Tuesday, 29 November 2011
Wednesday, 23 November 2011
Starting with unchecked entrance to the traffic-free Centro Storico in order to get near our hotel, we parked illegally if discretely around the corner, remaining there unmolested for the duration of our stay. If this wasn't proof of a higher civilization, the enthusiasm with which the lady who owned our hotel, the Locanda Torriani (together with her chef-husband) specially opened a bottle of Bonarda just to provide us with a glass which was otherwise not listed as available in this way immediately demonstrated a generosity of spirit increasingly rare in our ever more regulated world.
After our delicious lunch (the hotel is really a restaurant with rooms - always proof of good priorities), we took a stroll to the Teatro Ponchielli where we were to see 'Rigoletto', another glory of Italian culture. Without time to stop we clocked an incredible variety of wines at a small stand including a locally grown Marsanne of all things, a choice of Ortrugos, Barbera, Gutturnio and more Bonarda which we love.
After the matinee performance we made our way back to the hotel and found the market still in full swing with all kinds of local specialities on offer. Where else might you find a market open at 6.00pm?
That evening, unable to get into our restaurant of choice, we settled on what looked like an expensive clip joint. This turned out to be nothing of the kind and in spite of an over-ornate decor, chilly atmosphere and barely another inhabitant, we ate extremely well and were enchanted to find an excellent if slightly bowdlerised Ortrugo. Even the complimentary glass of Prosecco was unusually fine, the whole experience humanised by charming and efficient service.
The next morning, we saw all kinds of local cheese and pasta specialities in the windows of the many gastronomie to be found in this great small city.
Nave d'Oro, Canareggio.
As already noted the Nave d'Oro Vino Sfuso shops are quite widespread in Venice although they seem to be owned by different members of the same family and others. This one is a particularly nice one advertising Torbolino (the new partially-fermented sweet red wine) and exceptionally Frizzante wines.
Vini Sfusi, Calle della Chiesa, Campo Santa Margherita
This is a hard-core place with a good selection but business-like service. We particularly liked the shopfitting.
Having made our first drinkable wine in 2010 and done quite a bit of planting in the vineyard we decided to make grape juice this year.
Slotovino has not posted for 2 1/2 months but that doesn't mean we haven't been busy. Apologies to our regular reader!
From the other side of Northern Italy, we have enjoyed a Malvasia Istriana from Primosic. It is remarkable how flexible the Malvasia grape is. We had in common with most, regarded this grape as rather ordinary but versions such as this declare its genius and are by no means rare. Here, from the aolian island of Salina is a version of Malvasia we also enjoyed very much at a very posh London restaurant where it was ranked among the least expensive wines
Monday, 21 November 2011
Lard des Choix VdP de lArdeche Rouge 2008
Alpha Zeta C Corvina 2009/10
Nieto Reserve Bonardo 2008
Domaine d Escausses Gaillac Rouge Cuvee des Drilles 2010
Senorio de Sarria Vinedo No.7 Graciano 2005
Domaine Cros Marcillac Lo Sang del Pais 2010
Ktima Alpha Axia 2006
Gerovassiliou Malagousia 2009
Keith Tulloch Semillon 2010
Alpha Zeta G Garganega 2010
There are many more wines in the shop than appear on the website. Indeed, if they have a weak spot, Highbury Vintners' website would be it but who doesn't have website problems? On our visit we found plenty more interesting wines. Where else in London might you come across a Chambourcin/Cabernet Franc blend from Ontario?