Roberto Ballestrazzi Speaks Medenese

Opera 02’s Roberto Ballestrazzi demonstrates some local Modena Pride.

This was the sign we spotted on the wall of Modena’s main market, a reminder of just how important Italy’s regional cultures are today.   “Campanalismo” is the idea of a region or city’s attachment to local traditions, indigenous foods and wines, and regional dialects.  This fierce defense of localized history is poetic- and it is the root of what makes Italy’s wines so diverse and its food culture so richly varied.

Take Modena for example.  You cannot possibly imagine the perfection of pairing a local Lambrusco Grasparossa wine with a similarly traditional dish like Tortellini in Brodo, until you taste it.  These dishes, these wines, have had hundreds of years and multiple generations of winemakers (and Italian mammas) to arrive at such transcendence.  The food and the wine have developed together, around each other.Lambrusco Secco 2012 Opera 02

The mellow, savory hot broth delicately cushioning those toothsome bites of fresh pasta wrapped around shavings of parmigiano and ground prosciutto.  When you follow this rich, deeply satisfying mouthful with a glug of sparkling, cold Lambrusco you can actually feel the two separate elements combining into something even more satisfying- and more authentic.  The Lambrusco’s fresh minerality and bright, palate-cleansing acidity is tempered by the rich broth.  Even the temperatures of the two components work together to create something that is truly beautiful and balanced.

Happy Shiny FacesSome things are considered “classic” for very good reasons.