Italian Adventure: travel with BKWine to the Piedmont, with wine, food and truffles
The Italian State Tourist Office has produced a beautiful magazine about various destinations in Italy. The name is “Italian adventures”.
One of the trips that they feature in the magazine is BKWine’s wine and food tour to Piedmont, a tour that takes place in the autumn when it is also the season for truffles.
But to be quite honest, it can be just as charming to travel in Piedmont, or other regions of Italy, in spring-time.
Here is the text about the trip:
Gems for curious in the green Piedmont
When the dog stops to sniff, and begin to dig, then we know we are close. The truffle dog called Nebbia has found a new soil-covered “diamond”. The dog-master is quickly there to take care of the truffle and Nebbia gets some dog candy as a reward.
We are out in the green forest in the Piedmont looking for truffles. The white truffle from Alba is highly valued and known all over the world. You can also find black and brown truffle in the same areas, depending on the season.
The villages dotted around in the Langhe region are like the cherries on top of a cakes. From one village you can easily see the medieval castle on the next hill. It does not seem to be far but along the winding roads it can take quite some time. But that does not matter; the scenery is so beautiful so you should forget all hurry.
In the valleys and on the slopes of vineyards spread out. Maybe it is just imagination, but many find that the wines from here have a hint of truffles on the nose. Truffles, violet, cherry, maybe a little bit of tobacco, and dark berries, there you have in a nutshell the character of many of the wines in Piedmont.
A nutshell, by the way… Hazelnuts are a Piedmont specialty. Lightly toasted it is a delicious aperitif snack or perfect as an extra touch of luxury on the morning muesli. And it was precisely in a hazelnut forest that we were out looking for truffles. The small fungi thrive particularly on hazel bush roots.
But back to the wine! In this region we find some of Italy’s most exclusive wines. Strong, rich, elegant barolo and barbaresco of course, but also a lot of other wines, both reds and whites: barbera, dolcetto, brachetto, asti, gavi, moscato and even more. One of the charms of returning here is to constantly find new and exciting favourites.
The most famous grape in the area is nebbiolo, said to have been named after the fog, which in autumn envelops the hills in a soft haze. Are you here at harvest time then the chances are that in the morning the vineyards will be beautifully wrapped in a light cotton mist. But afternoons are almost always warm and sunny.
We often come back to the Langhe. We yearn for the wonderful moment in early evening when you sit in a cafe with a glass of sparkling asti, pondering what to have for dinner later in the evening. Perhaps we should start with carne cruda? The delicious little tartar steak made from the local cattle breed fassona, seasoned only with a little lemon, oil and pepper. Risotto? Here in northern Italy they actually eat more rice than pasta. A rich stew of wild boar? Would match perfectly with a glass of barolo! There is plenty to choose from, but a risotto is often a favourite choice. With plenty of freshly shaven truffles on top!