We begin with Artificial Intelligence.

I plugged the name of this blog post into the Wombo Dreams app—which generates unique, artificial intelligence created images from words. Using two different themes—Wuhtercuhler and Vibrant—here are the images. None are cut and paste; all are unique based on patterns of Artificial Intelligence deductions.

Check out this article I wrote for Forbes about Val d’Aosta, titled Why Italy’s Smallest Region Includes Massive Attractions.


Below are three dinners with wine, highlighting the rural fusion fare of Val d’Aosta. We begin at the town of Aosta, then move northwest close to Monte Biano (Mont Blanc) before descending again to the Cogne Valley.


Hills of Aosta

Valdotain’ Menu

First Dish –

Assiette de charcuterie et fromages du Val d’Aoste avec châtaignes au miel. Chopping board of cold cuts and Aosta Valley cheeses with honey chestnuts.

Chestnuts are significant in Val d’Aosta cooking

Second Dish –

Crepes à la Valdôtaine. Valdotain crepes with fontina cheese and ham.

Fontina cheese is a specialty of Val d’Aosta

Third Dish –

‘Carbonade’ avec polenta grille. Carbonada veal in wine with grilled polenta.

Polenta is often an alternative to pasta in Val d’Aosta

Dinner Wine –

Half bottle of Fumin di Lo Triolet. Valée d’Aoste. DOC.

Wine made from the Fumin grape


Créme de Cogne avec Tegole. Cream of Cogne with biscuits. This cream includes chocolate, almonds, eggs, rum and cream, together with tegole biscuits.

Cream, chocolate, rum and more …

Dessert Wine –

Genepy liqueur.

Made with a dozen Alpine herbs


Located on the outskirts of Courmayeur, this restaurant blends Val d’Aosta with Sardinian cuisine—run by Paola Olla from Cagliari, Sardinia. Striking Alpine vistas outside.

Summer waning below the Alps

A praise of Sardinia and Val d’Aosta
Warm, Alpine interior of restaurant

First Dish –

Flatbread with three jams—citron, onion and cauliflower/parsley as well as slices of local fontina cheese.

First Wine –

Ottin. Petite Arvine. Vallee d’Aoste. DOCP. 2020. Flavors of crisp green apples and lime.

Petite Arvine is a grape that is little know outside the Italian and French Alpine region

Second Dish

Tartare de cerf avec baies sauce teriyaki, pousses fraiches et mayonnaise au wasabi. Serfe Méijòn. Deer tartare with berry teriyaki sauce, fresh sprouts and a wasabi mayonnaise.

Deer meat is common in Val d’Aosta

Third Dish –

Friscu a Courmayeur. Poisson frais du jour sur crémeux de tomates datterini, tempura de courgetti, poudre d’olive et huile de livéche. Fresh fish of the day (sea bass) on creamy datterini tomatoes, zucchini tempura, olive powder and lovage oil.

Seafood/Mountain and Sardinian/Val d’Aosta fusion

Wine for Dishes Two and Three

Lo Triolet. Vallée d’Aoste. DOC. Pinot Gris. 2020.

Pinot Gris from Val d’Aosta
Crisp and mildly acidic


La crème glacée maison avec sauce aux canneberges et céréales croquantes. Homemade ice cream with cranberries sauce and crunchy cereals.

Mountain cranberries

Wine for Dessert

Tenuta Asinara. Indolente. Cannonau di Sardegna. DOC. 2021.

Owner Paola from Sardinia toasts

Cannonau (Grenache) from Sardinia


Hotel Notre Maison in the Cogne Valley

Summer flowers
Alpine views from a land of thermal springs
Warm interior

Antipasti (Appetizers) –

Prosciutto di St. Marcel lardo e castagne. Raw Saint Marcel ham and chestnuts. (This air dried ham is infused with mountain herbs for at least 18 months.)

Primo Piatto (First Course) –

The ‘primo piatto’ in Italy includes more starches, while the ‘secondo’ includes more protein.

Gnocchi d’Orzo alla Toma e timo ‘specialità paradiso. ‘Paradisia Speciality’—barley dumplings (gnocchi) with cheese and thyme.

Quite a visual and gastronomic symphony

Wine for Antipasti and Primo Piatto –

Pavese. Blanc de Morgex et de La Salle. Val d’Aoste. DOP. 2020. This is a special and limited wine from Val d’Aosta made from the Prié Blanc grape; it is somewhat acidic but also includes very floral aromas, similar to a Viognier. It has a crisp yet also soft and oily mouth feel—soft and easy drinking.

Val d’Aostas signature and limited production wine

Secondo Piatto (Second Course) –

Galletto con salsa alla cannella. Chicken leg with cinnamon sauce.

Dolce (Dessert) –

Semifreddo al Genepy con cioccolato fondente. Genepy parfait with dark chocolate sauce.

Wine for Secondo Piatto and Dolce

Coenfer. Enfer d’Arvier. Vallée d’Aoste. DOC. 2019.

Lagrein meets Beaujolais! Acidity and pepper and supple drinking match with rounded light open blue and red fruit. A juicy treat with red plumbs mid palate, orange slices on finish. Enfer wine is made from the Petite Rouge grape.

From the Petite Rouge grape

Thanks for tuning in—Dishes and Wine from Tuscany is coming soon….

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