:: itchefs-GVCI ::

Grana Padano

2012



The Corkscrew

The Tools of the trade nº1:
A modest implement for important events

Verdicchio di Jesi passito, Brachetto d’Acqui, Malvasia dolce, Moscato, Marsala dolce, Moscadello di Montalcino, Sciacchetrà liquoroso and so many other sweet, liqueur-like wines with the aroma of ripe fruit and of flowers to accompany cakes or deserts, but what else is needed, other than the appropriate glass, to be able to enjoy these delights? The corkscrew… naturally!

The origin of the corkscrew is lost in mystery; the most credible hypothesis is perhaps the one of the Englishman, Bernard Watney, who maintains that the invention (of about 1680) of this object was originated by the spiral twist of the ball retrieving rod, used by soldiers to extract projectiles caught in the barrels of muzzle loading firearms. It is curious to think that the invention of the corkscrew had its origin in England, where by 1700 it was already an object of common use, in a country that produces beer and cider but no wine.

Thanks to the early industrialisation that occurred in England, the low cost production of glass bottles of varying volumes was quickly developed, giving bottles high usage. Originally, bottles were of onion shape, which was slowly to be replaced by the cylindrical shape that we are accustomed to see today. Naturally, this narrow-mouthed recipient had to be given a reliable closing; the most suitable was considered to be of cork, which had already been used for years for closing terracotta amphorae and wooden casks.

The first corkscrews were simple instruments of dimensions small enough to be carried in one’s pocket. They were mostly of iron, a resistant material of low cost, although this was sometimes combined with other more noble materials such as brass, silver, ivory, mother of pearl and gold. The simplest corkscrew is the T-shaped one, which is used together with manual traction and its function is elementary; it only has to be sunk into the cork by rotating and placing pressure on the worm or screw, usually while squeezing the bottle between one’s thighs and, then, exerting an often considerable force of traction, in order to extract the stopper from the neck.

Various scientific tests conducted on eighteen different corkscrews with the objective of establishing their efficiency did not succeed in giving any indication for the selection of the ideal corkscrew or suggest which characteristics this tool should have to be able to uncork a bottle correctly with more ease and less strain.

The characteristics of a good corkscrews are the following: the tip of the screw or worm should be inclined in such a manner to facilitate its insertion into the cork, the worm should entre the cork at the point closest to the centre in order not to damage the cork tissue before its extraction and, finally, the screw should be long enough in order to be able to enter the full length of the cork, to simplify the extraction of the stopper, even if this may perhaps causes the falling of detritus of cork into the wine.

The difference of opinion among specialists remains to be commented on; should the screw of a corkscrew enter the full length of the cork or stop some millimetres before? There can be two answers, both being true. If the stopper is manufactured out of cork of optimum quality and if the corkscrew is equipped with a sharply pointed screw, it is better if it enters the full length of the cork thus making its extraction easier, while if the stopper consists of cork chips of low quality, if the screw passes the full length of the cork there is a strong risk that cork particles will fall into the wine.

What ever, it seems worthwhile to me to remember that the corkscrew, always present in moments of enjoyment, opens the way to one of the true pleasures of life; relishing a glass of excellent wine!

Eugenio Medagliani

 

Itchefs-GVCI associate Francesco Farris, Best New restaurant 2012 in Dallas

Zio Cecio, Francesco Farris´ Sardinian restaurant in Dallas, Texas was proclaimed by D Magazine one of the Best New Restaurants of year 2012. Congratulations!

See the review.

 

Itchefs-GVCI associate Francesco Sanna´s Paletto: Best Western Restaurant - Editor's Pick 2012

Paletto Italian Restaurant, Ritz Carlton Shenzhen has been awarded "Best Western Restaurant - Editor's Pick 2012" by the influential Voyage Magazine 新旅行 in their Annual Gourmet Gold List. The proud awardee is Itchefs-GVCI associate Francesco Sanna.

Winners of the "Best Western Restaurant - Editor's Pick Award" are chosen by a group of senior F&B editors of the press through deliberation lasting several months. Congratulations Francesco!

 

8 ½ Otto e Mezzo BOMBANA HK achieves 3 Michelin Stars for two consecutive years

8 ½ Otto e Mezzo BOMBANA HK has received for two years in a row the highest rating awarded by the judges of the Michelin guide.

Itchefs GVCI would like to congratulate Chef Bombana and his team, leadered by Danilo Nicoletti, for this renewed acknowledgement. We had the opportunity of enjoying one of Chef Bombana´s remarkable meals during the last Italian Cuisine & Wine World Summit where he cooked side by side with 3 Michelin Stared Chefs Chicco Cerea and Heinz Beck for the opening gala dinner of the Wine and Spirit´s Fair: The luxury of the Fall´s Table.

 

A unique Gastronomical Event in Minsk with Chef Giuseppe Zanotti hosting 2 Michelin Stared Chef Marco Sacco

Itchefs GVCI Chef Giuseppe Zanotti, executive chef of Restaurant Falcone, Minsk in Belarus, was the organizer of a two Gala event that took place on December 7 and 8, 2012. The event was open both to the public and to journalists from different media. The themes of the evenings were “Tradition” and “Evolution”, the special Guest was another itchefs-GVCI associate, 2 Michelin stared Chef Marco Sacco from Piccolo Lago Restaurant, Verbania. "To each product its story to every man his interpretation" was the leit motiv of this unique evenings.

 
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