Where to Stay, Eat, and Shop in Piemonte (updated June 2017)

 

Piemonte is located two hours by car southwest of Milano, a one hour drive from Torino, and only slightly more than three hours from Geneva International Airports, making it very accessible.

Stay

Corte Gondina. Located in La Morra you’ll look long and hard to find a more perfect “basecamp” for a wine trip. Bruno Viberti, his wife, and the staff will probably become your friends for life. www.cortegondina.it

Literally on the top of the hill in Monforte d’Alba, Villa Beccaris offers a great atmosphere. Supreme views, exquisite grounds, and immaculate service. www.villabeccaris.it/

Still in Monforte d’Alba, Le Case della Saracca, you’ll get modern comfort in the medieval part of the village. Open log fire places and candle lights wherever you go, means you have to book early to get one of the (only) 6 rooms.

A winery basically, with some very modern rooms, the Art Suites – Rocche Costemagna.  But, it is the view that makes you want to stay here. All of the Langhe, right in front of you.

Eat

Piemontese are as passionate about their food, as they are about their wines. It’s hard to go wrong choosing between the many Osterias, Trattorias, and Ristorante, but as everywhere else some are just that little much better than the others. Remember to book table(s), as they tend to fill up quickly.

(new)  I’ll put the new ones up top here.  Not because they are necessarily better than those below, but they are definitely worth your attention. 

I have not tasted gnocchi and ravioli in every single restaurant in Italy, but as for now, my top gnocchi (and a devine cheese sauce) and ravioli (words cannot describe it) is served at Repubblica di Perno, in Perno (+39 0173 78492).  You do not get to Perno by accident, so you have to plan to go there.  A curiosity I think, is the fact that their dog does not get up during pasta servings, only when meat is brought to the tables….

If bacala is your thing – it is definitely mine, for those who thought Norwegian dried cod was best served in Portugal and Spain need to try Piemonte – Osteria i Rebbi (+39 0173 78568) is your next culinary visit.  Located between Monforte and Dogliani, it also serves a vicious panna cotta.

A past favorite, Trattoria della Posta, has opened up again in Monforte.  But as I have not tried it out yet, I can only recommend it on past performances.

More e Macine is to Piemonte what Babbo is to New York City.  It for nothing else, go for the tiramisu (and some would say, the panna cotta).   Alex, the Chef, is constantly experimenting and changing items on the menu.

Serralunga, home of Vigna Rionda and other great vineyards, is also home to Centro Storico.  Perhaps the best mature Champagne list east of Champagne, and in general a cool place to go for both lunch and dinner. The owner, his wife, and his mother-in-law are legends in their own time, and you’ll be amazed what comes out of that small kitchen….

Osteria del Vignaiolo, 0173 50335, in Santa Maria, great little osteria , local food, attentive staff, deep wine list. It’s as typical of a Piemonte Osteria as can be, and ranks up there with the best.

Angelo Sibilla and Maria Cristina Rinaudi’s (of Ristorante le Torri fame) new restaurant, Mangè, is located in the center of La Morra and in addition to the normal Piemontese grub, they take pride in their seafood. (+39 339 5819189)

If Michelin guides your palate, there’s enough to go around, with Piazza Duomo (+39 0173 366167) in Alba,  Risorante Tornavento (+39 173 638352) in Treiso (unbeatable location), Ristorante all’Enoteca (+39 173 9595857) in Canale, and Ristorante Locanda nel Borgo Antico, (+39 173 56355) serving local cuisine in the center of Nebbiolo-land, the town of Barolo.

Since last update in 2015,  Ristorante Bovio, Osteria la Saracca, Ristorante Fior di Sale, and Osteria la Libera, have been ommited from list as they either has vanished or just not kept up the pace of the other Osterias, Trattorias and Ristorante in the area.

Shop

Most wineries have a stack of their own wines for you to buy after the tasting/tour. If not, most wines are available at the local village Cantinas (e.g. Cantina Communale La Morra), at more or less same price as the wineries. Multiple wine shops also exist, in most towns, with the Enoteca Fracchia & Berchialla a good bet for finding the best of the Langhe wines.

