Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Of Wine-tasting and Brexit

On Thursday night I went to bed well after midnight and the Italian news were talking about a Remain vote as an almost certainty, so it was a bit of shock to be informed by my husband upon waking that the result was Leave. Friday was tough, as I had to be at work and all I could think was WHAT WILL BECOME OF US?! so it was almost impossible to get anything done. 

Today I am feeling a lot better as it seems the people responsible seem to have little interest in pulling out of Europe after all, or are at least in no hurry to, and the Leave campaigners are quickly backtracking on all their promises about immigration and ending the freedom of movement, so who knows maybe one day I will be able to move back to the UK, or what's left of it, with my husband. 

Although, increasingly the question is, will we want to?

As the pound sterling nose-dived, we headed back to the Monferrato region of Piedmont, where we got married two years ago to celebrate our wedding anniversary. 

If ever there is a region that could make me feel like spending the rest of my days in Italy this is surely it. I love the hills, they remind me of home, and I love the food and wine. 

We stopped for lunch in Costigliole d'Asti and were pleased to see the comune had spent our 700 euro wedding fee well and repainted the interior of the castle. What's more they had opened a cookery school with a restaurant run by it's students so we even got to have lunch there. The service was slow, but we weren't in a hurry and everything was very tasty and beautifully presented. 

We went to the Marchesi Alfieri winemakers in San Martino Alfieri near Govone and tried their lovely Barberas and less well known but no less delightful Grignolino. 

In the cellars of Marchesi Alfieri
We had dinner in a Michelin starred restaurant to celebrate our anniversary. I was a bit dubious about the price to taste ratio, but actually the food was an original take on Piedmontese classics and really beautifully presented, so it was worth the experience. If only I had felt a little better, and been less worried about Brexit I might have enjoyed it properly.

The Vineyards of the Monferrato
 On the way back to the Bed and Breakfast we had the luck of seeing the fireflies dancing under the trees where I saw them the night before the wedding. It felt like a good omen then, and it was reassuring to see them again.

Millions of bottles of spumante in the 'cathedrals' of the Contratto winemakers in Canelli
On Sunday we headed to Canelli and the wine 'cathedrals' built into the rock where it is always a very pleasant 13c to escape the heat. I'm not a massive spumante fan but it was very interesting to learn about these ancient traditions and a lot of fun to taste the wine and bread sticks. Our guide was, of course British, so there was no avoiding Brexit even there, but all in all it was a lovely weekend and just what I needed.

Fingers crossed I passed my Italian CILS exam and let the citizenship bureaucracy begin!


Isobel Curran said...

Hi there,

My name is Isobel Curran and I am from Dublin!
I have been completely inspired by your blog and I was wondering, if it would be ok with you, to send you an e-mail?



Laruchka said...

Hi Isobel, no problem you can email me at laura.brandon@hotmail.co.uk xxx