FOOD & WINE TASTING EXPERIENCE IN VENICE
Learn about the history of Venice through food and wine
in a typical Venetian home
8 Venetian dishes and 6 local wines
4 hours 18.00 – 22.00
125 € per person
minimum 4 people max. 9 people
FOOD & WINE TASTING IN VENICE: an entertaining and informative evening featuring homemade Venetian food accompanied by a selection of local wines. For each dish and each type of wine, there will be a detailed explanation of the history and ancient traditions of Venice – illustrated with maps, objects made by Venetian artisans, and videos – that will set the food and wine in a wider historical, social and cultural context.
What better way to learn about Venice than to eat and drink in a typical Venetian home while your host – born and bred here – recounts the history and curiosities of the city?
How was Venice founded? How did its fishermen live? What are cicchetti and how did this tradition begin? At what time of day do Venetians drink prosecco and spritzes? Why did Marco Polo travel to China and what did he find there? What are the traditional recipes used in Jewish Venetian cuisine? Who invented Tiramisu? Which local wine should I choose for a particular dish? Join us for the answers to all these questions!
WHAT SHALL WE HAVE TO EAT? During the evening, we will try 8 Venetian dishes and 6 local wines. Here are some examples: ” sarde in saor”, “bigoli in salsa”, fish risotto, homemade fresh pasta, “fegato alla veneziana“, Tiramisù dessert… Participants will sample a variety of typical Venetian dishes prepared at my home following traditional recipes I learnt from my mother and grandmother. I buy fish and locally grown fruit and vegetables every day at the Rialto market, and choose fresh, seasonal produce – never frozen ingredients!
Venetian cuisine is known for its recipes based on fish caught in the Adriatic Sea, for its risottos, and for its wide variety of superb vegetables (for example, artichokes, radicchio and peas). However, the dishes you must try when you are on holiday in Venice are: local seabass, seabream from the Adriatic Sea, cod, mackerel, cuttlefish with ink, Venetian deep fried meatballs.
WHAT SHALL WE HAVE TO DRINK? The wines from the Veneto Region (of which Venice is the capital) are fresh, floral and light, and are a perfect accompaniment for simple dishes that are not too rich. Our red wines also have a floral, fragrant body without being too assertive. Veneto winemaking traditions have been handed down with the idea that a wine should not cover up the flavour of the dishes it accompanies, but rather complement it with fine and delicate aromas.
The best-known and most exported Italian wine is Prosecco. By law, Prosecco can only be produced in a limited area near Valdobbiadene, about 50 km from Venice. This means that in Venice the best Prosecco is easy to find. In fact, it is the Venetians’ favourite wine. In Venice, any occasion offers a good excuse for a glass of chilled Prosecco!
Some excellent light, dry wines are produced in the Veneto Region, for example Pinot, Garganega, Custoza, Chardonnay, Soave and Sauvignon. Our most famous red wines, which we drink with meat dishes, are Valpollicella, Malbec, Ripasso, and Merlot. We are also skilled at producing grappa and spumante (a Champagne-like sparkling wine). The Food and Wine Tasting Experience will provide you with an excellent introduction to the wines of the Veneto Region.
A SHORT VIDEO ABOUT VENICE: have you ever been to Venice? No? Look at this video to have a better idea about my city and our life style. If you are a Food and Wine lover don’t miss my Venice Food and Wine Tasting Experience.
VENETIAN FOOD AND WINE TRADITIONS: the richness of Venice’s cultural heritage – evident in the city’s churches, palazzi and museums – is testimony to the glorious thousand-year history of the Venetian Republic, but what was it like to live in Venice in centuries past, and how did the city become so powerful?
Late Roman sources reveal the existence of a small community of fishermen who lived on the islands of the lagoon. Their initial source of prosperity was the production of salt, a vital commodity used for preserving food. Even before the Middles Ages, the Venetians were skilled navigators and would later sail the Mediterranean returning with oils from Greece, sugar from Cyprus, corn from Morocco, horses from Northern Africa, citrus fruits from Egypt, red wine from Sicily and stockfish from Norway.
These goods were brought to Venice and then sold in Northern Europe. Venice was, therefore, an enormous market where you could find a huge variety of goods. Each type of food brought to Venice influenced the city’s culinary traditions: fish preserved with salt was an important source of protein, oil was used to conserve vegetables, and dry biscuits were used by sailors on long voyages.
In 1271, Marco Polo embarked on a long and dangerous journey to China, arriving in the capital (present-day Beijing) in 1274. There he found spices, jewels and silk for which there was great demand in Europe. From this point on, Venice traded with the Far East, becoming wealthier and more powerful. Venice was always a city open to different religions: Jews, Persians and German Protestants were always tolerated in Venice. The mixture of cultures greatly influenced the Venetians, adding new flavours and spices to the local cuisine.
These traditions continue to the present day. For example, following Jewish tradition, sardines are prepared with onions, pine nuts and sultanas; pomegranates (originally imported from India and Iran) and mandarins (originally from the Far East), are essential ingredients in a number of Venetian recipes. The cicchetti prepared with baccalà (salted stockfish) are a typically Venetian way of using a historic Norwegian ingredient.
The easiest way to appreciate how the Venetians combined the different traditions they adopted from other cultures is to try some authentic Venetian food during my Venice Food and Wine Tasting Experience!
WHERE? The Food and Wine Experience will be held at my home where I live with my family. It’s a typical Venetian house located near Campo San Barnaba, a square in the central Dorsodoro sestiere, (a sestiere is one of the six areas of the city). The house is large and welcoming, and the living room has been laid out so that it can accommodate an enormous table – perfect for entertaining guests! Don’t expect a typical restaurant atmosphere, but rather the atmosphere of a Venetian home.
VENICE AND ITS THOUSAND-YEAR HISTORY: the evening will be a journey exploring the history of Venice: an immersive experience accompanied by food and wine and illustrated with maps, pictures and objects. Venice has a thousand-year history of power, wealth and conquest. Venetians were skilful sailors and brave commanders, but before they became intrepid captains of sailing ships, they were simple fishermen. Venetians began trading with salt and fish, which were once the only resources available to the small islands of the lagoon. The same species of fish caught in the Mediterranean, which are still an important part of our cuisine, were once the only ‘currency’ that could be used for trade.
Once Venice had become queen of the Adriatic Sea, the next step would be its trade with the Far East. Today, the spices and citrus fruits originally from the distant countries of Southeast Asia are still part of our food and wine culture.
When you find tiramisu in our pasticcerie this is because, after the fall of the Venetian Republic, Venetians had the imagination to invent a luxurious dessert based on two simple and readily available ingredients: mascarpone cheese and coffee.
HOW TO COOK: If you want to learn how to cook the main Venetian recipes, I organise private cooking classes for anyone interested in Italian food and wine, all of which in English. You can read here about my cooking classes in Venice.
ABOUT ME: I was born in Venice and have lived here all my life. I am from a large family that taught me the pleasure of sitting around a table and sharing a meal with friends or relatives. I first learned to cook by helping my mother and my grandmother in the kitchen (I still use their recipes today), but I am now a professional chef and a student of the Italian Sommelier School. Please, read more here about Gioia Tiozzo. I hope this page has given you an idea of my Venice Food and Wine Experience.