Finally, after a three month break, my husband has gone back to work. But only for a month and then he will be home again. I figured great, this was my chance to lose a few kilos and cut out all that great Italian food and wine…then my phone rang.
Dear Miss Fletcher called asking me if I wanted to come to Camogli with her for a Wine Expo called “VinidAmare”. Suddenly, I could see my diet plans coming to a screeching halt! Free food and wine for 24 hours and a night’s stay at the best hotel in Camogli? Are you freaking kidding me? Of course I’ll come 🙂
Sunday, I found myself sitting in a nicely decorated lounge at the Hotel Cenobio dei Dogi, next to food bloggers, Sommelier’s and war correspondents and felt a little bit overwhelmed by all the conversations going on in rapid Italian.
Along Camogli’s breathtaking seaside, we entered into the sampling area and I could feel myself relaxing a bit. I may not be a wine expert but I think I’m pretty qualified for the job because A) I really, really like wine, and B) I have some extensive experience with drinking it.
My first stop was to try a Pigato. All wines were from the Ligurian Region and Pigato is one of my favourites. As I spun around to take my first sip, suddenly there was an enormous video camera in my face and a woman with a mic wanting to interview me! Eeep! Ok, so now I’m going to be on TV speaking Italian, Oh Lord, why me? I sputtered something out then sipped my wine and said something banal like “Oh, molto buono”. (I’m now famous since the next day my student told me she saw me on TV RAI3)
My next stop was Vermentino. If you really want to know the best way to experience a wine expo, make friends with the Sommeliers! Camilla Guiggi and Jacopo Mariutti were great! They sniffed and swirled their wine glasses with such expertise that I now want to be a Sommelier too!
We drank a wine from Cinque Terre called Buranco D.O.P. which is comprised of three types of grapes. I’m a newbie at all of this but from what I could understand, the grapes were Vermentino, Bosco and Albarola. It was quite good but I couldn’t quite put my finger on the particular flavour. Then, Camilla said “timo and rosemarino” and bam! She was right. It had a hint of Thyme and Rosemary. Wow! I was impressed.
My favourite was the Lunae Albarola. It is a grape native to Liguria and has a delicate flavour. All the wines I tried were white except for one Rose which I wasn’t a big fan of. As I was chatting with Jacopo, I was trying to find the Italian word for watery and all I could come up with was water and thin. I think he got the idea of what I was trying to say, lol.
Here is a quick list of some of the wines I sampled:
- Cantine Calleri, Pigato di Albenga, 2014. 13% sweet/dry
- Vermentino, Pepe Nero, spicy/light
- Lunae Vermentino, Colli di Luna, Etichetta Nera, 2014, 13% wonderful perfume/fruity/sweet
- Vermentino, Terre della Salice, Colline de Levanto D.O.C., 2014, wonderful bouquet/crisp/fresh/overtones of grass and orange
- Vermentino, Solarancio, La Pietra del Focolare, 2013, crisp/strong
- Ciliegiolo Golfo del Tigullio Portofino, PinoGino Azienda Agricola, light/dry/lingers
I could wax on and on about all the other wines I tried, since we literally drank 6 different wines at dinner alone that night while enjoying a cooking display. The head chef at the hotel demonstrated how to make some typical Ligurian dishes and we got to participate by eating it 🙂 We had 4 Sommeliers (FISAR) present each wine and I honestly lost track of it all.
Here are the tags and sites which can help you find more information if you go onto Twitter. Many people posted some great photos there too.
Grazie Mille Tutti!!! xoxoxoxo