On Sunday September 30th Alba city center turned into a huge wine bar under the sky. Tourists and Langhe and Roero (Piedmont, Italy) citizens took part in Festa del Vino event. Between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. you could taste different types of celebrated wines, choosing between ca 700 labels!
Main squares and streets were crowded with people keeping a glass in hand and walking from one stand to another, tasting different liquors and Piedmont delicacies (aromatic hams, sausages, cheeses and hazelnut sweets). Cloudy sky, nice temperature facilitated tasting which is far less pleasant during hot and sunny days, and rain might have ruined the event. It couldn’t miss a local singer who, accompanied with accordion, treated us with traditional songs. Piazza Savona, a spacious square where you can drink a coffee or meet with friends for an aperitif, became a true paradise for children. A big, colorful and richly decorated old-fashioned carousel and stands with sweets changed an elegant living room into a cozy play room.
The atmosphere recalled Alba during Vinum event when families and group of friends spent time at fresh air, sipping wines, having a good time and what’s important – staying sober! There were even 23 stands and for 10 € you received your wine glass with unlimited number of pouring. You could select from different types of wines (white dry like Langhe Arneis, Roero Arneis, Langhe Chardonnay, the red one: Dolcetto, Nebbiolo, Barbera, excellent Barbaresco or Barolo and finally dessert wines: fresh and aromatic Moscato d’Asti or, sweet syrupy Passito wine) produced by different vineyards, located in Langhe and Roero region. Only in Langhe we have to do with a soil deriving from two different ages of Miocene epoch: Langhian (10 million years ago) and Tortonian (5 million years ago) which has a significant impact on nectar in our glasses. Nebbiolo grapes that grow in comune of Serralunga d’Alba, Castiglione Falletto, Monforte d’Alba, Grinzane Cavour give full bodied, well structured and harsh in tannins wines because of the Langhian ground. Torontonian Barolo is more perfumed and softer. We can find it in vineyards located in Barolo, La Morra, Verduno, Novello, Cherasco, Roddi. As you can imagine it’s not so easy to choose your preferred wine and such events made it a little bit manageable for somebody that has no time to visit personally all winemakers and look closer to their vineyards. As an alternative it was available a guided tasting (the cost was 20 €), as well.
Each participant of Wine Festival was equipped with a „mobile glass” to be taken at home as a nice and practical souvenir. It is useful solution consisting of a special kangaroo pocket to put on one’s neck with a glass inside – indispensable in walking through crowded streets.
Despite tasting you could dedicate to shopping, as well as wines were on sale and additionally shops in the city center were tempting with Piedmont delicacies – white truffles included. I don’t need to mention flavor of this precious fungus was unique and in all truffle lovers caused salivation. I managed to stop myself from buying it only because it’s worth to wait a bit, while the best quality white truffle are usually in November, plus the assortment is bigger during International Alba White Truffle Fair that has already started!