the wine. Cook and stir until absorbed and evaporated.  Hit the cancel button on the Instant Pot.
  3. Return the roast and any accumulated juices to the Instant Pot along with the beef broth.  Seal the lid and press the meat/stew button.  When roast is done quick release the pressure and remove meat.  Turn the Instant Pot setting to saute.
  4. Remove any bones, fat and gristle from the roast and place the meat on a serving platter.  Make a slurry of the cornstarch and water.  Add to the instant pot, cook and stir until thickened. 
  5. Separate the fat from the gravy, I use a gravy separator.  Pour the gravy over the beef and serve.
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#instantpot, #potroast, #beef,
Entrees, Instant Pot, Beef
Created using The Recipes Generator


  1. A tradition of Apertivo whets the appetite and is a great time to socialize. Bring it! Enjoyed reading about the wines you sampled. Pairing sounds perfect.

  2. Looks like a delicious aperitivo hour and a fabulous dinner. Cheers!

  3. Aperitivo is also hugely popular in France where it's called apéro and bubbles are always welcome! So great the 12 Pertinace farmers started the cooperative, their Nebbiolo sounds fabulous with your stew!

  4. I've made many a brasato in my trusty dutch oven, how does the instant pot compare?

    1. I normally use my dutch oven as well Jeff which is great for lazy Sundays. But if you are short on time and have an Instant Pot I think you will be so pleased with the results. I don't know that you will even be able to tell the difference.

  5. Wendy sounds like a great meal. Even though it's still breakfast time, your food made me want some of that heavier fare. Glad you enjoyed the wines from Val d'Oca. It was a fun chat on Saturday. Cheers.

  6. I like your style, apertivo while cooking dinner! Your Brasato al Nebbiolo looks like the perfect winter dish...with wine of course.


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