The Inside Story from Italian Wine Merchants

Torta Caprese, IWM’s Favorite Flourless Chocolate Cake

Easy to make and sinfully good

1357_MEDIUM-300x272This lavish desert, which comes from IWM’s own kitchen, is nothing short of sinful.  The way the chocolate coats your tongue and lingers just long enough makes this dish the best end, or start, to any meal; the only way this dish can possibly be improved is by adding a taste of Ca’ dei Mandorli Brachetto d’Acqui.  The combination of strawberries and chocolate with a slight fizz is heavenly.

Here is the simple recipe for this decadent flourless chocolate cake!

Torta Caprese

9 oz. dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces
1 c. butter
2 tbs. cocoa powder
1 c. granulated sugar
6 eggs, room temperature

1.  Preheat an oven to 310°F and line the bottom of a 9-inch spring-form pan with parchment paper.

2.  Slowly melt the chocolate and butter over a double boiler.  In a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, whisk together the melted chocolate mixture, the cocoa powder, and sugar until combined. Add the eggs one at a time, adding each egg after the first has been incorporated into the mixture.  Pour the mixture into the spring-form pan.  Make sure the mixture is level and smooth on top.

3.  Bake for 50-60 minutes.

4. Let cool and remove from spring-form. Serve to your favorite people. Expect praise and adoration interspersed among the happy sighs.

Inside IWM, December 1-4, 2014: Love What You Drink Edition

A look back at the week that was

IMG_3824From enjoying a beautiful Rosso di Montalcino from the humble Baricci family to exploring the unsung region of Lazio or the lesser-known dry whites of Bordeaux, this week on IWM exhorts you to love what you drink. And if enjoying David Bertot’s personal spin on Barrici or Robin Kelley O’Connor’s in-depth look at Bordeaux isn’t enough to make you salivate, then check in on IWM’s own Chef Mike, who offers an easy, delicious and healthy recipe for Panelle de Fave, a great alternative to polenta.

Our Experts all went with single estates this week. Justin sung the praises of under-the-radar Bachey-Legros; Crystal showed her love for Super-Tuscan gentle giant Castello dei Rampolla; and Garrett honored the legacy of Burgundy great Joseph Drouhin. Six superb wines, and each one very, very different–how can you not love what you drink?

As we slide deeper in to the holiday season, we invite you to join us at IWM NYC at one of our tasting events, and we thank you for letting us help you find wines to share with you and yours!

Chef Mike Marcelli’s Panelle de Fave

A simple, tasty recipe for any time of year, straight from the kitchens of IWM

IMG_20141202_162118 Cold weather and crisp winds make me want to stay inside, cook, and drink great wine. I decided to head down to the kitchen to chat with IWM’s very own Chef Mike to see what recipes he might suggest. I wanted to know which dishes he most enjoyed making this season, and what dishes our guests were enjoying at IWM events. Glad I took this journey to the kitchen!

Mike gave me a great recipe that I would like to share with everyone: Panelle de Fave.

IMG_20141202_163205Eaten in many parts of Italy, Panelle de Fave goes by different names in different regions. It’s Panelle around Sicily, Panissa in Liguria, Calentita around Gibraltar, and likely other names in other places. No matter what you call it, this dish starts as a smooth batter of ground fava beans and water that is fried and enjoyed as finger food. It’s delicious and a great accompaniment to wine, perfect as an appetizer or as an accompaniment to soup, salad or stew.

Chef Mike he likes to change the base ingredients depending on the season; this past spring was chickpea, and for the winter he’s thinking of trying Cicerechi beans from Abruzzo… Yum! Currently he’s using fava flour. Not finding one he liked, Mike sourced good Haba (dried whole fava beans) and put them in the blender until very fine. He did warn that making your own fava flour in a blender will make a racket, but the end result is a flour that has actual, serious fava flavor! Mike says that making your own fava flour is “not unlike coffee from fresh ground whole beans versus that of pre ground.”