Do

Hug the cedar tree (for everlasting love)  http://bit.ly/11W8Xeu.  Check before going, there is a fence around it now, and they only open for special occassions.

Visit the Chapel (not so much religious as it is art – and wine)  http://bit.ly/15a32qX

 

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Gambero Rosso’s Tre Bicchieri 2017

No big surprises, although it sometimes feels that some Tre Bicchieris are awarded on past performance or pure fame.  Very happy to see Cascina Fontana make the list.  As well as Giulano Corino and his family with their Barolo Giachini.  Personally, I probably would have added the 2012 Brunate by Giuseppe Rinaldi, Burlotto’s 12 Monvigliero, as well as Giacomo Conterno’s 14 Barbera d’Alba.  And I still think Elio and Silvia Altare’s best wine is their Cannubi.  And how long until the Unoperuno makes the list…?  Anyways, here they are, the 2017 Piemonte Tre Bicchiere winners:

Elio Altare Unuperuno 2016 Oda Toni Massimo

Unoperuno – berry by berry – 2016 – in the Altare cellar

 

Barbaresco Albesani S. Stefano Ris. 2011 Castello di Neive

Barbaresco Angelo 2013 Albino Rocca

Barbaresco Asili 2013 Ceretto

Barbaresco Asili Ris. 2011 Bruno Giacosa

Barbaresco Asili Ris. 2011 Ca’ del Baio

Barbaresco Costa Russi 2013 Gaja

Barbaresco Currà 2012 Sottimano

Barbaresco Gallina 2012 Piero Busso

Barbaresco Pajè 2011 Roagna

Barbaresco Rabajà 2012 Bruno Rocca

Barbaresco Rombone 2012 Fiorenzo Nada

Barbera d’Asti Pomorosso 2013 Coppo

Barbera d’Asti Sup. Nizza 2013 Tenuta Olim Bauda

Barbera d’Asti Sup. Nizza La Court 2013 Michele Chiarlo

Barbera d’Asti Sup. V. La Mandorla Ed. La Grisa 2014 Luigi Spertino

Barbera del M.to Sup. Bricco Battista 2013 Giulio Accornero e Figli

Barbera del M.to Sup. Pico Gonzaga 2013 Castello di Uviglie

Barolo 2012 Bartolo Mascarello 

Barolo 2012 Cascina Fontana

Barolo Bric dël Fiasc 2012 Paolo Scavino

Barolo Bricco Boschis 2012 Cavallotto Tenuta Bricco Boschis

Barolo Bricco delle Viole 2012 G. D. Vajra

Barolo Bricco Fiasco 2012 Azelia

Barolo Bricco Pernice 2011 Elvio Cogno

Barolo Brunate 2012 Mario Marengo

Barolo Bussia 90 Dì Ris. 2010 Giacomo Fenocchio

Barolo Bussia V. Mondoca Ris. 2010 Poderi e Cantine Oddero

Barolo Cannubi 2012 Marchesi di Barolo

Barolo Cannubi 2012 G. B. Burlotto

Barolo Cerretta 2012 Giovanni Rosso

Barolo Cerretta V. Bricco 2010 Elio Altare – Cascina Nuova

Barolo del Comune di Barolo Essenze 2012 Vite Colte

Barolo Francia 2012 Giacomo Conterno

Barolo Giachini 2012 Giovanni Corino

Barolo Ginestra Casa Maté 2012 Elio Grasso

Barolo Ginestra Ris. 2008 Paolo Conterno

Barolo Lazzarito Ris. 2010 Ettore Germano

Barolo Liste 2011 Giacomo Borgogno & Figli

Barolo Monprivato 2011 Giuseppe Mascarello e Figlio

Barolo Monvigliero 2012 F.lli Alessandria

Barolo Ornato 2012 Pio Cesare

Barolo Paiagallo Casa E. di Mirafiore 2012 Fontanafredda

Barolo Ravera 2012 Vietti

Barolo Resa 56 2012 Brandini

Barolo Rocche dell’Annunziata 2012 Mauro Veglio

Barolo Rocche di Castiglione 2012 Brovia

