Tag Archives: Langhe

Nice day for it (Langhe, Italy – Day Three)

I had to pinch myself many times this week to make sure this is all real, as I feel like I’m in a dream. It is hard enough to get the opportunity to taste some of these wines back at home, but to be able to not only taste but also experience the wines one after another is amazing, and I feel truly blessed. The weather was gorgeous for my third day in this magical region, a clear blue sky greeted me and made the view from above Monforte d’Alba that much more spectacular. One of my realised dreams continues, as many of my wonderful hosts continue to introduce me to some of the regional cuisine. The previous day I enjoyed lunch with Giovanni from Massolino, where I had carne crudo (raw meat), which is simply minced beef with olive oil, garlic and pepper, and some freshly prepared ravioli with oil and thyme, and tagliatelle with a meat and tomato sauce. For lunch on this day I tried some thinly sliced cold cuts of beef with a mayonnaise, egg and tuna sauce, along with steamed turkey with a hazelnut sauce and steamed vegetables. My lovely host at the B&B invited me to enjoy dinner with them in the evening; chicken soup with rice, prosciutto crudo and roasted finnochio, and a castgna cake to finish. All washed down with some Moscato d’Asti. A gastronomical delight all around.

Turkey with hazelnut sauce and steamed vegetables

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Barolo brain! (Langhe, Italy – Day Two)

Anyone from Melbourne is familiar with the concept of “four seasons in one day”. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced this phenomenon as profoundly as my second day in Alba. It was raining very lightly all afternoon the previous day, and kept raining all night. In the higher parts of the Langhe,  however it snowed. The view from my first appointment in Serralunga d’Alba was magical, as by the time I got up there it had started to clear and you could see the white-capped hills. By the time I got out from lunch, the sun was shining and it felt like Autumn, but it was still a little windy and chilly. Between my second and third appointment, it had got up past 20 degrees, and was almost feeling like Summer. Then by the time I got back to my hotel it had started to cool down to Spring conditions here in the Langhe. It makes me a little homesick, and also glad that I have a zippy little Fiat 500 to take the sharp corners in the wet. Today I ventured deeper into Alba, visiting three producers entrenched in what is considered the ‘masculine’ part of Barolo; Serralunga d’Alba, Castiglione Falletto and Monforte d’Alba.
Quite a view, on top of the world

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It’s getting serious (Langhe, Italy – Day One)

If you are passionate about wine, there are a few places in the world that give you goosebumps at the mere mention of their name. Places like Burgundy, Bordeaux, Mosel, Rioja, Tuscany, Napa Valley, Margaret River, Mendoza, Willamette, Wachau. One of the most important places is Piedmont, and more specifically the Langhe, where some of the greatest red wines in Italy are produced. If you haven’t heard of the nebbiolo grape, then you have possible heard of Alba, its official home. Alba is to Italy what Burgundy is to France; cool climate, rolling hills, centuries of tradition, identified sites. The nebbiolo grape has many similarities to the pinot noir grape as well, and it has been suggested that very old burgundy is almost indistinguishable from very old barolo. Compared to burgundy, barolo and barbaresco is great value, but it can still take a dent out of your hip-pocket (if that makes sense). The there’s always Nebbiolo d’Alba, or Langhe Nebbiolo. And if this is still a bit steep, there are numerous other varieties you can imbibe, both red and white, still and sparkling, sweet or dry, from this wonderful part of Italy that would take several months to do properly. As it is, I only have four days on this trip, and have restricted myself mostly to Alba.

Old spumante equipment

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