The Italian Chamber of Commerce invited me to ITHQ to discover two Italian regions and its amazing wines & products last week. Over two days, I had the chance to sample what makes Piedmont and Emilia-Romagna so special. I left daydreaming about visiting Italy even more than I did before! Now it just has to happen in 2018.
My first day with Wine & Travel Italy showcased an amazing array of specialties from Emilia-Romagna. I had heard about this region in the past as I almost won the opportunity to spend a month in Bologna as a blogger a few years back. Through this very smart contest, many amazing writers gave the spotlight to this town and its region and for a good reason.
What was new to me was learning about PDO, short for Protected Designation of Origin, and PGI, Protected Geographical Indication, European certifications designed to protect names and traditions of high-quality European foods made according to traditional methods in a defined geographic region.
Italy has 283 food specialties and 523 wines, making it the European country with the greatest number of PDO and PGI!
The 4-course meal cooked by chefs Romina Lugaresi and Alessandro Poletti was a real treat, especially the pasta plates. We also had the chance to sample four different charcuterie.
Day two ended up being more about wines, with a sampling of 10 different wines at 9 am. Was it hard to start drinking this early? Not when the wine is so good!
But in all seriousness, I had the pleasure to learn so much about this Unesco region and its history. Piedmont is not an easy area to work from but the products it creates make it all worth it.
A few fun facts about the region:
- The capital city of Piedmont, Turin, is where the slow food movement started and it even has its own Slow Food University.
- Because of its Unesco status and the lack of hotels in the area, wine producers started offering accommodation directly on their vineyards. For a complete and unique experience, visiting the area is now or never!
- Considering Piedmont produces a lot of amazing Barbaresco and Barolo wines, it’s interesting to know that the Reserva title means the wine stays for a minimum of 50 months and 62 months respectively in oak.
My favourite wines from the tasting were the following:
- Spumante di Timorasso 2016
- Piedmonte Barbera Passito 2016
- Moscato d’Asti DOCG 2016
They are all in private import for now but things are moving quite fast with Italy so I wouldn’t be surprised to be able to get my hands on these at the SAQ in the future.
It was a pleasure to spend those two days learning more about Italian specialties. I found a new respect for this country that has already peaked my interest several times. I’ll know to look out for PDO and PGI labels from now on and so should you!
To know about future events here in Montreal, make sure to visit The Italian Chamber of Commerce of Canada’s website right here and if you plan to visit Italy, find all the useful information about the producers on Wine & Travel Italy right here.