Barolo San Bernardo Ris. 2010 Palladino

Barolo Sorì Ginestra 2012 Conterno Fantino

Barolo Sottocastello di Novello 2011 Ca’ Viola

Barolo V. Lazzairasco 2012 Guido Porro

Barolo Vigna Rionda Ris. 2010 Massolino

Barolo Vignarionda 2012 Luigi Pira

Boca 2011 Le Piane

Carema Et. Bianca 2012 Ferrando

Dogliani Papà Celso 2015 Abbona

Dolcetto di Ovada Sup. Du Riva 2013 Tacchino

Erbaluce di Caluso La Rustìa 2015 Orsolani

Gattinara Osso San Grato 2012 Antoniolo

Gavi del Comune di Gavi Monterotondo 2014 Villa Sparina

Gavi del Comune di Gavi Minaia 2015 Nicola Bergaglio

Gavi del Comune di Gavi Pelöia 2015 San Bartolomeo

Ghemme 2011 Torraccia del Piantavigna

Grignolino del M.to Casalese 2015 Vicara

Lessona 2012 La Prevostura

Moscato d’Asti Canelli Sant’Ilario 2015 Ca’ d’Gal

Moscato d’Asti Casa di Bianca 2015 Gianni Doglia

Moscato d’Asti Ciombo 2015 Tenuta Il Falchetto

Nebbiolo d’Alba Sup. Cumot 2013 Bricco Maiolica

Roero Gepin 2012 Stefanino Costa

Roero Giovanni Almondo Ris. 2013 Giovanni Almondo

Roero Mompissano Ris. 2013 Cascina Ca’ Rossa

Roero Printi Ris. 2012 Monchiero Carbone

Roero Sudisfà Ris. 2013 Angelo Negro e Figli

Roero V. Mombeltramo Ris. 2012 Malvirà

Ruchè di Castagnole M.to La Tradizione 2015 Montalbera

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Stalking Luca Currado–A legend in Italy, a superstar in USA and Asia, but an unknown quantity in Norway

Actually not Luca this time around, but his wife  – and the real boss in the family – Elena Penna.  On her, and Vietti’s, first visit to Norway. Stavanger and Oslo.

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In addition to some of the greatest wines on the planet – their 07 Barolo Villero won Gambero Rosso’s Wine of the Year honors in 2015 – but they are extraordinary people too.  Giving, passionate, curious, knowledgable, and humble.  Not to mention fun.  I will also put a word in for their barberas.  Together with Elio and Silvia Altare, and a couple of others (e.g. Maria Theresa Mascarello, Giuseppe Rinaldi, Roberto Voerzio), they are claiming the barbera grape belongs up there with the top grapes of the world.

Indeed, at last night’s “Winemakers Dinner” at Nedre Foss Gaard, both the 98 and the 10 Barbera d’Asti la Crena did not stand back for the 03 Brunate.

I will let the former importer (in Norway) take the fall for the blog title, and after having spent a day plus with their new importer, Fine Brands (Britt Engelstad, Janne Brekke, Bente Vamraak) I trust that the wine drinkers of Norway will discover the joy and eternal quality of Vietti’s wines sooner rather than later.

Vietti, Elena Penna, Fine Brands, Britt Engelstad, Piemonte Girl, Oda Emilie Randmael

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Tre Bicchieri Piemonte 2016

List over Tre Bicchieri in Piemonte is out. No real suprises here, except perhaps that there’s no Barbera from Alba (except Larigi), and that no winemaker got two…. Great to see both Corinos in there though!!

