February 2012

In order to “eat my wine”, I chose to prepare a pot roast marinated and slowly simmered in a Barolo wine.  Why pot roast?  Why Barolo?  This is a specialty entree from the Piemonte region of Italy.  It has a French influence and is known as “Brasato al Barolo” (braised beef with Barolo).

Barolo is a hearty red wine which is necessary to stand up to the 3 hours in the oven required for a rump roast.  Forget the veggies being used as a side dish. They will cook up to a mush. However, I suggest to puree the veggies with the liquid sauce after taking out of the oven to help thicken and enhance the taste of the reduction to apply over the meat when it is served.  YUM!  OK, so I spent $45 on the bottle of Barolo, but a friend had recommended it.  You see, he had been traveling through the Piemonte region of Italy a year ago and enjoyed a fabulous lunch where several bottles of the 2004 bottle of Ceretto Zonchera Barolo were served.  Et voila, there was that exact wine staring at me from the shelf of the wine store!  I decided to bite the bullet and pay the rather expensive (for me anyway) price tag.

The Ceretto winery:

Ceretto WineryHere are the tasting notes for the wine which scored 90 points:

“Zonchera is Ceretto’s more affordable base Barolo and it offers an excellent taste profile for those who are new to Nebbiolo. The wine opens with a dark, garnet-brown hue and segues to aromas of ripe berry, apple skin, vanilla, licorice and ginger. It’s a fruit-forward wine with tight tannins and a polished mouthfeel. It’s ready to drink now with fondue or grilled meat.”

Here is the recipe for the Brasato Al Barolo.  There are many variations, so you can look for the one that suits you best!


A Food Project in Sardinia, Italy

View clip here.

Viktorija Todorovska and cohort are creating an electronic multimedia resource on the foods and wines of Sardinia and the people who produce them. Sardinia is most known for its beautiful coasts, but the Mediterranean’s second-biggest island has some of the most unique cultural and culinary traditions, many of which have never been written about in English. The electronic resource will tell the story of the diverse foods and wines of the island and people who still make them in traditional ways, with passion and dedication.

The project will include video interviews with Sardinian food and wine producers and multimedia narratives about the products and how they are used. Provided funding, the electronic resources will be released in the Fall of 2012.

In order to make this fantastic project turn into reality, you can pledge a small or large amount at her Kickstart Project Page.


Viktorija Todorovska is a food and wine writer and educator. Viktorija is passionate about the Mediterranean Diet and helping cooks of all ages explore the world of food through simple and flavorful combinations of high-quality ingredients. Viktorija studied Italian cooking at Apicius, the International School of Hospitality in Florence, Italy, and continues to explore the culinary traditions of Italy during her travels.

Viktorija’s passion for wine is inseparable from her love of food. She writes about wine and leads wine tastings and classes, making topics such wine styles, food pairings, and how to choose wines easy to understand. Viktorija is an accredited Sommelier (International Sommelier Guild), French Wine Scholar (French Wine Academy), and Certified Specialist of Wine (Society of Wine Educators).

Viktorija’s first cookbook, The Puglian Cookbook: Bringing the Flavors of Puglia Home, was published in April 2011. Viktorija’s stories and recipes paint a vivid picture of the region and its culinary traditions. The recipes are simple and easy to prepare, making it possible even for beginner cooks to create delicious meals and create unforgettable dining experiences.

When she is not sipping wine and teaching classes in Chicago and its surroundings, Viktorija can be found traveling the wine regions of the world, soaking up new knowledge and discovering new and interesting wines and the stories of the people who make them.

  1. olivacooking.com
  2. mywinesmarts.com