OT: Regaleali Nero d’Avola di Tasca d’Almerita (2013)

20151114_215743 I had the chance recently of tasting an Italian wine that was unknown to me and I really enjoyed it. As a curiosity, it can be mentioned it’s made predominantly with an autonomous grape called Nero d’Avola.

  • Winery: Tasca d’Almerita Via dei Fiori, 13 – 90129 Palermo
  • Phone: + 39 091 645 9711
  • Winemaker: Carlo Ferrini and Anna Tasca Lanza
  • Website: tascadalmerita.it/en/
  • Brand: Regaleali
  • Appellation: Red – Sicilia I.G.T.
  • Type: Young Red Wine aged for six months, fifty percent in stainless steel tanks, the remainder in large Slovenian oak casks, 30 and 60 hl. in size, plus 3 months in bottles.
  • Vintage:  2013
  • Alcohol: 13.50%
  • Grape Variety: Nero d’Avola predominantly (aka Calabrese).
  • Vineyards: From various estate vineyards located between 1,485 and 2,500 feet above sea level. The vines are over 60 years-old. 
  • Soil Type: Clay and Sandy-Loam
  • Bottle Size: 75.0 cl.
  • Price: Don’t know the price in the restaurant but I believe is available in Spain at around € 10.70.
  • My wine rating: 90/100 (A wine of very good to excellent quality) NEW!

20151114_215828 Regaleali is a vast Sicilian estate owned by the noble Tasca d’Almerita family since 1837 and best-known for its fine wines. Sicily’s viticultural roots are some of the world’s most ancient as the area supported vines as far back as five centuries before Christ. The Tasca D’Almerita family runs a model estate that yields approximately 200,000 cases annually. The wines are made in one of the world’s most modern wineries built under the direction of Ezio Rivella.

Nero d’Avola has long been the indigenous grape variety of the area, but was originally relegated as a blending agent to add colour and body to other wines of the region. In the past few decades, Nero d’Avola has come into its own, bringing Sicily well-deserved winemaking recognition. Also known as Calabrese, Nero d’Avola has become the most popular grape grown in Sicily, making wines from 100% of the variety rather than blended. Its wines are dark in colour, big in fruit flavours, well-suited for oak and able to age for quite a few years, although most are good drinking upon release too.

Review: Chef Maurice and a Spot of Truffle by J A Lang

Esta entrada es bilingüe, para ver la versión en castellano desplazarse hacia abajo

Purple Panda Press, 2015. Format: Kindle Edition. File size: 500 KB. Print Length: 242 pages. ASIN: B00TOO2QW8 ISBN: 978 1 910679 03 6


Maurice is the owner and head chef of Le Cochon Rouge, the one and only restaurant of Beakley, a fictional village in the Cotswolds. One day, he’s very much worried. The mushroom season has just started and Ollie, his local forager and supplier of wild products, has not yet arrived. He was counting with some mushrooms for his evening dishes. Perhaps the recent increase in demand for all kind of ‘wild’ products is going to leave him without his regular supplies. For this reason, Maurice himself, heads to Ollie’s house to find out what has happened. Ollie is nowhere to be found and the door of his house is ajar. Without thinking twice, Maurice gets into the kitchen and in the fridge, between several  other plastic boxes, there’s one labelled Le Cochon Rogue, misspelled, Maurice likes that. His case isn’t quite full, but at least has a decent selection of mushrooms. Engrossed, Maurice doesn’t notice the shadowy figure who comes creeping up behind him and hits him hard in the head.

Upon regaining consciousness, Maurice comes across PC Lucy Gavistone, the only member of the Cowton and Beakley Constabulary who lives in Beakley itself, and she prevents Maurice to take anything away with him, including the box with his mushrooms. According to a neighbour, Ollie has not been seen for a few days. But later on, Maurice returns to Ollie’s house to pick up his mushrooms, and has a chance encounter with his friend Arthur Worthington-Smythe, the gastronomic critic of the England Observer. Arthur tries to convince him not to disturb a possible crime scene, unsuccessfully. And Maurice, thanks to his fine sense of smell, makes an amazing discovery. Among the plants and vegetables at Ollie’s kitchen there’s a highly coveted white Alba truffle. Back at the restaurant, Maurice realises that maybe the truffle doesn’t come from Italy and he starts looking for a dog and train it in the search for truffles. When he can’t find one, he has to settle with a pig. At this point is when the body of poor Ollie appears with obvious signs of having been killed. Chef Maurice becomes an amateur detective and, with the help of his friend Arthur in the role of his sidekick, is determined to unravel what happened.

I do enjoy reading mainly ‘noir‘ fiction and hardboiled mysteries rather than ‘cozies’ or soft-boiled, but I occasionally savour a nice piece of cozy mystery, not to mention a Golden Age detective fiction. And I must admit, in this case, I have spent a good time reading Chef Maurice and a Spot of Truffle. The story is fun, the characters are charming, the plot is well-assembled, it unfolds in the Cotswolds and, to top it all, it revolves around food. A book that, without doubt, helps to keep up our spirit and to enjoy life. A delight.

