So we made it Friday again, eh? As everyone’s thoughts turn to the weekend and what we’ll be getting up to, no doubt some of you will be off on a couple of trips with wine high in the agenda, as it bloody should be. So what the not-to-be-missed wine-o destinations?
My first love in wine is always Piemonte. It’s where, about 15 years ago, I first stood in a vineyard and thought; “this is a bit of alright, isn’t it?” Over the years I’ve made my way through countless bottles of Barbera, Dolcetto, and Arneis, even the occasional Barolo or Barbaresco when the wallet stretched that far!
It’s finally time to reveal the winner of the Lazenne WineCheck competition. It took us a while to organize a good time to deliver, but now he’s got them we can reveal that the winner was Andrea Briccarello from London. To quote Monty Python; You lucky, lucky bastard! (only kidding)
A friend of mine in Italy is a young winemaker called Ale. He’s 20 (or is it 21?) so is still very much a newbie in the world of winemaking, but has been churning out some of the best Barbera (Piemontese red wine grape) I’ve tried for a long time. But, being a young man, he’s always trying to push his boundaries, and at the minute it’s all about making a traditional method sparkling wine. It’s not an easy technique to master, so when I was round the other evening we had a taste of a couple, and he asked me what I thought.
Right guys and girls, over the last few days, weeks, and months we’ve thrown out everything you need to know about the competition here. You’ve now only got til the end of today to get your entries in to wine a Lazenne WineCheck filled with delicious Piemontese wines!
So last, but not least, in the winemaker profiles for the Lazenne WineCheck Giveaway is a very good friend of mine. I first met Gianni Doglia about 12 years ago, when my mum and dad first started making trips out to Piemonte. Not sure if he knows this, but it was actually him and his family that first inspired me to get more involved with wine as a hobby. Infectious passion and enthusiasm, always smiling (except when it hails!), and the most glorious view from a cellar I’d ever seen. I’m so glad he’s a part of this.
Whilst we’re in the season of Piemonte, with the competition and everything, I thought I’d continue with a kind of Piemonte 101. As we heard from last time, Piemonte’s up in the North West of Italy, in that little bit in between France, Switzerland, and the sea. Directly translated to “the foot of the mountains” it’s where the alps calm down a bit and the hills start.
We’re closing in towards the end of the competition we’re running to give away a Lazenne WineCheck of 12 bottles of amazing Piemontese wines. This week it’s time to highlight the work and wines of our penultimate winemaker, Fabrizio Francone from Neive, whose vineyards are a great place to tour and taste great wines!
When you think about Italian wines loads of people think about things like Chianti, Prosecco, and Pinot Grigio. And why wouldn’t you? We all walk into wine aisles and see the shelves rammed full of those three. But what do you do when you want to start exploring Italian wines a bit more? Where do you start?
Given that I’ve had my head down the last few weeks doing Jury Service, I haven’t had the time or mental energy to do anything other than help deliver the Queen’s justice! So here’s me thinking about what I’m going to write about this week…