Canino asparagus represents one of those excellent foods, perhaps little known, from a territory that has a very precise and important character, but outside the traditional routes of food and wine tourism.
Tuscia is like this, from an area of fundamental importance when the North-South traffic went up and down the Via Francigena, it has become a forgotten place in some ways. At least from the fashionable and most crowded circuits of tourism of some time ago.
This allowed, however, the preservation of the beautiful features of the villages, without too many upheavals, with small towns that have hardly ever seen aggressive building expansions for example.
Tuscia is a link between three regions: Lazio, Tuscany and Umbria.
Its role expertly told in “La Tuscia del Vino“(Wine of Tuscia), the guide created by Carlo Zucchetti gathering the products of the cellars of all three regions, following the historical boundaries of the region.
Cultivations such as asparagus and vines, both from Asia Minor, have found ideal conditions for development here. A quality recognized in the territory and, finally, also elsewhere.
The grape variety par excellence in the area, especially around Viterbo, is Grechetto. And speaking of Grechetto, there is no escaping, the obligatory quote is for Sergio Mottura.
His “Tana dell’Istrice” in Civitella d’Agliano, a little further inland than the Canino territory, is the breeding ground from which the first studies on the DNA of this grape variety started, for example, but also it was the initial choice, then followed by many, to produce it without mixing.
First of all, let’s be clear that we are talking about “Grechetto di Orvieto“, technically known as “G109” clone, capable of aging well as very few other Italian white wines. Il Verdicchio, then Timorasso and a few others.
Of course you have to do it well, and Sergio Mottura knows his vineyards as if they were his home, because quality begins on the ground.
“Even without knowing where the grapes come from” – he told us in a visit at the end of the summer – “the best wines are always chosen from the older vineyards. We are talking about a particular grape, the selection begins among the rows giving precise instructions to those who are harvesting.
“Machine harvest is excluded with Grechetto grapes, the skin must not be broken in order not to have too much tannin. At the beginning, its strong tannic imprint penalized us, then we understood that with a very particular, very delicate process, this problem was avoided “.
And the results, all over the world, have arrived.
Aiming therefore for the highest quality, which then ends in a more “immediate” version with only aging in steel (Poggio della Costa) and in a more meditative version aged in wood (Latour a Civitella), Sergio Mottura’s Grechetto is a ideal companion for our Canino asparagus.
The spicy notes, together with fruity and floral aromas, are enriched over time with hints of Mediterranean scrub. A perfect aromatic kit to marry asparagus, without overpowering them.
The recipe for the cream of Canino asparagus, enriched with bread and bacon, however, also has the structure capable of supporting a wine that is certainly not light.
As often happens in this case too, the regional combination works very well, choosing the Poggio della Costa or the Latour in Civitella according to personal tastes.
Tasting is believing!