Thursday, September 08, 2011

Piemonte 2: Electric Boogaloo - wine, ravioli, stars

The first time I went to Piemonte was two years ago on my birthday.

This year I stayed in the Terrace Room. The room is amazing. They just finished it earlier this year. I could live in the shower. For real.

My birthday started out with:
A lovely way to start the day.

Then, like my last trip, I went to a wine tasting.

My friend's husband is an excellent guide. He really knows a lot about Piemontese wines, but speaks about them in a way that is accessible.

Another guest joined us and off we went. We drove to the area of Piemonte called Langhe. This is some serious wine country. Home of the Nebbiolo grape.

We stopped by Ca' del Baio. Micha went to pick up a some cases, but it turned into a impromptu wine tasting. Valentina was wonderful. She is the great granddaughter of the founder. 1000 CORKS has a listing of where you can buy their wines in America. Their wines are very, very, good. Loved their Barbaresco and their Moscato.

The next was vineyard CANTINA DEL GLICINE located in the tiny charming town of Neive. There is a nice video on their website. It takes a bit to load.

The cantina has been in existence since the 1600s. I had a great time and tasted some excellent Dolcetto, Nebbiolo, Barbaresco and Moscato wine. There was one white wine Roero Arneis, that I wasn't familiar with. I'm kicking myself for not buying a bottle.

For my birthday dinner I had these:

Mere words cannot describe how delicious these ravioli were. The sauce was made from the pan drippings of the roasted meat used for the fillings. Super light, and full of flavor.

That night, after dinner, I sat on "my" terrace with a glass of wine. I looked up. The sky was packed with stars. I even saw a shooting star. It was so relaxing and peaceful.

Thanks to my friends, I had so much fun on my birthday I forgot to be in a bad mood.

I adore the area. It's interesting to me that one of the best (if not the best according my wine expert friends) wine regions in Italy is so undiscovered by the busloads of American tourists who go to wine tastings in Tuscany. We saw one American couple. That's it. We did see quite a few cars with French, German and Swiss plates.

Maybe it's because most of the Piemontese producers are small?

Sitting on the terrace hearing nothing but the wind through the trees, I wish I had a house in the country. A place to sit and write. I would love to own a place in Piemonte. After the drive, I realized it's too far from Rome. Way too far.

Yes, it's true I have no money now, but things are going to get better. And I will buy a house one day. It might not be until I'm sixty and it might be super tiny, but it will happen.

In the meantime, it's nice to know there are places where you do feel at home.


At Cantina del Glicine.

One of the best known producers in Italy.

I have to ask Diana for the name of this restaurant. UPDATE: See Diana's response below.

More Piemonte photos are on my FLICKRpage.


Diana Strinati Baur said...

Grazie, cara, it was a lovely day and we are so happy that we shared it with you, first Micha, than me! The restaurant is La Loggia, and is owned by friends of mine who I love. We wish you a healthy, happy year, Arlene, and may it hold many beautiful surprises!

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

Diana - prego tesoro!

Thank you and Micha for everything.

It was a birthday I will not forget.

Last night I opened a bottle of the Borgo Maragliano wine in an attempt to re-create a little of that Piemontese vibe. x

Paola said...

You are tempting me day by day ...
I must organize a weekend up there.

gibber said...

Finalement! :) Beautiful pictures. Someday, you and I will take a trip to Diana's place together! Someday I will make it to Italy!!

Sherry F said...

So glad you had a fantastic time. It was well deserved. Your pictures make my heart ache for another trip to Italy. My first and last trip there was in 2007. I cannot wait to return.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

paola - yes, you must!

gibber - most def.

sherry - good luck with planning your next trip. There are so many area of Italy I haven't been to yet.