Gambero Rosso Tre Bicchieri 2016

Alta Langa Brut Zero Cantina Maestra ’09 – Enrico Serafino
Barbaresco Albesani S. Stefano ’12 – Castello di Neive
Barbaresco Asili ’12 – Ca’ del Baio
Barbaresco Asili ’12 – Bruno Giacosa
Barbaresco Boito Ris. ’10 – Rizzi
Barbaresco Crichët Pajé ’06 – I Paglieri – Roagna
Barbaresco Gallina ’11 – Piero Busso
Barbaresco Marcorino ’12 – Cantina del Glicine
Barbaresco Ris. ’10 – Sottimano
Barbaresco Serraboella ’11 – F.lli Cigliuti
Barbera d’Asti Pomorosso ’12 – Coppo
Barbera d’Asti Sup. Genio ’12 – Gianni Doglia
Barbera d’Asti Sup. La Mandorla ’13 – Luigi Spertino
Barbera d’Asti Sup. Nizza ’12 – Tenuta Olim Bauda
Barbera d’Asti Sup. Nizza A Luigi Veronelli ’12 – Brema
Barbera d’Asti Sup. Nizza La Court ’12 – Michele Chiarlo
Barbera del M.to Sup. Bricco Battista ’12 – Giulio Accornero e Figli
Barbera del M.to Sup. Le Cave ’13 – Castello di Uviglie
Barolo ’11 – Bartolo Mascarello
Barolo Acclivi ’11 – G. B. Burlotto
Barolo Bric dël Fiasc ’11 – Paolo Scavino
Barolo Bricco Rocche ’11 – Ceretto
Barolo Broglio ’11 – Schiavenza
Barolo Brunate ’11 – Mario Marengo
Barolo Brunate ’11 – Giuseppe Rinaldi
Barolo Bussia ’11 – Giacomo Fenocchio
Barolo Cannubi ’11 – Poderi Luigi Einaudi
Barolo Cannubi ’11 – Marchesi di Barolo
Barolo Cannubi ’11 – E. Pira & Figli – Chiara Boschis
Barolo Cannubi Boschis ’11 – Luciano Sandrone
Barolo Cerviano ’10 – Abbona
Barolo Gallinotto ’11 – Mauro Molino
Barolo Gattera ’11 – Gianfranco Bovio
Barolo Giachini ’11 – Giovanni Corino
Barolo Gramolere ’11 – F.lli Alessandria
Barolo Liste ’10 – Giacomo Borgogno & Figli
Barolo Marenca ’11 – Luigi Pira
Barolo Monfortino Ris. ’08 – Giacomo Conterno
Barolo Monprivato ’10 – Giuseppe Mascarello e Figlio
Barolo Ornato ’11 – Pio Cesare
Barolo Parafada ’11 – Massolino
Barolo Prapò ’11 – Ettore Germano
Barolo Rapet ’11 – Ca’ Rome’
Barolo Ravera ’11 – Elvio Cogno
Barolo Resa 56 ’11 – Brandini
Barolo Rocche dell’Annunziata ’11 – Renato Corino
Barolo Rocche di Castiglione ’11 – Vietti
Barolo S. Rocco ’11 – Azelia
Barolo Sarmassa ’11 – Giacomo Brezza & Figli
Barolo Sottocastello di Novello ’10 – Ca’ Viola
Barolo V. Lazzairasco ’11 – Guido Porro
Barolo V. Rionda Ester Canale Rosso ’11 – Giovanni Rosso
Barolo Villero ’11 – Brovia
Carema Et. Bianca Ris. ’11 – Cantina dei Produttori
Nebbiolo di Carema Carema Et. Nera ’11 – Ferrando
Colli Tortonesi Timorasso Filari di Timorasso ’12 – Luigi Boveri
Colli Tortonesi Timorasso Il Montino ’13 – La Colombera
Colli Tortonesi Timorasso Pitasso ’13 – Claudio Mariotto
Dogliani Sup. San Bernardo ’12 – Anna Maria Abbona
Dolcetto di Ovada Sup. Du Riva ’12 – Tacchino
Gattinara Osso S. Grato ’11 – Antoniolo
Gavi del Comune di Gavi Minaia ’14 – Nicola Bergaglio
Gavi Minaia ’14 – Franco M. Martinetti
Ghemme dei Mazzoni ’12 – Tiziano Mazzoni
Ghemme V. Pellizzane ’10 – Torraccia del Piantavigna
Langhe Larigi ’13 – Elio Altare
Langhe Nebbiolo Sperss ’11 – Gaja
Ovada Convivio ’13 – Gaggino
Roero Gepin ’11 – Stefanino Costa
Roero Mombeltramo Ris. ’11 – Malvirà
Roero Mompissano Ris. ’12 – Cascina Ca’ Rossa
Roero Printi Ris. ’11 – Monchiero Carbone
Roero Sudisfà Ris. ’12 – Negro Angelo e Figli
Roero Valmaggiore Ris. ’12 – Cascina Chicco
Sterpi ’13 – Vigneti Massa

