This year springtime in Piedmont doesn’t spoil us. Winemakers and citizens complain for heavy rains, the sky is rather grey then blue and only juicy green of grass, bushes and trees, twittering birds and lizards running on the buildings’ walls announce the springtime. Despite the bad weather also Alba was flourishing at the end of April. During a long weekend (April 27th – May 1st) the town was hosting the 37th edition of Vinum, the event dedicated to new vintages of Langhe and Roero wines.
A sea of great wine, delicious and cheap food, a lot of attractions under the sky and fussy weather, it’s how I would describe Vinum 2013 in a few words. Like one year ago the heart of event was the building of Palazzo Mostre e Congressi, which during these days took a role of The Great Enoteca of Langhe and Roero (la Grande Enoteca di Langhe e Roero). It was where you could immerse in the subject of wine and choose among different tastings types: from individual to organized, from general to thematic. The ones who like quizzes had the chance to check their knowledge on Narratori del Vino stands and try to indentify different aromas or pair glasses with liquors, for example. Some discussion panels were organized, too.
And because wine combines perfectly with a good food, outside the building there was an area with Streetfood. From different part of Italy arrived regional specialties, like piadina ( a flatbread made with white four) from Romagna region, arancini (fried rice balls with different fillings ) or delicious farinata (a kind of pancake made with chickpea four, salt, olive oil and water). One stand, even though not Italian, won many Italian hearts (mine too) serving paella and delicious Argentinean grilled meats.
But Palazzo Mostre e Congressi surroundings weren’t the only vibrant with life place in Alba. A smaller Streetfood area was located on the other part of downtown, in piazza Savona. The spacious town’s living room was tempting not only with simple and cheap food, but also with elegant restaurants and bars.
On May the 1st in piazza Risorgimento there was a pasta of Gragnano event, as well. A lot of kids participated in cooking courses (Mani in pasta) and adults could taste a new vintage of Dolcetto di Dogliani.
This year the bottle type “Albeisa” celebrated its 40 years old anniversary. It reminds a Burgundy bottle with characteristic “Albeisa” inscription, made with a dark glass. Its origins date back to the beginning of the 18th century, but during the occupation of Napoleon it was replaced by Burgundy and Bordeaux types. Only in 1973 sixteen wine producers form Langhe and Roero joined together to give it a new life. Presently it’s commonly used for Barolo DOCG, Barbera DOC or for example Barbaresco DOCG as a perfect tool to identify a terroir with its wine.
And because despite truffles, grapevine is a really treasure here, the organization Turismo in Langa arranged a kind of one-day trip called the Treasure Hunt (la Caccia al Tesoro). This time I didn’t participate in this game, but as far as I know participants visited vineries, such giant like Borgogno included, beautiful little towns like Novello and of course tasted wines in Palazzo Mostre e Congressi.
For professionals Albeisa organization prepared a special event Nebbiolo Prima (May 12th-17th) dedicated to Barolo, Barbaresco and Roero wines. For more information: http://www.albeisa.it/welcome_eng.lasso