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3 Ingredients for the Perfect Winter Aperitivo

3 Ingredients for the Perfect Winter Aperitivo

Dreaming of an Alpine ski trip this year? Luckily, you can bring all the flavors of your dream winter vacation right to your own table – just BYO cozy fire, and we'll guide you through the rest.

Located in the northeastern part of Italy, Alto Adige (also known as Südtirol) is an autonomous region known for its snow-capped mountain peaks and a unique, bilingual culture that pulls from both Italian and Austrian influences. Thanks to the diverse altitudes and rich soil of the mountain climate, and mindful producers that still follow centuries-old traditions, the food and wine of this region is both distinct and delicious.

No matter if you're a seasoned ski pro or more for the pleasures of aprés-ski, you can create an Alpine aperitivo right at home with just a few simple ingredients.

Cheesemaking in the Italian Alps Alto Adige

1. ALPINE CHEESES

One taste of Alto Adige's milky formaggi, and you'll be hooked. From the peaks to plains of the Dolomites, Alpine cows graze freely on mountain pastures for nuanced, flavorful milk that skilled producers turn into traditional cheeses.

Fill your board with a selection of semi-firm to hard cow's milk cheeses: start with Stelvio DOP – the only DOP-designated cheese in Alto Adige – which brings and intense and aromatic taste to your spread.Add a hunk of with Alta Badia, a hard cheese with toasty, milky notes. Round out your selection with the stunning Lagrein wine cheese, rubbed with herbs and spices and soaked in local Lagrein wine for a luscious rind and a buttery, aromatic flavor.

Speck cured meat with Sudtirol Alto Adige logo

2. SPECK ALTO ADIGE PGI

Hailing from the Alto Adige region, the smoked, lightly cured Speck can be summed up in one simple phrase: "Little salt, little smoke, and plenty of fresh mountain air." Made from carefully selected pork legs, all Speck Alto Adige PGI is rubbed with a spice mixture of salt, pepper, juniper pepper, and bay leaves, and cured for about 22 weeks. Unlike its prosciutto crudo cousin, Speck Alto Adige PGI offers an aromatic, smoky flavor that pairs perfectly with the cheeses of the region.

Alto Adige wine vineyards in winter

3. A GLASS OF WINE

And to pair with your winter happy hour? Look no further than Lagrein, a red wine grape variety native to Alto Adige (and yes, the same wine used in one of our cheese recommendations above!). Lagrein wines are pleasing and full-bodied but not heavy, with a high acidity that makes a perfect foil to the buttery, smoky flavors of the region's salumi and formaggi. Our wine experts recommend Abbazia di Novacella Lagrein, a velvety expression of this grape with notes of cherry and cocoa.

Get a taste of Alto Adige/Südtirol this month at Eataly! Bring home a special Alto Adige Tagliere to enjoy all the flavors of Italy's alpine region.

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Speck Alto Adige IGP logoAlto Adige Vino wine logo