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Barolo Tasting Tip – Wander The Barolo Towns

Most people drive their own car.  Some take taxis.  A few even bikes.  The 11 towns of Barolo are indeed small towns on hills in the Langhe, with steep hills up and down.  And getting from one to the other takes time.  Or, as some would say, perfect for walking!  So, that is what we did, tried out what it is to actually walk the hills and valleys of Barolo.

0930:  Starting from our home in La Morra, Corte Gondina, we took a left at the bakery on Via Roma.  Rather than the route along Brunate and the Barolo Chapel, we cut left and walked through the vineyards beneath the city calls of La Morra.  Passing through Rocche, we hit the lowest point on our trip at the road between Castiglione and Barolo.  After a few hundred meters on the road, we took the road between the Brovia and Azelia wineries, just a stone throw from the Paolo Scavino winery on the right.  Do not tell anybody about this road, as it is a secret.  A secret that only the locals know –  that takes you quickly to Castiglione Falletto.

Bricco Boschis and Castiglione Falletto

Soon you will have the Bricco Boschis vineyard on your left, one of the hidden gems of Piemonte, if there is still such a thing.  Giuseppe and Alfio Cavallotto make top wines from this vineyard, which are also highly affordable.

Vietti in Castiglione Falletto

After a quick pit stop at Vietti, and Luca Currado, in the Castiglione Falletto town center, we walked down the barbera vineyards on the northeastern parts of town, took a right, and walked up again towards Serralunga splitting the Parafrada and Gabutti crus.  When in Lazzarito, your feet will be tired, but the Serralunga castle is now right in front of you.

Most importantly, when walking in the morning, the sun has been in your face the entire time.  And you are just in time for lunch at Centro Storico, perhaps the most iconic little Osteria in the whole of Piemonte.  The proprietor, Ciccio, will think highly of you having walked such a far distance, and such altitudes, and the service level will be even higher and better than usual.

Now, after lunch, I recommend taking a taxi to you next appointment.  It is enough walking for one day…..

Castiglione and Monforte seen from Serralunga trail

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Barolo 2011 Tasting – Final Preparations

Get settled

Few thing is better in life than arriving at Corte Gondina in La Morra, Piemonte.  The hospitality of Bruno and Elena lives in the walls of this small, what they call, boutique hotel. If you’re lucky you will get to meet their kids as well.  In the morning you will for sure recognize Elena’s father, who tirelessly checks on the quality of the breakfast, cuts the prosciuotto, or reads the morning paper outside in the garden.  Remember to book room early, as this establishment is hardly a secret anymore.

Corte Gondina Springer 2013 A

Fill her up

Wine tasting on an empty stomach is a no no.  Take the short walk up to Ito, Selena and the gang at More e Macine.  Don’t get fooled by the cafeteria like interior, or the casual style of Ito and his crew – their grub is top class, and both their tiramisu and panna cotta are legendary.  Add to that a very complete wine list, and you are bound for a great evening.

Lamb at More e Macine

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Barolo Tasting Tip – A Morning Run Through The Crus Of La Morra

Working up an apetite is always important, and especially important in a place where food is much more than important. Also, the wine you will drink later in the day will feel much more deserved if you exercise a little bit first.

La Morra Morning Run A

Anywhere from Via Roma in La Morra (the main road that runs through the town), take left at the bakery at the outskirt of southern part of town.  Run through “village” vineyards, until you have to make a choice between Cerequio and Brunate, where you will take a left (eastwards), and run alongside the top of Brunate. 

