Oeno-File, the Wine & Gastronomy Column

by Frank Ward

Archive for the ‘Italy’ Category

BAROLO & BARBARESCO – Study in Scarlet

Posted by Frank Ward on December 17, 2017

December 2017. Earlier this year I attended a tasting of Piedmont wines hosted by Justerini & Brooks. The focus was on the 2013 vintage. Luckily a number of growers had the imagination also to show some more mature wines, notably from 2009, 2006, 2003, and 1999. This gave an invaluable insight into how Piedmont wines develop in the course of time. How else can one get to understand the long-term prospects of such wines, which can be especially hard to judge in youth? Barolo, that most masculine of Italian wines, vastly outnumbered all other appellations at the tasting; but some Barbarescos merited [….]

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A Tasting at Tasca d’Almerita – Sicilian Wine Pioneer

Posted by Frank Ward on June 12, 2015

AvatarJune 2015. I first tasted a wine from the Sicilian estate Tasca d’Almerita some years ago at the Lo Scuderio restaurant in the centre of Palermo. It was by accident, or at least happenchance. This is how it came about. We’d booked for lunch on the last day of our stay on the island, arriving at the restaurant at about 13.30. “Our flight home isn’t until this evening,” I told the manager. “So we have several hours to pass. And we don’t want to get out to the airport too soon. We’d love to spend as much as possible of the intervening time at your excellent restaurant.” [….]

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A Tale of Three (Italian) Cities

Posted by Frank Ward on October 5, 2014

AvatarOctober 2014. On a quick visit to three north-Italian cities – Verona, Mantua, and Bologna – I was able to sample a few delicious dishes (and some appalling ones too) and a couple of splendid reds. One of the best meals was also the cheapest: A lovely cep risotto taken in a tiny, unpretentious bistro, l’Orlogio in Verona, chosen more or less at random. It came with a perfectly decent glass of red and finished with one of the best espressos I’ve had in years [….]

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Piedmont, Italy – Region of mists and mellow fruitfullness (II)

Posted by Frank Ward on July 30, 2011

A couple of decades ago Aldo Conterno was the hot name in Barolo while his cousin Giacomo was looked upon as staid and old-fashioned. The situation has gradually reversed and it is now Giacomo Conterno who is regarded as one of the absolute leaders of the appellation. Their approach to vatting-time is diametrically opposite to that of Altare.

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Piedmont, Italy – Region of mists and mellow fruitfullness (I)

Posted by Frank Ward on July 21, 2011

The roar of the traffic gives way to birdsong as we quit the autostrada and find ourselves doing a gentle rollercoaster through the green hills and valleys of Piedmont. I give silent thanks to the people here, for knowing exactly where to place a building on a hillside in a way that enhances both peak and edifice. And the buildings are beautiful in their own right.

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