Monday, March 14, 2011

Wine and castles

Our last day out of Castelfranco, we were thinking about getting back to Aosta to reload for a few days in Torino and Barolo. Tempting as it is to drive straight on, I had two essential stops planned: one in Padova, the hometown of our neighbours in Canada (where a visit to the Tomb of Saint Anthony is a must) and another here in Soave.

Soave it the self proclaimed city of vino and indeed, it is. Surrounded by miles of vineyards, it would seem as though the focus of production here would be on quantity rather than quality. However, we pleasantly found the wine of Soave deserving of respect given that there were many exceptions to the quality/quantity rule (some best described by Jamie at wineanorak).

That's a rather diminutive description for the impressive curriculum vitae of Dr. Goode and the information in this this go-to site. It is one of the first sites I look if I'm researching vintages or want some solid European vino insight.

Driving up to the walled part of the city.

Once inside, parking required a bit of luck and once found, skill.

Walking up to the castle in Soave. Cobbled streets (this is not the place to sport the fashion footwear you picked up in Milano) require some sturdy soles. Although there is much evidence to the contrary (with all the high-heeled Italian women floating around), I'm convinced it takes years of practise to manoeuvre most of the historical cities of Italy in anything other than a secure flat.

But the Main reason we stopped in Soave was for wine. At Azienda Agricola Coffele, Chiara was there on the day to lead us through a tasting of wonderful and affordable, delicious vino. Enter through the archway above to the heavy doors, into a lovely temperate tasting room with the most gorgeous tavola inside.

via Roma, 5


Tuesday, March 08, 2011

It's not all just wine and cheese

When people think about Eataly and probably Italy, in general, they don't necessarily think about beer. Unlike England, Belgium, Czech Republic and Germany, the peninsula isn't exactly on the map for the average beer traveler. That, however, may be up for debate as the young people of Italy begin to favour the grain instead of the grape.

A visit to the belly of Torino's Eataly might even convince you further if artisanal beer is your thing. Sure it shares the basement with a massive wine cellar and the ripening rooms for ham and cheese royalty, but it is holding it's own and even has a small ristorantino where you can not only sample but enjoy beers paired with selected food pairings.

Eataly itself wasn't full to the rafters but it was steadily busy. Of all the ristorantinos, the beer hall was the busiest.

We sampled several. With pizza, perfetto!