My rating: B (I really liked it)

chefmauricefishyJ.A. Lang is a British mystery author, living in Oxford, England. She is the author of the Chef Maurice series of culinary mysteries:

Chef Maurice and the Wrath of Grapes (Book #2)

Chef Maurice and the Bunny-Boiler Bake Off (Book # 3)

Subscribe to J A Lang’s reader newsletter to hear about new releases, as well as other Chef Maurice news and giveaways, at: http://www.jalang.net/newsletter, where . You can also connect with J.A. Lang on Facebook or at J A Lang website.  Specifically you can download a free prequel of the series, a short story Chef Maurice and the Rather Fishy Tale.

One day, Chef Maurice finds a small wooden fish in his daily shipment of fish from his new supplier Bert Soundman. After a careful examination, he discovers a message for help engraved on the fish. Chef Maurice together with his friend Arthur Wordington-Smythe are ready to investigate what happened. 

As a short story it can be read and serves as a nice introduction to the series.

Chef Maurice and a Spot of Truffle has been reviewed at In Search of the Classic Mystery Novel (Steve), Mysteries in Paradise (Kerrie), At the Scene of the Crime (Patrick) and at Euro Crime (Rich), among others.  

Chef Maurice y un sitio de trufas de J A Lang

Maurice es el propietario y jefe de cocina de Le Cochon Rouge, el único restaurante de Beakley, un pueblo ficticio en los Cotswolds. Un día, él se encuentra muy preocupado. La temporada de setas acaba de comenzar y Ollie, el recolector local y proveedor de productos naturales aún no ha llegado. Contaba con algunas setas para sus platos de la tarde. Tal vez el reciente aumento de la demanda de todo tipo de productos “naturales” lo va a dejar sin sus suministros regulares. Por esta razón, el propio Maurice, se dirige a la casa de Ollie para averiguar qué le ha podido pasar. Ollie no aparece por ninguna parte y la puerta de su casa está entreabierta. Sin pensarlo dos veces, Maurice se mete en la cocina y en el refrigerador, entre otras varoas cajas de plástico, hay una marcada Le Cochon Rogue, mal escrito, a Maurice le gusta eso. Su caja no está muy llena, pero al menos tiene una buena selección de setas. Absorto, Maurice no se da cuenta de la figura oscura que llega sigilosamente por detrás de él y lo golpea con fuerza en la cabeza.

Al recuperar la conciencia, Maurice se encuentra con PC Lucy Gavistone, la único representante de la Policía de Cowton y Beakley que vive en el mismo Beakley, y ella evita que Maurice puede llevarse nada con él, incluyendo la caja con sus setas. Según una vecina, Ollie no ha sido visto desde hace unos días. Pero más tarde Maurice regresa a la casa de Ollie para recoger sus setas, y se encuentra por casualidad con su amigo Arthur Worthington-Smythe, el crítico gastronómico del England Observer. Arthur trata de convencerle de no perturbar la posible escena de un crimen, sin éxito. Y Maurice, gracias a su fino sentido del olfato, hace un descubrimiento asombroso. Entre las plantas y verduras de la cocina de Ollie hay una muy codiciada trufa blanca de Alba. De regreso en su restaurante, Maurice se da cuenta de que tal vez la trufa no proviene de Italia y comienza a buscar un perro para entrenarlo en la búsqueda de trufas. Cuando no puede encontrar uno, tiene que conformarse con un cerdo. En este punto es cuando el cuerpo del pobre Ollie aparece con signos evidentes de haber sido asesinado. Chef Maurice se transforma en detective aficionado y, con la ayuda de su amigo Arthur en el papel de su ayudante, está decidido a desentrañar lo ocurrido. 

Disfruto de la lectura, principalmente de nvelas negras o ‘noir’ y hardboiled que de ‘cozies‘ o soft-boiled, pero de vez en cuando saboreo una buena pieza de misterio cozy, por no hablar de una novela de detectives de la Golden Age. Y debo admitir que, en este caso, he pasado un buen rato leyendo Chef Maurice and a Spot of Truffle. La historia es divertida, los personajes son encantadores, la trama está bien montada,, se desarrolla en los Cotswolds y, para colmo, gira alrededor de la comida. Un libro que, sin duda, ayuda a levantar el ánimo y disfrutar de la vida. Una delicia.

Mi valoración: B (Me gustó mucho)

J. A. Lang es una escritora británica de misterio, que vive en Oxford, Inglaterra. Es autora de la serie de misterios culinarios protagonizados por el chef Maurice:

Chef Maurice and the Wrath of Grapes (Book #2)

Chef Maurice and the Bunny-Boiler Bake Off (Book # 3)

Usted puede suscribirse al boletín de JA Lang para enterarse de sus nuevas entregas, otras noticias del chef Maurice y en donde conseguir también algunos regalos: http://www.jalang.net/newsletter. También puede ponerse en contacto con ella en Facebook o en su página web. Concretamente se puede descargar una precuela gratuita de la serie, una historia breve, Chef Maurice and the Rather Fishy Tale.

Un día, el chef Maurice se encuentra un pequeño pez de madera en su expedición diaria de pescado de su nuevo proveedor Bert Soundman. Después de un cuidadoso exámen, descubre un mensaje pidiendo ayuda grabado en el pez. El chef Maurice junto con su amigo Arthur Worthington-Smythe están dispuestos a investigar lo sucedido.

Como relato corto se deja leer y sirve como una buena introducción a la serie.

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