You may know of Le Vieux Pin and La Stella wineries as high quality French and Italian style wines coming from the Okanagan. But you may not know that they also provide olive oil and now Mosto Cotto from Italy!
What is Mosto Cotto?
Well you probably have heard of Balsamic Vinegar. Mosto Cotto isn’t the Balsamic Vinegar that you normally get in the grocery store. According to Wikipedia Balsamic Vinegar is “…is made from a reduction of pressed Trebbiano and Lambrusco grapes. The resulting thick syrup, called mosto cotto in Italian, is subsequently aged for a minimum of 12 years in a battery of seven barrels of successively smaller sizes. The casks are made of different woods like chestnut, acacia, cherry, oak, mulberry, ash, and, in the past, juniper. True balsamic vinegar is rich, glossy, deep brown in color and has a complex flavour that balances the natural sweet and sour elements of the cooked grape juice with hints of wood from the casks…” This reduced grape syrup, Mosto Cotto can be enjoyed on it’s own rather than further process/age it into top quality Balsamic Vinegar.
I was fortunate today to sample some La Stella Mosto Cotto on it’s own. It was deep orangy brown in colour. A very intense molasses nose which with air, added a dill component. Quite sweet and sour at the same time on the palate. Medium minus body with burnt sugar / caramel flavour. The higher acidity of the Mosto Cotto keeps it lively in your mouth. Long lasting finish. The grapes to produce their Mosto Cotto are biodynamically farmed and certified.
What would you serve with Mosto Cotto? I was told by Rasoul from Le Vieux Pin and La Stella wineries that in Italy he has seen the Mosto Cotto dissolved in soda water as a drink, and put on shaved ice. It could be drizzled onto vegetables and polenta. If you are more ambitious you could take the jus from a roast beef, add some mosto cotto and reduce this down and serve on the roast beef. Mosto cotto is very versatile.
La Stella Olive Oil
I was first introduced to the La Stella Olive Oil last year, but by that time it was completely sold out. This year the olive oil has just arrived, so there is time for me and you to purchase a bottle. It is also organically produced.
The oil was deep lemon in colour. It had an artichoke, grassy, mineral nose. Very full bodied and round on the palate with a very spicy finish. Their olive oil is called “Intensivo” and yes I agree that it really is intensive. Use sparingly as a condiment as it really is quite peppery. This would be wonderful drizzled on vegetables, or in dishes where the oil would not be overcooked or competing with too many other spices. You really want to enjoy the flavour of this olive oil.
Where can you buy these two products? There will be a small allocation to some specialty grocery stores in the Vancouver area. The easiest way would be to order these through Le Vieux Pin / La Stella. Email firstname.lastname@example.org