Barbaresco in festa
Now, I now what you’re thinking – Barbaresco is always ‘in festa’ (partying) – but I am referring to a particular Barbaresco Festa that takes over the village for a big summer knees-up…
1st August 2022 saw the annual Barbaresco in Festa dinner in the village of Barbaresco itself. I had not been in over 10 years, and, having become, like so many, accustomed to not socialising over the past 2 and a half years, I decided I should give it a go.
The basic format is lots of tables, seating around 10 people, and taking up the main street of Barbaresco from outside the Enoteca Regionale – the regional tasting room which promotes Barbaresco wines, and is housed in the deconsecrated church you see in the picture below – as far as the Castello.
It was slated to start at 8.00 pm, so I arrived at around 7.45 and walked into the village with a friend. It was already pretty busy, beers, aperitivi and other stuff being consumed in the heat. We weren’t allowed to our seats yet, however. Around 8.30 we were finally under starter’s orders and took to our tables, as you see:
Apparently, last year’s event saw a generic white wine and a couple of generic reds poured, with a concomitant grumble from the attendees. This year, they had rekindled the spirit of yore and provided many and varied wines with the food, including Barbarescos. This was more like it, and called for repeated toasts:
The food started to arrive around 9.30pm, with the primi – the ‘first courses’ after the antipasti (entrées) not arriving until after 10.30. Not for nothing is Piemonte home to the Slow Food movement…
Still, as the night stole upon us, there was plenty of conversation, wine, speeches from village Mayors in the Barbaresco region, wine, speeches from village Mayors; this time outside the Barbaresco region; wine and speeches from other dignitaries, including the president of the Regione Piemonte government.
With the dolci (desserts)not arriving until half-past-midnight, we were lucky to have so many speeches to keep us all entertained…Failing that, there was always music and dancing. YMCA, It’s Raining Men and I Will Survive were particular hits with the increasingly raucous crowd and got everyone up on their feet:
So was Barbaresco in festa any good?
What do you think…?
If you wanted to try plenty of different wines – from dry Moscato and Arneis through Nebbiolos to Barbaresco – in a convivial atmosphere, with many of the producers present, then this was a great opportunity. If you wanted a boozy party, with great wines as well as G&T’s from Koki’s Wine Bar provided by Cantine Sant’Agata, then this was for you, too: it resembled more a wedding celebration than a Barbaresco festa.
And you can imagine how Italians do weddings…
All-in-all, it was a fantastic evening/night/morning, depending on how late you stayed! A once-a-year opporunity to see Barbaresco letting its hair down, and a real contrast to so many straight-laced tastings. I recommend it highly to one and all!
So, if you want to experience it yourself next year, come on over to Piedmont! The date has not been released yet, but it will be around the same time – last week of July, first week of August.
Of course, if (sorry, when…) you do come over, you should contact me – I can offer you all kinds of other wine- and food-related experiences for the rest of the time you’re here. Because, let’s face it, you’re not coming just for 1 night…
And if you’re wondering where to start in getting here, check out this helpful post on exactly that.
But why wait until then to experience Piemonte…?
You don’t need to wait until next July – you can come anytime of the year and find wonderful food and wine, amazing hospitality, stunning scenery and so much more…!
Next time you’ve got a holiday lined-up, come to PiemonteMio!
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