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Skewers and wine for the summer holidays!

They say this summer is going to be a hot one. So let’s fight fire with fire!

The barbecue represents the essence of the summer holidays. In mid-August Italians traditionally celebrate the Feast of the Assumption by firing up the barbecue for a classic dinner with friends! But if you’re tired of the same old barbecued ribs, try barbecuing on skewers and serve your friends something new this summer!

SKEWERS FOR ALL

The good thing about skewers is that they’re easy to make, they cook quickly, they look fantastic, and, above all, there are no limits on the possible combinations you can come up with. So forget the old beef and sausages, and experiment with some new ingredients for lots of fun and surprises!

Here are a few of our suggestions.

MANGO PRAWN

Let’s start with something new from Down Under: the legendary mango&prawn skewer. Marinate cubes of mango (cut fairly thick) and shrimp in a blend of olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and coriander. Run a skewer through them and barbecue for 2 or 3 minutes, then serve with aioli and fresh lime. Delicious!

Our wine pairing The sweet flavour of mango and shrimp is perfectly balanced by the fruity, velvety tones of Duchessa Lia Blanc De Blancs Brut: a fresh, vivacious sparkling wine that is at its best with seafood appetisers and aperitifs.


TOFU POWER

Vegetarians in the party? The Japanese have a great suggestion that will satisfy even the strictest of your vegan friends: atsuage tofu, traditionally served with grilled vegetables or salad. Buy a big chunk of tofu and dry it out well (evaporate excess water in the microwave if you are in a hurry). Cut the tofu into big squares, skewer and deep fry in piping hot sesame seed oil, then barbecue over a hot grill for just a few seconds to smoke. Serve topped with finely chopped ginger and spring onions.

Our wine pairing Tofu demands a particularly smooth wine. Try Duchessa Lia Pinot Spumante Brut, made with pinot blanc grapes. Fresh fruit and delicate hints of yeast, enveloped in a fine, persistent perlage, for a truly subtle pleasure!


PINCHOS FROM SPAIN

Spicy skewers add a touch of excitement, and pinchos morunos are just right for the job. An ancient Moorish tradition created these splendid skewers flavoured with paprika, pepper and saffron and cooked over hot coals right on the street. Cube pork, chicken or beef and marinade in a very special sauce: half an onion, two cloves of garlic, saffron, black pepper, a pinch of cinnamon, hot chili pepper, ground cumin and plenty of sweet paprika. Add 50 ml olive oil and half a teaspoon of salt. Put all the ingredients in the mortar and pound to make a dense sauce, bright orange in colour. Add the cubed meat and marinade for at least 4 or 5 hours.

Our wine pairing The bold spices of this dish demand a wine with plenty of backbone that cleans the mouth and invites you to take another bite. We suggest Duchessa Lia Nebbiolo d’Alba Doc , a full-bodied wine which is intense but not overbearing, with delicate tannins that pair perfectly with flavourful meat dishes. And we’ll let you in on a little secret: in the summer, it’s all right to put red wine in the refrigerator – only for a few minutes, to cool it slightly, to a temperature of 18°. It will taste much better than at room temperature (which can exceed 25° in summer).


BARBECUED… FRUIT!

Who says you can’t barbecue fruit? Strawberries, peaches, melon and pineapple taste great grilled. The best way to cook fruit is to cut it into cubes all the same thickness. But first, marinate it for a few hours in a syrup made of sugar, water and a shot of liqueur (such as brandy or maraschino). To add a touch of “stars and stripes”, alternate fruit with marshmallows on your skewers, and you have a barbecued dessert!

Our pairing Every great meal finishes on a sweet note. So how about a glass of Duchessa Lia Moscato d’Asti Docg , one of Piedmont’s favourite dessert wines. Moscato d’Asti stands out for its incredible flavour of fresh fruit, as if the grapes had only just been crushed. The fruity flavour of Moscato also contains hints of wisteria, acacia and white blossoms.


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