What “Mamma” used to make!
If Connolly's made a TV advert for “The Italian Collection”, what would it be like?
Hollywood stars? Yes!
And the best director? Let's go for Francis Ford Coppola.
(He also happens to own a well known vineyard in California. Are you getting the theme?)
What film style? Action? With “Mini” car chases? Romantic? Musical? Italian food & drink?
I think I have the answer to the dilemma... let's incorporate top film stars with our favourite “Italian” chefs and lots of delicious food & drink, all set on location, in beautiful, rolling Tuscan countryside. Who needs an excuse to do that? Why wouldn't you? The cost? It doesn't matter!
What about the actors? Sly Stallone & De Niro are both busy working with another food company, so how about DiCaprio? Co-starring actresses? I could mention current stars such as Monica Bellucci and Alyssa Milano. Let's get them both involved!
The TV chefs? Try Gino, Giada and Nigella (not really Italian, but “Nigellissima” is close enough).
Jamie, unfortunately, wasn't available this time, but might get involved in the follow-up campaign.
Picture the scene...
What could be better than strolling in the sunshine through a village surrounded by vineyards, particularly if it's somewhere in Italy, and you're looking forward to a bottle of wine to go with a home-cooked meal that only your “Mamma” could make?
Where could you possibly turn for help in choosing the perfect ingredients that will match that special bottle? Well, this is a “Hollywood” advert, so the answer is easy and never quite what you expect.
You're all sorted for the basic essentials; onions, garlic, tomatoes, herbs. You may begin!
So, back to the advert...
Leo asks Monica for directions to the local deli where, obviously, the perfect wine/food selection is available. She offers to take him there and they're seen entering the doorway of the quaint, old shop.
(Note to director: close-up on the cute puppy waiting outside).
Inside, as if by magic, the shopkeeper (Gino) appears.
Suggesting a bottle of Terredora's “Loggia della Serra” Greco di Tufo white as an ideal accompaniment to his favourite 'antipasti' recipe of smoked mackerel with an orange and fennel salad, Leo takes his suggestion and buys the wine along with all the necessary ingredients. Who would have thought that Gino's recipe was the same one that Leo's “Mamma” would make?
Campania, close to Naples (which is nowhere near Tuscany!), produces wines that, in the past, rarely left the area. “Greco” is one of those wines now achieving success outside of its homeland and is a complex mix of flowers/minerals/citrus/pear/apple & honey on the nose with a dry, savoury palate combining peach/almond/mandarin orange and ginger notes, which pairs beautifully with Gino's antipasti.
On leaving the shop, Leo bumps into “old friend”, Alyssa (this is “Hollywood”; it happens), who mentions an amazing new restaurant nearby that specialises in Tuscan cuisine and wines. It just happens to be run by Nigella.
Arriving at the restaurant in Alyssa's Ferrari, Leo offers to help prepare Nigella's Florentine steak & Tuscan garlic-herb fries... just suspend belief... it's a work of fiction!
With the meal now served, a suitable wine, naturally, is required to go with it, and the recommendation is for the Castello Fonterutoli Chianti Classico Gran Selezione
Not surprising, this is both Leo and Alyssa's favourite Tuscan red. Who would have guessed?
The area surrounding 'Castellina in Chianti' (near Sienna) is home to the Mazzei family, who were one of the first to adopt the 'Gran Selezione' category for their best Chianti Classico wine.
The 'Castello Fonterutoli' is mostly Sangiovese and manages to achieve the almost impossible feat of balancing elegance and power all at the same time
A rich, structured palate with notes of wild cherries, blackberries, dried flowers, liquorice spice, leather, grilled almonds and espresso coffee, all wrapped up in silky, French oak.
It's a real “wow” wine that you won't want to miss. Even if it's only affordable to Leo & friends!
For the final scene in our advert, Leo decides to finish the evening at the local bar where (you'll never believe it) all of the Hollywood cast just happen to be at a party celebrating the “Director's Cut” of Mr Coppola's latest film. Food and drink is free for everyone that night so, after a few Peroni and some Prosecco, it's only fair that Giada gets to showcase one of her famous Italian-style desserts. The party-goers opt for the Pineapple Semifreddo which is loaded with fruit, double cream and amaretti biscuits that cry out for a chilled glass of Palazzina Moscato Passito.
Piedmont isn't well known for its sweet, dessert wines.
Think of Barolo & Barbaresco for reds, alongside Gavi for white; all of which are classics, adored by lovers of Italian wines around the world. But if you've got a sweet tooth... and you don't mind admitting it, the Palazzina is for you.
Honeyed, intense flavours of apricot and a buttery/toffee note that works with the amaretti biscuits.
Typical Moscato grapiness on the nose with floral, orange blossom.
The advert ends with a mention of “The Italian Collection” 3 & 6 bottle deals running on all (over £10/bottle) Italian wines at Connolly's throughout June/July/August.
Do you think we should make the advert?
After all, if Warburton's could get Sly Stallone and Robert De Niro, why not?
Bread is good, but wine is so much better!
Whisper it, at long last the Connolly's Wine Sale has returned.... We now have distinctly too much wine and can't actually find space for all the new shiny things we've found to fit in either the Shops or the Warehouse, so it's time to change things around.
It all kicks on Thursday 2nd May with the full list of sale wines attached and we're offering 15% off on Thursday, 20% on Friday, and 25% on Saturday...
More updates from Chris- now into the 5th day of the trip, but actually only the third in South America- having lost the 2 days in Chile, it's time to head to Argentina and finally a chance to acquire more socks...
Whilst his fear of flying was causing Michael, the young Armagh medic sat next to me on the plane over the Andes to come out in a cold sweat, I couldn’t help but drink in the most astonishing views during one of the shortest but most spectacular flights in the world