The grapes behind Italian Red Wines

30 October 2016
The Grapes behind Italian Red Wines

The Grapes behind Italian Red Wines

Interesting article featured on Fix.com by Joe Roberts exploring the history of some of my favourite grapes, Barbera and Nebbiolo.

New discoveries

13 July 2016
Fabrizio Battaglino-seriously

Fabrizio Battaglino-seriously!

For the first time in a while it’s raining and humid outdoors so I have been replenishing racks in the cantina and opening some boxes hidden in corners. It has  reminded me that during the past year  or so I have visited some excellent cantinas and have not mentioned them in a blog. So here are a few that have been added to my list of favourites. (more…)

2015 Successes

17 February 2016
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Wine producer of the year-Giulio Grasso

Wine producer of the year-Giulio Grasso

2015 will be year I will remember for a long time, not just for the the quality of the harvest, that will produce excellent wines to be enjoyed for years to come, but also for new producers discovered and particularly the successes of our friends. Most notable was the accolade “Vitticoltore dell’anno” (Producer of the year) awarded by Gambero Rosso to Giulio Grasso of Cà del Baio, Treiso. (more…)

Tourism in The Langhe accelerates in 2015

14 January 2016

IMG_0272There was a dramatic increase in tourism to the area in 2015 which, whilst providing a welcome boost to local businesses, also had its negative effects on those of us who live here. Some of my favourite wines sold out quickly and I now have to consider making reservations in restaurants where I used to just turn up. (more…)

Groupon junkies (and restaurant update)

14 September 2015
Risotto +

Risotto +

I love discounts and -50% always catches my attention. Earlier this year I signed up to Groupon.it and now receive  a daily email of offers which can be annoying but buried amongst all the offers are some gems, particularly restaurants. Grab the offers when you can.

Eating a full menu in Michelin starred restaurants, including wine, for less than €50 per head is compelling and we have experienced some incredible meals. Latest additions to our list of favourite restaurants are: (more…)

€ weakness provides perfect time to buy

5 January 2015
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Outside

Outside

We have decided to put Wilderness Cottage on the market and with persistent € weakness it should make it attractive for £ or US$ investors. The price is €127,500 (about £100k or US$150k). It is set up perfectly as a holiday-home and all furniture and fittings are included so it is instantly habitable. We have decided that running it as a holiday-let potentially takes up too much of our time and we have lots of other things we are looking to do.

It has been completely redecorated, rewired and a powerful new pellet stove installed that provides central heating. Off the beaten track, the last house at the end of a long lane in a quiet valley but a short drive from Alba, Barbaresco, Barolo and the latest Unesco World Heritage site. Closest airports are a comfortable drive -Turin (1h30m), Genoa (1h45) and Milan (2h)

2014 – weddings, parties, tastings and a difficult vintage

23 December 2014

HO & me

HO & me

First of all best wishes to everyone for a very merry Christmas and a healthy and lucky New Year from the Neive Baldwins. An exciting year with lots of celebrations but weird weather which has left lots of our neighbours scratching their heads. Damp periods have meant that it has been a year when everyone has worked extremely hard to maintain the quality of the grapes. Constant green pruning has left yields substantially down, particularly in Barolo which also suffered from hail. Attention to detail and September sun has generally maintained excellent quality in Barbaresco. (more…)

My back garden becomes a Unesco World Heritage site

25 June 2014

 

Neive

Neive

Barolo

Barolo

Barbaresco

Barbaresco

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At last the Langhe and Roero area where I live has become the 50th Italian site to be added to the Unesco World Heritage List. The original submission was back in 2006 and the recognition of the beauty and importance of the area provides a useful invitation to those who have never heard of Piemonte to explore the zone rather than other more southerly regions. I have tried very hard in the intervening period to accumulate as much Barbaresco, Barolo, Barbera, Arneis, Favorita etc before wine tourists drive prices higher. I’m ready!

5:2 Diet in Piemonte part 2 and tasting at Demarie & Ettore Germano

24 June 2014
Tagliata at La Torre

Tagliata at La Torre

 

Teppanyaki in Tokyo

Teppanyaki in Tokyo

On  a wet miserable day recently I started this update on the diet incorporating that week and other recent highlights. Friday started well with warm sunshine and work in the garden and a light lunch of jamon Iberico and asparagus sauted with chorizo, and the daily walk with the dogs and finished better with aperitivi (Scarzello 2011 Nebbiolo) at al nido della cinciallegra in Neive and a tagliatta at La Torre del Monastero also abetted by Nebbiolo. Thursday was a “fast day” with golf (helped by forgetting the carrots and celery) and salad for tea with just water. Wednesday ended with dinner at Stefano Paganini‘s and a superb Barbaresco Riserva Montestefano 2009 from Produttori del Barbaresco. (more…)

5:2 diet in Piemonte- part I

21 April 2014

Roast Pigeon at Stefano Paganini

Bricco Sterpone

Bricco Sterpone

The 5:2 diet has been a lifestyle choice that has transformed our routine over the past 12 months or so and has been essential to combat the omnipresent temptations of life in Piemonte. When you are surrounded by the best wine in the world at affordable prices, and dozens of restaurants providing everything from the €10 workers’ lunch to Michelin starred fine dining it is difficult to maintain “la bella figura”. And despite my best intentions I find it difficult to write this blog regularly as I am either hungry and down or simply too busy. At the moment I’m neither so I’m going to attempt to catch up.

(more…)

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