Time to eat

18 May 2013

Sunday lunch at I due Regni

Around Easter it seems to be one set menu after another which is a good opportunity to support local restaurants that are not necessarily regular haunts. Recently for example we booked at “i due Regni” a local pizzeria that was offering a set lunch and were blown away by the quality of the food, wine, service and company! Just 2 long tables and we were the only non Piemontese. As usual, although we didn’t know anybody apart from the staff, they knew about us and where we lived. We were seated with an 86 year old wine producer and his wife of 60 years , the President of the local Truffle Association and other smiley locals. We had drunk and enjoyed his wine in a local bar: (Cantina Parroco Azienda San Michele) originally founded by the Parish priest and some friends 40 years ago. Whoever says or thinks that the Piemontese are “closed” must have been lost. €30 provided 8 courses including suckling pig, rabbit in Barbaresco and wine. (more…)

A day in Torino

21 December 2012
Royal Palace Turin

Royal Palace Turin

Turin is a much underrated City full of history, museums, monuments, bars, restaurants and everything you would expect from an Italian Provincial Capital. Our friends Robert and Leslie Alexander at Travel Langhe  often take visitors there who are invariably surprised at its charm: check out their excellent app. in “Links”.  (more…)

Gold-digging in Piemonte

20 November 2012

Digging for truffles

Alba White Truffle

Alba White Truffle

Well not exactly gold but at €5,000 a kilo the famous Alba white truffle is worth getting your hands dirty for. It’s one of life’s luxuries and I love them but unfortunately we usually have to make do with the black variety that are a fraction of the cost. Where to find the best is, not surprisingly a closely guarded secret. But even if you did know  a special, highly trained dog is essential equipment. I often wondered how it’s done and now I know, after a splendid afternoon tagging along with one of Travel Langhe‘s tours in the woods behind La Morra. (more…)

Dog days of summer

16 October 2012

Dog days of summer

London 2012

It was a magnificent summer here with little rain much to the annoyance of HO who resorted to using our sulphur spring when the hosepipe ban was introduced. Sound familiar? Ultimately this proved too much for late summer crops but autumn looks promising.  A steady stream of visitors, particularly family, was great fun and the pool got well used. The weather should mean that 2012 will be a magnificent year for the reds although the white wines will be average. Apart from one weekend when we were driving down to Lucca for a Kasabian concert it was unending sunshine. As we sat in a queue of traffic in mist and rain just outside Genova we were reminded of a Bank Holiday weekend in the UK.


Summer tastings- Guido Porro, Bera, Adriano and Pietro Rinaldi

23 July 2012

View of Costiglione Falleto from Guido Porro

Despite the lack of recent wine blogs, we have been doing plenty of tastings in between guests, surprise, surprise. As well as regular visits to some of  our favourite neighbours, we have also checked out some new cantinas mainly driven by general tastings both blind and open. A recent visit to the UK confirmed that the supermarkets there have almost zero examples of Piemontese wines on their shelves; not really surprising as they demand size and uniformity. Quite a few friends have been buying wine here and using the services of Mail Boxes Etc. In larger quantities e.g. 100+ bottles it’s possible to ship wine as a private individual to their home in the UK for £2-3 a bottle or less.

Here are some of the Cantinas that have attracted our attention:


Barbaresco a Tavola-act 2 & 3

22 June 2012

the impact of Nebbiolo

It’s hard to sit at the computer when the weather is so hot but I keep saying to myself I must write a blog. I have lots of notes, it’s 30c outside and HO is doing a rain dance for the garden. But despite the occasional darkening skies and accompanying cannons from Barbaresco: niente!

This year’s Barbaresco a Tavola was a treat and the wines we tasted from the 2009 vintage were uniformly good. It’s difficult to taste them in May as some were only bottled for the event and thus not at their best but even so showed well. The real test will be in September when we get a second chance to compare at Piacere Barbaresco. Nevertheless, tasting with friends, we usually reached a general consensus on our favourites. The food served at La Torre del Monastero was tasty and imaginative  and as it’s our closest bar we didn’t venture elsewhere. Those conclusions after the 2nd and 3rd dinners were as follows:


Primavera è arrivata (Spring has arrived)

4 April 2012

Opening the Pool

The temperature has reached 30c  by day, the pool has been opened  but remains cool as overnight the thermometer falls into single figures. The mid teens is as warm as the water has reached.We have lunched for the first time this year on asparagus. All the doors are open and Her Outdoors is in the garden from the moment she gets up to check how much plants have grown or how many seeds have germinated overnight. This year it is all about the lunar cycle and her new bible “Gardening & planting by the moon”  We no longer have Monday, Tuesday etc but “seed day”, “root” day and “do nothing” day which in my bible is spelt “N e b b i o l o” day. (more…)

A new UNESCO World Heritage Site?

19 February 2012

Langhe in winter

We’re still waiting but hopefully we will soon be living in a Unesco World Heritage Site. The one and only  nomination of  2011 put forward to  Paris Unesco Commission by the Italian Government in the 150th  anniversary of  Italian Unity. “Piedmont Wine Landscape of Langhe-Roero-Monferrato”

Welcome to 2012

1 February 2012

Amber Palace, Jaipur

Neive, Piemonte

It’s been a week of contrasts as we returned from Delhi after 16 straight days of curry and Kingfisher beer to decent wine and plainer food. The weather is slightly different as we have had our 1st snowfall overnight and it’s still snowing!
Although the holiday was fantastic, the flight back from Delhi was a welcome return to the world of wine and thank you BA for  several glasses of Chablis 1er Cru Vau de Vey 2009 (Dom. J-M Brocard) and Les Fiefs de Lagrange 2007. I apologise in advance for the following diversion but I wrote a blog of the trip:



Feast or Famine

17 November 2011

Adolescent Amo & Mocha

Having had a Summer with little or no rain the weather in the past week made up for it. After the tragedies in Liguria last week we now have our fingers crossed that the rain of the past couple of days is absorbed locally although Her Outdoors had to make several detours to get home from shopping on the other side of the Tanaro. The principal bridge we use to cross it was closed and necessitated a 30 minute detour via Asti where the floodwater was also threatening the road. The weather has had little impact on our excursions although our adolescent puppy has been another matter. (more…)

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