Merlot: ruby-red delight
Merlot and Ticino go together just like brasato (braised beef) and polenta. 80% of vineyards are given over to the Merlot grape – with growing success, thanks to innovative winemakers: wines such as Sassi Grossi can compete with the best from Bordeaux. Ticino's liquid sunshine tastes superb in a romantic grotto (traditional inn), enjoyed with alp cheese and salametti sausage, but Merlot also goes well with gourmet dishes. And it makes exciting blends, too – such as with Bondola, Ticino's only native grape variety.
Räuschling: the crisp white
The Räuschling is an old variety of grape that is still cultivated in only a few places in Switzerland. It thrives on the sunny slopes above Lake Zürich, and the resulting crisp, fruity white wine has evolved into something of a regional speciality. Zürich's house wine goes well with fish dishes, and also makes a popular aperitif.
Giraffentorte: what is its secret?
Shining white icing, with spots of chocolate: such is the Giraffentorte (giraffe cake) from Winterthur. Its filling is a mystery. It certainly contains chocolate, eggs, butter, salt and sugar, as well as almond and hazelnut – and some brandy, for sure. But until now, the giraffe's secret has never been fully revealed. Investigating it, however, is a guaranteed treat…
Luxemburgerli: mousse kisses
Confectioners once travelled the world, which is how the Luxemburgerli made by Confiserie Sprüngli in Zürich came about: one of the staff brought the basic recipe back from Luxembourg in 1957. At first these filled macaroons were called "baisers de mousse", but clients were embarrassed to order mousse kisses – so they asked for the "little Luxembourg" biscuits instead. And ever since, Luxemburgerli have enjoyed cult status.