a community of wine lovers


March 2009


Slow Food Devon Topsham Market this Sunday 10.30am until 1.30pm
Just a reminder that another Slow Food Devon Topsham Market takes place this Sunday. There will be another great collection of producers offering everything from Dartmoor lamb, sourdough bread and freshly picked winter veg, to jams, chutneys, Ark chicken burgers, fantastic pâtés, and more. The Sushi Fairies will be here again, offering delicious freshly prepared sushi - beautiful with a glass of our Prosecco Bisol 'Jeio', the perfect sushi wine.


Italian Table coming soon to the Pebblebed Tasting Cellar
We have now officially registered to enable us to do occasional catering from our Quay Cottage kitchen for the Pebblebed Tasting Cellar and other venues. The plan is to offer occasional Italian Table meals, perhaps once a month, serving the sort of recipes we've written about over the past months here: good, inexpensive, simple mainly Italian and Italian-inspired foods, the sort of satisfying, unfussy cucina casalinga that we hope will work up a prodigious thirst to enjoy our range of Italian wines available in the cellar. We are in discussion with Geoff about dates and will let you know very soon when our first Italian Table will be. However, if you are interested in joining us and would like to reserve a space in advance, please email me marc@vino.co.uk


Super-Tuscan Wine Tasting April 20th, Pebblebed Tasting Cellar
The Tuscans are coming, the Tuscans are coming! Following our recent very successful Tuscany Celebration Dinner with Michael Caines at ABode Exeter, our project to twin Tuscany and Devon as food regions is beginning to take on some real momentum. A group of around 15 Tuscans - cheese and wine producers, chefs and more - led once more by Simone Brogi and Michela Passetti, will be over for the Exeter Festival of South West Food and Drink, hanging out in the Slow Food Devon tee-pee with us around Peter Greig's wood oven.

On April 20th, the Monday after the Exeter Festival, Simone, who with chef wife Michela run their own restaurant, I Cavatappi ('the corkscrews') in Valdera, will be hosting for us a tasting of super-Tuscan wines from the Etruscan coast, accompanied by typical foods of the region, such as salumi and pecorino cheeses. This special evening will take place in the Pebblebed Tasting Cellar and numbers are limited. The cost will be £25 per person. To book your place, please email me as soon as possible.


Vino Recipe of the Month: March

Korean-marinaded steak cooked over vineshoots

In vineyards throughout the northern hemisphere, as we move out of winter and into spring, the vines start to awake from their dormancy as warmer temperatures allow the sap to begin to rise. The winter pruning, done in the coldest months of the year, should have been completed and by March the vineyards are neat and tidy, ready to come to life again.

While the growing seasons in Italy do not exactly mirror those here in Devon, nonetheless Mario Fontana in the Barolo wine hills, and Geoff here in the Pebblebed Vineyard in Ebford, share the annual excitement as the prospects of a new season, another vintage, literally unfolds like the new and fresh leaves that will soon burst forth from the buds.

Each March, Geoff celebrates this annual rebirth of the land with a get-together of friends to enjoy an outdoor vineyard lunch of steaks grilled over a fire made from the pruned vineshoots. This is food to enjoy standing up, the steaks, rare and bloody, slapped between slices of bread, to eat with the hands, washed down with a glass or two of Pebblebed rosé or Mario’s deliciously punchy and vivid Dolcetto d’Alba.

Ask Tony at Arthur’s or Barry at Gerald David’s for the thicker end of skirt steak. This inexpensive cut is just perfect for such a simple meal. Score the meat, soak in this pungent, Korean-inspired marinade of soy sauce, garlic, ginger and spring onions, then fire-cook over vineshoots, charcoal, or under the hottest grill.

(Serves 4)

1 kg skirt or other steak (rib-eye is also very good


3-4 cloves garlic, peeled, crushed and finely chopped
2-3 inch piece of root ginger, peeled and grated
About half a cup of light soy sauce
About a quarter cup of water
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp sugar
Bunch of spring onions, shredded or chopped
Lots of freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
2-3 tbsp toasted sesame seed

Score the meat in a diamond pattern, then add to the marinade and leave for at least 2 hours, preferably longer.

Make a charcoal fire, and when it is really hot, lay some vineshoots over the hot coals. Grill the steak for just about 2-3 minutes a side, depending on thickness and how rare you like your steak. Leave to rest for about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, add a little water to the remaining marinade then bring to the boil. Slice the steak across the grain on the slant. Pile the meat into sliced baguettes then spoon over a little of the sauce. Or else serve with brown short grain rice and a green salad.

Wine: Cascina Fontana Dolcetto d’Alba 2006


Our very best wishes to all,

Marc and Kim


Copyright Marc Millon 2005-2009 All rights reserved
Images copyright Kim Millon 2005-2009 All rights reserved

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