The Most Ridiculous Wine Tasting Of My Life!


Last week, when Conrad from the Wine Wankers was over from Australia, a few producers in a place called Serralunga D’Alba decided to get together and put on a tasting night for him. He kindly invited me along to join in, which was very nice of him. All sounded very nice to me. What actually happened blew us both away! 

Serralunga D’Alba is one of the five villages of Barolo, which is known as the “King of Italian reds”. Over on the East side of the valley, this is where the heavier styles of Barolo are made. These producers that got together were the great and the good of the village and they turned up with 2 or 3 of their top wines they could offer. Conrad, my wife, and I proceeded to taste roughly 25 of the best red wines that Barolo (and hence Italy, and arguably the world) could offer. We were not expecting this!

How can I describe the wines?  Incredible!  Heavy but balanced. Tannic, but soft enough given the youth. Full of deep dark fruit smells of plums and figs; lots of liquorice, chocolate, and all kinds of other things. There were similarities, but every one was distinctly different. I could have sniffed each one for ages if it hadn’t been for the next producer standing up ready to show off their choice offerings!

With the three of us all a little awe struck by the fabulous experience, I’m not sure we fully got it across to those present how utterly happy and thankful we were for the experience. Even after loving the food, we found out that all the caterers they wanted to use were shut for the holidays, so the wife of one of the winemakers had “thrown” together a 5 course Piemontese banquet for us all at last minute. I think the three of us just looked at each other, shaking our heads and nearly bursting out laughing at the privilege of it all!

They were all a great bunch of guys and girls too, and I for one hope to visit them all again (when they’re back from the August holidays of course!) and do everything I can to return as many favours as I know we were granted.

Thanks so much to all of them!  At huge thanks to Valerie Quintanilla of Girls Gotta Drink fame and her husband for doing so much of the organising for the night.  Can’t wait to have a bevvy with you two soon to say thanks!



Producers at the dinner were (in alphabetical order):

Cascina Cucco (our hosts for the night)


Ettore Germano


Giovanni Rosso






Paolo Manzone








26 thoughts on “The Most Ridiculous Wine Tasting Of My Life!”

  1. A good write-up Mike! The dinner was a total mind-blower. Neither of us realised what we were in for. The wine was beyond and the home cooked food was magical. That Tiramisu was the best I’ve had and I think I’m not the only one that thought so.

    Above everything else, just like the rest of my trip, the people were so lovely, welcoming and humble. Ridiculous in deed! Will never forget. Thanks for joining me.

    And a big thank you to Valerie Quintanilla of for laying the groundwork for this dinner. Everything she set up was spot on. Well done, I appreciate it all very much!

    Lastly, it was great to meet you and your lovely wife. Thanks again for the stay. Cheers!

  2. Ciao, ciao! I am so happy this event turned out so well! We started having the discussions with the producers about doing it a few months back and didn’t finalize details till just before. My husband took the lead on much of the organizing as he worked for Giovanni Rosso until just recently. We were both terribly disappointed to miss it as we left on holiday early. I hope we can meet at some stage when you are back in the area! We are home in early September. Cin cin! Val

  3. This sounds like a mind blowing experience. Thanks for sharing the producers. I will check them out as I’m just starting out on my Piedmont exploration.

  4. Auguri ragazzi. La vita e veramente bella in Italia. The Italian sense of hospitality never finishes to surprise, impress, and shine over the world. Sharing is caring. Wine is the best excuse… Salute piemontesi !!

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