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)