Wine & Food
Piemonte refers to “the foot of the mountains”. The region is circled by the Alps creating Piemonte’s unique climate. The summers are warm, the autumns misty, and the winters cool and foggy. It is the optimal climate for growing the Nebbiolo grapes from which the grand Barolos and Barbarescos are made. These two wines take their names from two villages while the other Piemonte wines Barbera, Brachetto, Dolcetto, Grignolino, Friesa, Moscato and Nebbiolo take their names from the grapes.
Barbaresco is produced in the Langhe hills, south of Asti, in the villages of Barbaresco, Neive and Treiso. Barbaresco made its entrance onto the international stage in the 1980’s when several forward thinking winemakers began to adopt modern vinification techniques. The result was a bold and fruity but less overpowering wine. It is still a wine that requires ageing and is identifiable by its smoky woodland notes, deep sweetness, raspberries or leather and spice with leafy lightness and jammy concentration.
Barolo, “the wine of kings and the king of wines” is the most famous of the Piemonte reds. Like Barbaresco, it is produced in the Langhe hills. The Barolo region is comprised of eleven communes. As with Barbaresco, Barolo underwent “modernization” in the 1980’s. Some producers now make a version of Barolo that is more fruit forward with softer tannins. Both the “traditional” and the “modern” styles winemaking give rise to big, opulent, complex wines.
The Monferrato Hills surrounding the town of Asti is the land of Barbera, once considered by many to be a common, everyday drinking wine. Recently, however, Barbera has gained international respect and attention. Many Barbera winemakers now age Barbera in oak barriques to create an expressive wine rich in flavour and easy to appreciate.
In Piemonte, wine and food go hand in hand, one enhances the other. The large, challenging wines of the region demand rich hearty food. Eggs, butter, cream and meat are the staple base ingredients in Piemonte cuisine. This is not surprising given the region’s Savoy heritage. Agnolotti (small ravioli stuffed with veal, spinach or pumpkin) along with tagliatelle are typical pastas of the region. They are often dressed simply with butter, sage and cheese. Meat, particularly veal and game meat play a large part in Piemonte gastronomy. Last, but not least, is Piemonte’s prized white truffle that is thinly shaved to top risotto, pasta, polenta and veal carpaccio. The town of Alba holds a market in the month of October solely dedicated to the truffle.
Many of the cantinas (winemaker’s cellars) in the region require appointments in order to tour their facilities. Many of the winemakers speak only Italian. Book with us at Casa di Maio for your personalized wine tour. We will arrange appointments at Piemonte's most interesting and innovative cantinas and enotecas. By leaving the driving to us, you are free to fully enjoy the wines offered
As well, Casa di Maio offers in-house wine tastings of the many varieties of wine typical to Piemonte.
Rates are provided upon enquiry.
We will also be pleased to be able to recommend restaurants and make reservations on your behalf.