300 gr fava flour

1 liter of water


oil (for greasing the pan)

lemon juice


IMG_20141202_164522After making your own fava flour (or using one you already like), prepare 1 liter boiling water, seasoned with a pinch of salt. Measure out and sift 300gr fava flour. Slowly pour the flour into the boiling water while whisking vigorously, just as you would when making polenta. Drop the flame to low and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the raw flour taste is gone and the mixture shows a smooth consistency (about 10 minutes). Pour the batter out onto an oiled plate and let cool. Once cold, turn out onto a cutting board and cut into small pieces. Fry in oil at 375°F until golden. Season with salt, lemon juice and parsley for a fantastic finish!

IMG_20141202_192137For me the end to a chilly perfect day would be would consist of a plate of Panelle de fave, and a nicely chilled glass of white wine, preferably from one of IWM classic producers. I’d suggest pairing this dish with a nice green salad and William Fevre Chablis Grand Cru Bougros Cote Bouguerots 2011 or Sartarelli Verdicchio Castelli di Jesi Classico 2013!


Osso Buco for Chilly Autumn Nights

A classic recipe for cold nights

osso-bucco-w-saffrom-223x300A classic Milanese veal Osso Buco is a surefire way to warm up the mind, body, and soul this winter season.

Heat up a Dutch oven on high heat.

Dust eight seasoned veal shanks (center cut), 2 to 2 1/2 inches think, and sear in a little olive oil; set aside.

Lower heat to medium.

Add 2 chopped onions, 4 chopped ribs of celery, 2 chopped carrots, and 5 minced cloves of garlic to the Dutch oven, and sauté for 5 minutes in a few tablespoons of butter and olive oil.

Deglaze with half a bottle of a neutral tasting white wine (feel free to pour yourself a glass or two).

Add 12 ounces of veal stock and a 14 ounce can of San Marzano tomatoes.

Add the veal shanks back to the Dutch oven and bring to a simmer.

Add rosemary, sage, thyme, and bay leaves as well as salt and pepper.

Cover the Dutch and put into a 350 degree oven for 2 hours.

Set aside the shanks.

Reduce sauce by half; taste and re-season, if needed.

Serve over saffron risotto, drizzling the sauce.

Serve extra sauce on the side for dipping.

Stick a 3 inch piece of rosemary in the shank bone for presentation and aroma.

Here are 3 simple tricks to add a tremendous depth to the flavor of the risotto:

  1. Instead of using chicken stock, use veal stock for more depth.
  2. Use bone marrow instead of butter.
  3. Increase the saffron threads by 50%.

Serves 4 to 6, with plenty of leftovers.  If you are so inclined, broken down Osso Buco leftovers make an amazing filling for homemade raviolis.

Barolo is a spectacular choice for this classic Northern Italian dish. I highly recommend the 2007 Renzo Seghesio Barolo. I have been able to enjoy the 1996, 1998, 2004, and 2007 vintages of this particular Barolo, and all of them are delicious. The freshness and zippiness of the2007 will certainly complement this dish at first, but the complexity of the dish and the wine with finely sync as the meal progresses.

Inside IWM, August 18-21, 2014: Unabashedly Gleeful Edition

A look back at the week that was

pic2If this week is any indication, the staff at IWM is wresting every last drop from this summer. Jessica Catelli wrote about her trip to Cape Cod, where she and her friends enjoyed copious lobster rolls and rosé wine; she even included a recipe for lobster rolls and picked three rosés to accompany your meal! Always adventurous, Crystal Edgar ventured into unknown territory with a mono-varietal Susumaniello from Tenute Rubino, and found this under $20 Puglian wine to be big, bold and delicious. And we started the week with a salute to summer’s most extraordinary fruit, the tomato.

Our experts feel similarly. Will Di Nunzio opened the week with two of his favorite emblematic Tuscan wines, a Chianti Classico and a Brunello di Montalcino. Francesco Vigorito closed it with a pair of Nebbiolo gems–and one is under $20! In between, Garrett Kowalsky selected a refreshing duo of white wines, one Italian and one Burgundy. And Robin Kelley O’Connor couldn’t contain his excitement for this Saturday’s Bordeaux tasting, so he picked a pair of Bordeaux beauties.

We’re hoping you’re thoroughly enjoying these last few weeks of summer, however it is you choose to do it!

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