La Morra Morning Run B

Pass the Barolo Chapel on your left, and run all the way down to the main road between Castiglione Falletto and Barolo.  Take a left here.  This is the transportation stage of the run, but think of having the likes of Vietti, Brovia, Azelia, and Cavallotto, as well as the sun, on your right, and you will feel a tad bit better.  Follow signs for La Morra, and take a left (yeah, it is mostly left – this to make it easy to remember) up the Annuniziata.  If you after 100 meters pass Silvio Grasso on your left, you are on the right path.  A general rule here:  you should have the Lebanon Cedar Tree on your right now – all the way up to La Morra – if it isn’t, you missed the turn.  Here the crus keep coming – Bricco Luciani on your right, Conca on your left.  Pass Gattera, and signs to the likes of Revello, Molino, and Ratti.  Entering the Annunziata “city center”, you have the “new” Osteria Veglio on your right (you should definitely call and book a table there for lunch or dinner when the run is over – it was good before, not it borders on great), and signs for Curto, Allessandro Veglio, and Cordero di Montezemolo.  Corino is next, and your legs should be very tired by now (I did not tell you that it is a steep hill?).  But you will be all smiley with Arborina on your right, and Rocche on you left (two of the top crus of La Morra.  If you have it in you at this stage, you can wave good morning to Renato Corino, Mauro Veglio, and Silvia and Elio Altare. If you’re lucky Poletta or Leone will bark back.

The rest of the way is simply just hard work.  The towering sight of La Morra will come closer and closer, and just before you know it, you are back where you startet.  Feeling good about yourself, and ready for a hard days work of tasting wines and eating great Piemontese food.

La Morra Morning Run C

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Barolo 2011 – Anything like 2001?

Always interesting to try some of your Barolo bottles 10 years later.  In general, if there is such a thing as general in the wine world, Barolos reach their drinking window after 10 years.  But recent years have told us, if anything, that both Barbarescos and Barolos are more approachable early than ever before.  As for 2011?  Well, we will find out in the next couple of days, when our Barolo 2011 tasting starts.

In the meantime, what about 2001?  Well, most of those we’ve opened the past year have told us that it is perhaps one of the best vintages ever in the history of Barolo, and that although they show great now, should be kept in your cellar for little while longer. 

Mauro Molino Barolo Vigna Gancia 2001

Mauro Molino’s Barolo Vigna Gancia 2001:  Disclaimer first: I suspect this bottle has not been stored or transported in an optimal fashion in its early life.  But still…  Warm fruit, vanilla, and toasted oak on the nose, suggesting the wine has not, and probably never will, shed the oak influence.  Anis, sweet pepper, and plum jam.  Silky on the palate, medium length, on the sweet side, perhaps a bit one dimensional.  Not showing the vintage really well (too ripe fruit, and too much new oak??), but still an OK everyday wine (especially for those who like Barolos on the sweeter side.

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Where to Stay, Eat, and Shop in Piemonte (updated April 2015)

Piemonte is located two hours by car southwest of Milano, a one hour drive from Torino, and only slightly more than three hours from Geneva International Airports, making it very accessible.

Stay

Corte Gondina. Located in La Morra you’ll look long and hard to find a more perfect “basecamp” for a wine trip. Bruno Viberti, his wife, and the staff will probably become your friends for life. www.cortegondina.it

Literally on the top of the hill in Monforte d’Alba, Villa Beccaris offers a great atmosphere. Supreme views, exquisite grounds, and immaculate service. www.villabeccaris.it/

Still in Monforte d’Alba, Le Case della Saracca, you’ll get modern comfort in the medieval part of the village. Open log fire places and candle lights wherever you go, means you have to book early to get one of the (only) 6 rooms.

A winery basically, with some very modern rooms, the Art Suites – Rocche Costemagna.  But, it is the view that makes you want to stay here. All of the Langhe, right in front of you.

Eat

Piemontese are as passionate about their food, as they are about their wines. It’s hard to go wrong choosing between the many Osterias, Trattorias, and Ristorante, but as everywhere else some are just that little much better than the others. Remember to book table(s), as they tend to fill up quickly.

