FISAR Christmas dinner

At this time of the year food is an important part of the Italian Christmas tradition. It’s not easy to say what Italians eat with Christmas because it vary widely across Italy. Every region has its own flavors and cooking style.

FISAR dinner

As Christmas is coming, FISAR organized a Christmas dinner for members in restaurant Betulia in Bettole. Bettole is a small village in the Valdichiana area, 25 minutes drive from Montepulciano.

The restaurant is in the centre of the town. It has a really cozy and nice atmosphere. The food is outstanding, especially when it comes to meat and traditional pastas. Highly recommended!

Betulia is owned by chef and FISAR sommelier Nicola Masiello. I know Nicola Masiello since I started with the sommelier course. He was one of my teachers. Nicola is very knowledgeable about wine and local food. Moreover Nicola is an excellent cook!

Nicola Masiello

The Christmas dinner meal at restaurant Betulia was a full course dinner traditionally based on (Chianina and wild boar) meat. Yummy!

The menu was filled with delicious mouth-watering Tuscan food and wines. Here’s the special menu from our FISAR Christmas dinner at Betulia (in Italian..sorry)


  • Composta di salumi caldi in salsa balsamica e cialda di Parmigiano Reggiano; Rolle di coniglio “porchetto”; millefoglie di patate al Pecorino Toscano DOP
    wine : Toscana Rosso IGT 2017 winery Centine
  • Acquacotta Chianina
  • Maltagliati al ragù dell’Aia
    wine : Toscana Rosso IGT 2017 winery Centine
  • Cinghiale in dolce e forte su polentina mantecata
    wine : Brunello di Montalcino DOCG winery Banfi
Wild boar with polenta
  • Mosaico della tradizione natalizia
    wine : Moscadello di Montalcino DOC 2016 Florus
  • Caffè

I had a wonderful evening and a great Christmas dinner. Above all I enjoyed meeting the other members of FISAR. Restaurant Betulia is a good restaurant and worth the detour. I hope to come back soon and repeat my foodie experience in this amazing location in Tuscany.

Merry Christmas!

Christmas in Montepulciano

Event Food and Wine in progress

Food and Wine in Progress

Last weekend I visited the event Food and Wine in Progress in Florence Tuscany. An event in the heart of Florence to explore the world of Tuscany wines and food. This event takes place in “Stazione Leopolda” and attracts many food and wine lovers each year!

Exhibitors show many food and wine delicacies. Chefs prepare local dishes and propose creative food combinations. In addition big names and small producers of the most famous wineries of Tuscany participate to the Food & Wine in Progress event. Wine tastings are offered to guests and many wines are accompanied by events, presentations and show cooking.

Tasting Piandaccoli wines with the best AIS sommelier 2019 in Italy


Wineries I work with represented their wines. Sada produces different types of quality wines including: Vermentino, Toscana IGT and Bolgheri Superiore.

Sada wines
Bolgheri Superiore DOC

Piandaccoli instead showcased their Chianti Reserve and a variety Tuscany IGT wines made from autochthonous grapes: Mammalo and Foglia Tonda.

Serving “Baciami” spumante 100% made from Mammolo grapes


The Food and Wine in Progress event gives you also the opportunity to visit Florence. The weather in November is not very warm and it’s less crowded in the historical centre. One more reason to visit this event in Florence!

Restaurant in Florence

Before visiting the Food and Wine in Progress event I went out to Florence for a delightful lunch. Trattoria “Nella” is near Piazza della Signoria. It is a great traditionally restaurant for delicious food and nice service. The owner is charismatic and he looked after me very well!

Ri-bollita soup | typical Tuscan food

They have a good ri-bollita (Tuscan bread – vegetable soup) and the best homemade chocolate cake I’ve every had. Yummy!

Trattoria Nella
Via delle Terme 19R
50123 Firenze

Olive oil mill in Montepulciano

Il Frantoio di Montepulciano

Frantoio means olive oil mill or olive oil press. Many olive oil producers rely on an external frantoio. Il Frantoio di Montepulciano is established in Montepulciano and counts 600 members. It is a farmers cooperative that supply members various services for the production of extra virgin olive oil.

Olive oil production in Siena

The olive groves are cultivated in the province of Siena. The gently rolling hills around Montepulciano are suitable for cultivating olive groves. The altitude of the hills are about 300-650 m above sea level.

In the province of Siena are many small producers who cultivate olive trees. The farmers take care of the plants by pruning and harvesting for having good olive oil every year.

After harvesting by hand or with mechanical shakers the farmers bring the olives in boxes to the olive mill “frantoio”. The olives are washed to remove dirt. When ready, the olives will be crushed and pressed cold (< 28 degrees) in a modern machine.

Thanks to the cold press the olives keep their properties for a high quality extra virgin olive oil. After the extraction of the oil, the olive oil will be soon packed in bottles, cans or in small tins.

Different types of olive oil

Il Frantoio di Montepulciano produces different types of high quality olive oils. Olive oil extra virgin from il Frantoio di Montepulciano is obtained from the olive varieties Leccino, Frantoio and Moraiolo.

Leccino, Frantoio and Moraiolo olive varieties

Olio Extravergine di Oliva 100% Italiano

Oil produced with a range of traditional Tuscan olive varieties.

Olio Extravergine di Oliva DOP Terre di Siena

DOP (Protected Designation of Origin) guarantees the area of production and qualitative characteristics of the olives. Olio extravergine di Oliva DOP Terre di Siena is a very high quality olive oil.

Olio Extravergine di Oliva IGP Toscano

IGP (Protected Geographical Indication) is similar to DOP. IGP olive oil extra virgin is obtained with olives grown in Tuscany. This oil is quality guaranteed.

Olio Extravergine di Oliva Biologico

Organic olive oil is olive oil produced following the European regulation on organic production and labeling on organic products. The olive oil must be obtained from locally grown organic olives. These olives are not treated by chemicals.

All products mentioned above have different flavors. But the fresher the oil is, the better it tastes. Above all extra virgin olive oil is rich in antioxidants and consumption of olive oil may benefit your overall health in several ways.

Olio Extravergine di Oliva

Throughout the year you can visit the mill “Il Frantoio di Montepulciano” and taste the oils that are produced.