Sunday, January 30, 2011

Burn's supper, haggis and Scottish reels, Osteria dell'Arco, the Ravilians live

30 January, 2011
It's pruning time for the vines and currently we have finished with the newest vines, the hybrid Bruni 54, the Merlot and about a fourth of the Pecorino.  That little job should take about 2 more weeks, then we go back and tear out the branches that are cut.
The winery is getting the finishing touches on the walls upstairs and bathroom fixtures have been chosen.  The custom windows are being manufactured as well.
We have chosen bottle shapes for the wines to be bottled and are working on labels for the wine, with the thought they will be photo labels.
I actually escaped the confines of  Nascondiglio di Bacco for a couple of nights in a row.  Friday night, I combined a dinner at Osteria dell'Arco in Magliano di Tenna which is a great place for a dinner based on wonderful grilled meats cooked in the open fire in the dining room.  I enjoyed a steak of marchigiani beef and as an appetizer a rabbit "porchetta".  The little walled town is a little gem to explore during the daylight hours and is a couple of valleys to our north.
From there, I headed up to Montegranaro to listen to the Ravilians, a group who plays everything from Radiohead, Coldplay to Chris Isaak and has my friend Sigismondo on keyboards who's day job is owner of my favorite San Benedetto restaurant, Degusteria del Gigante.
And now on to the spectacular Burn's night which is a festival celebrated by the Scots and Robert Burns fans all over the world, traditionally on either January 25th or January 29th.  I was fortunate enough to be invited to this event in Lapedona, again a bit north of us at the house of Graeme and Sarah Muir.  I was un-kilted, but sported my Campbell tartan tie revealing my 1/8 Scottish heritage.  Tim and Graeme however had the full outfit covered for the rest of us and Graeme wore his while traveling from London to Ancona on Ryanair, quite a problem for security with all the metal, I am sure.

The evening started out with smoked salmon on toast and Prosecco, segued into a reciting of the Selkirk grace,

Some hae meat and canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it;
But we hae meat, and we can eat,
And sae let the Lord be thankit.
Next we had Cock-a-Leekie soup prepared by Tim and Gina before standing for the Entrance of the Haggis!

Haggis is one of those things you read about and then swear you will never try it, but if you steal yourself with enough wine beforehand and maybe a couple of little shots of whiskey, it seems edible enough.  This course is served with sides of tatties and neeps and since it is a night celebrating Burns, there must be a reading before enjoying this traditional Scottish dish and it is called logically enough "Address to a haggis"
Subsequently there are toasts to the hosts, the toast to the "Lassies" followed by their response or toast to the "Laddies" expertly prepared and read by husband and wife team, Tim and Gina.  Each guest gave a reading with their take of a Scottish accent, mine was critiqued as being a bit of Irish and a bit of Scottish.

 The italians present did a fine job with their readings full of aspirated "h's" which are non existent in the italian language.  It was all great fun and then our hosts put on the Scottish music and taught us a few Scottish reels before everyone headed home.

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