At this time of year in our part of Piedmont the grape harvest is almost over and thoughts start to turn to finding or trying to find the elusive White Truffle! The White Truffle is one of the most expensive and mysterious foods in the world. They are found mainly in the Langhe and Monferrato areas of the Piedmont region in northern Italy and most famously, in the countryside around the cities of Alba and Asti.
They are actually an underground fungus and are only found under and around just a few tree species including Oak, Hazel and Poplar and fruiting mainly in autumn. They can reach 12 cm (5 in) diameter and up to 400g in weight, though are usually much smaller. The flesh is pale cream or brown with white marbling producing an aroma and flavour that is gastronomically unique and intoxicating, they are also said to have aphrodisiac qualities!
The size, flavour and aroma of a truffle depends on various factors such as moisture, weather, species and age of the tree, soil type, proximity to the roots and tree trunk, and insect traffic. They are almost never cooked but are usually consumed fresh, typically by being shaved into paper-thin slices over fresh pasta, risotto or even fried eggs!
Truffles are found by Trifulau (truffle hunter) and their dog. The dogs are specially trained to search among the trees for these underground delicacies.
During October and November, The town of Alba hosts the International White Truffle Fair. There are a huge range of events and exhibitions during this time dedicated to the White Truffle.
If you would like to come truffle hunting with us in the Piemontese woodland or need more info on the Alba Truffle Fair please contact us for more details – email@example.com
If you love high end Barolo there is a new wine shop that has opened in Barolo village called… Barololand! I have never seen such a great collection of the most famous (and expensive) Barolo producers in one place with most of the great vintages of the last 20 years still available.
However, if you are looking for something not quite as expensive and even more interesting then we recommend that you visit the Al nido della Cinciallegra enoteca in the beautiful Barbaresco village of Neive. They have got a great selection of local wines including the ‘big names’ and also some good value high quality wines not easily found outside of Piedmont. They also have some delicious local food products for sale that you can even ‘try’ with a glass of delicious Barbaresco.
We were really pleased to see that Lombardelli Wines have won more awards this year for their fantastic Barbera Superiore wine.
The Barbera Superiore 2010 won an International Wine Challenge Bronze Medal and the 2011 won a Bronze Medal from Decanter beating many well known Barbera producers in the process! The wine was described as ‘Herbal, earthy, red cherry. Evolved style but still with lots of life. Full of character and personality. Acid up but with soft tannins, a great food wine’.
Well done Lorenzo and Kim!
We were extremely pleased to see that Aurelio Settimo’s Barolo 2009 Rocche del’Annunziata has been ‘Highly Recommended’ in the latest Decanter Barolo tasting (November issue). Decanter describes this wine as a ‘Big, rich, deep wine with dark cherry, plum and sweet spices’. Drinking 2015 – 2025, although we think many of the the La Morra 2009’s are already very drinkable!
Our last event in July was a resounding success with over 100 people attending and enjoying the wine and delicious Piemontese food.
Our next event will be the – Autumn White Truffle and Wine Tasting Event on Monday 18th November 2013 From 6pm. At the Fantastic River Room, Glaziers Hall, 9 Montague Close, London Bridge, London, SE1 9DD
Autumn is a wonderful time in Piedmont, the vines are starting to turn from a wonderful lush green to typical autumnal golden browns and purples – it really is an amazing sight.