Wine Talk

Snooth User: castagne

Hi! Is anybody willing to help a new poster (me) plan a short trip to Piemonte Italy?

Original post by castagne, Dec 10, 2012.

I'm thinking about taking a short trip to Piemonte, mainly to try the highly-reputed wines of the region.  I'm not interested, though, in setting up visits to wineries. What I am thinking of doing is going to Slow Food recommended restaurants in Piemonte, and asking the owners or staff to help me select a wonderful wine from the region   and then asking them to recommend foods based on the wine I have chosen.  Does that sound like a good strategy?

I'm not really worried that a restaurant will stick me with some $1000 bottle of wine.  I'm actually a bit more concerned that the restaurant will assume I only want a middle-priced wine, when actually I am probably willing to go for something higher priced.

What would you expect to pay for a great quality wine in a Slow Food trattoria in Piemonte?

(I do speak enough Italian to negotiate a conversation about price and food choices.)

Thanks for any guidance you can give.  I really know very little about these wines and I am very curious about their reputation, and would like to sample some very representative wines matched with traditional food of the region.



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Reply by Anna Savino, Dec 14, 2012.

Barolo style also changes a lot due to the style: modern vs. traditional and the individual areas here in Langhe Piemonte. They like to divide them into two parts: The more feminine side, producing smoother aromatic and pleasant Barolos coming from La Morra, Barolo and Verduno while towns like Serralunga, Monforte, Castiglione Falletto give ot more masculine wines, powerful and muscular. Some of my favorite Barolos are from Serralunga D'alba such as Germano, Paolo Manzone, Massolino, Palladino. However, If you are opening a young wine like 2007 I would suggest Barolos like Vajra or from other producers in La Morra an Barolo. Hope that gives you some insight as well!

Reply by castagne, Dec 14, 2012.

That's funny you should mention that "masculine" and "femininte" aspect.  I was browsing around the internet, trying to learn more about the region, and I came across this offer for a course in learning about Barolo, and here was the class description:

"Learn the difference between the east and west sides of the Barolo to Alba road and explore the nuanced distinctions between Tortonian and Helvetian subsoils. Debunk the feminine vs. masculine myth in the Barbaresco and Barolo debate. Taste 6 noble expressions of Nebbiolo."

Unfortunately, the class was Oct 26, so I'll never find out how the "myth" was supposedly debunked! (You know, everything in Italy is either masculine or feminine, so it's hard to see how this should be viewed as a "myth")

Here is an update on my trip:

After spending several hours last night with Gambero Rosso and the internet, I learned that so many of my target restaurants are closed starting Dec 15, and will stay closed until Jan 15, that we have now decided to take the next window of opportunity, which is between Jan 15 and Feb 5.  We will be able to put together a long 4-day weekend then, again starting from Genoa -- and it will even be better because it will give us one more dinner in Piemonte (which now we were losing to a Christmas eve feast of 7 fishes on the coast).

Upside: More wine, more dinners at more highly recommended restaurants and -- most crucial of all --more time to study wine before we go!

Downside: Probably colder  and everybody has to wait longer -- including me!

In the meantime, I will try to sample some  Piemontese wines where I am to educate my palate.  There are good wine stores around here with friendly owners, and I will go to them with a list of names you have all recommended and see if they can help.  I know a good cheesemonger too. 

Will let you know how my education progresses!




Reply by Anna Savino, Dec 14, 2012.

Sounds like a wise choice my friend! Keep me updated on your tasting in the meantime :) A presto!

Reply by Richard Foxall, Dec 14, 2012.

Okay, I am joining in the research:  Bought two Baroli yesterday, a 2007 Brovia at JD's reco, and a 2004 from some label I didn't research, but 2004 was a great year and this was (if I recall) from a good vineyard.  Both were under $50, which ain't nothin' for Barolo in the US.

So that course your referred to is dispelling the myth that Barbaresco is feminine and Barolo masculine, I am betting--which seems fair because 1) those terms are pretty arbitrary but 2) there are more variations within each DOCG than between the two on that spectrum.  There are definitely, even in my limited experience of Barolo, more feminine (silkier, lighter, more elegant, less dense and tannic) and more masculine barolos. 

Good idea to reschedule that trip, amazing how you have to check on those things in Europe where the places really are family run and they won't sacrifice family even when they could reap some major cash.  Good on them, and I hope they never change. 

Reply by JonDerry, Dec 14, 2012.

Nice Fox, I'm planning to finally get around to stockpiling some Barolo when I get back to buying. Hopefully Santa will come through or some bonus money will be coming my way.

Reply by castagne, Dec 15, 2012.

Okay, great!  I hate to drink alone! If I get some Brovia or any other Barolo,  I'll drink it and let what I think.

 Good luck with Santa, jonderry.



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