Welcome to Second Ferment! Wine pairs well with life ... and food, travel, people, work and play. Grab a glass and join me as I explore the wine scene in Ottawa, Canada, and beyond. Love hearing from my readers, so please leave a comment. Cheers! - Bethany

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Wine Blogging Wednesday: A Passion for Piemonte

In my travels throughout the wino-sphere, I stumbled across Wine Blogging Wednesdays, the creation of Lenn Thompson. Every month, the wine bloggers of the world unite for a virtual tasting of sorts: a theme is selected by the "host" blogger, writers go out and buy according to this theme, and then discuss. Sounds like a blast, so here I am!

This month's pick is graciously brought to you by David McDuff over at McDuff's Food and Wine Trail. He's a big fan of Piemontese wines, hence the title.

I decided to try one of each - a red and a white - from the region, but met up with a brick wall at the LCBO: their selection of Piemontese wines was either astronomically expensive (for me, anyway) or painfully limited. I'd love to get my hands on some good Barolo (Pruttah ... WHEN are you coming home??) but my investments are tanking just as bad as everyone else's.

Luckily, I was off to a "study group" dinner for my Sommelier Advanced class at Johnny Farina's, and they had a Michele Chiarlo 2007 Gavi by the glass. Sweet - two birds with one stone.

Unfortunately, it was served too cold, and took forever to come around. (I don't know what it is with restaurants that claim to place their focus on wine, and then serve whites practically frozen.) Once it warmed up, it showed off nice aromas of pear, minerality and spice. The puckering sour lemon softened at the more palatable temperature. But the finish was short, green and under ripe. Bummer.

On Saturday, we cranked up the Q and threw on a few steaks. (To hell with winter! Must have dead animal flesh.) On Rod's recommendation from his Thursday review, I picked up a bottle of Pio Cesare 2006 Barbera d'Alba from the Valentine's Day Vintages release. Again, I was disappointed with it at first; I realize now I should have followed Hubby's recommendations and decanted it a little. (You were right. I was wrong.) After stretching out in the glass, its true elegance shone through: ripe cranberries and raspberries, clove-studded orange, and a smoky, dusty element on the nose. Medium-high acid, low tannin, with a bursting mouthful of red fruit and a silky finish. Definitely preferred this to the Gavi.


  1. Did you just coin the term "wino-sphere?"

    I think you just did.

  2. I can't promise that my Barolos and Barbaras will make the trip home. I'm pretty sure I'll be drinking them before I leave. :)


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