(new)  I’ll put the new ones up top here.  Not because they are necessarily better than those below, but they are definitely worth your attention. 

Angelo Sibilla and Maria Cristina Rinaudi (of Ristorante le Torri fame), have moved to La Morra.  Their new restaurant, Mangè, is located in the center of La Morra and in addition to the normal Piemontese grub, they take pride in their seafood. (+39 339 5819189)

More e Macine is to Piemonte what Babbo is to New York City.  It for nothing else, go for the tiramisu (and some would say, the panna cotta).

Serralunga, home of Vigna Rionda and other great vineyards, is also home to Centro Storico.  Perhaps the best mature Champagne list east of Champagne, and in general a cool place to go for both lunch and dinner.

Osteria del Vignaiolo, 0173 50335, in Santa Maria, great little osteria , local food, attentive staff, deep wine list. It’s as typical of a Piemonte Osteria as can be, and ranks up there with the best.

Nearby, down the hill from La Morra, you’ll find a wine lover favorite, Ristorante Bovio (+39 173 590303) Eat outside on the terrace, or inside in elegant atmosphere. Go here for a culinary experience of Piemontese cuisine but remember to work out the next day as the courses are many and the portions in line with Piemontese hospitality.

Located in the medieval historic part of Monforte d’Alba, Osteria la Saracca, (+39 173 78922), the architecture and ambience of the wine bar/restaurant is much like the hotel (above), which is to say, amazing.

A personal favorite is Ristorante Fior di Sale. Located in Dogliani, it is hard to find, but impossible to forget. A modern taste of tradition, from cooks seeking perfection.

Staying on modern, Osteria la Libera, 0173 293155, in Alba city center, is modern styled interior, with traditional and local grub.  If you have heard rumors regarding their demise, do not believe them.

If Michelin guides your palate, there’s enough to go around, with Piazza Duomo (+39 0173 366167) in Alba,  Risorante Tornavento (+39 173 638352) in Treiso (unbeatable location), Ristorante all’Enoteca (+39 173 9595857) in Canale, and Ristorante Locanda nel Borgo Antico, (+39 173 56355) serving local cuisine in the center of Nebbiolo-land, the town of Barolo.

Shop

Most wineries have a stack of their own wines for you to buy after the tasting/tour. If not, most wines are available at the local village Cantinas (e.g. Cantina Communale La Morra), at more or less same price as the wineries. Multiple wine shops also exist, in most towns, with the Enoteca Fracchia & Berchialla a good bet for finding the best of the Langhe wines.

Do

Hug the cedar tree (for everlasting love)  http://bit.ly/11W8Xeu

Visit the Chapel (not so much religious as it is art – and wine)  http://bit.ly/15a32qX

AA (6)

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What Wine To Go With Vongole?

 

Ever since a legendary visit to Mangê in La Morra, Piemonte, where we had the most delicious Vongole (at that time, known to man), and Angelo suggested an Italian Pinot Noir (Les Cretes from Valle d’Aosta) http://bit.ly/1xwF5D1 to go with it – we have been going at it – i) trying to “best” the vongole, and ii) to check which wine pairing is the optimal one.

Vongole Bartolo Mascarello Groffier Cantina Granveien January 2014

Our latest effort came close….  I mean, I still recommend a visit to the Langhe and maria Cristina Rinaudi and Angelo Sibilla’s restaurant http://on.fb.me/1xwJLJ7 , but if you make Vongole with the right amount of love and patience, you can do it too.

This time the real deal, and entry level red Burgundy, and an entry level nebbiolo battled for the wine pairing kingdom.  Maria-Teresa’s effort is really a mini-Barolo, and went really well with the food.  Groffier’s Bourgogne Rouge took too long to shed it’s raspberry candy aromas to get into the contest (one have to eat before the food gets cold).  Hence, note to self, if you choose this bottle, open and decant it a couple of hours earlier.

To conclude, if you find some vongole at your fish market, buy a bottle of pinot noir or nebbiolo, set some quality time aside, and have a go at it.

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