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Only in Italy

4 September 2010

This is always a special weekend when Piacere Barbaresco takes place and today whilst running errands in Neive I had a blinding idea. I noticed that there was a free special bus service that runs between the villages so you don’ t have to drive to and from the tasting. There was a timetable in the square by the station so we decided to walk the 2 km from the house and take the 1pm bus: brilliant! Fortunately we arrived 10 minutes before the scheduled departure time  and left 8 minutes early to arrive in Treiso just 2 minutes after we should have left. The perfect start, made better by free tickets from Giorgio Negro (Negro Giuseppe) whom we had visited the previous afternoon. The tastings take place, paradoxically, in the local school’s gym where 50 Barbaresco producers were offering their latest. This does not just mean 50 wines as some offer more than one cru or year. Thank goodness it runs for 3 days as there is a limit to how effectively one can taste after the first 20 or so. We had been told that there was bus making the return journey at 4.20 pm so around 3.30 pm we decided to adjourn for the day to a local bar across the road from the bus stop for a restorative glass of Arneis. It soon became clear that the 4.20 bus was a myth so we called the driver who told us 5.30 was probably a better estimate. So with an hour to kill we decided to exercise a little more in the gym with new friends Clement and Nadia (a belly dancer teacher) who live in Castagnole with their children. Lovely people and passionate about their wine. It also gave us an opportunity to fill up our glasses for the ride home: in my case  Sottimano Cottà 2007, a classic. Sipping slowly in the sun at the bus stop in front of the church was a great end to the afternoon but 6pm was in fact a rather better estimate. Still, we used the magic word “Marco”, whose house we bought, and the driver accidentally yet somehow magically turned right at the roundabout instead of left and dropped us  at our door saving the hike home.

More of the wines when we have finished tomorrow.

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