Late, last night a group of bloggers and Media types boarded buses bound for the found high in the Umbrian hillsides, just on the outskirts of Perugia. We were treated to some brilliant appetizers and bubbly to set the evening up in style, with warm crackling fires and inviting late 19th century decor. Later we were invited to dine in what could only be characterized as the "great-hall" associated with the historically significant 12th century tower, but hey lets face it, every true castle must have a great hall to dine in with friends.
We dined late into the evening on many different courses, had brilliant conversation with other bloggers, journalists, winemakers and producers and we were able to explore many different wines. In the pictures below, I will try to give you an idea of the experience.
Just above and to the left-half of the screen is the great hall where we dined, hopeful the pictures will give you just a glimpse of the full grandeur of this wonderful property. In the next set of images below, you will see some of wonderful typical Umbrian foods.
Here's the Pear Risotto [above], that kicked off our evening feast, infused with Sagrantino di Montefalco [hence the purple color] it was very tasty. The second course [below] was a type of Ragu, not exactly sure what it was called, but it was much better than anything I've made at home. Sprinkled with small chunks of wild boar, this dish was a high-light of the evening for me, unfortunately the wines we had on my tables did not match too well.
This was the last pear inspired dish, right before the dessert and paired nicely with the Sagrantino di Montefalco we asked to have brought to our table, a wine that quickly became the favorite.
Now unto the wine, the first red wine I encountered really did not float my boat, but I did give it a swirl, more than once just to confirm experience. The wine that you see pictured here to your left, had some pretty odd flavors and aromas.
But as odd as it will sound this wine displayed the essence of browned, bruised ripe bananas, well worn cherry bubble-gum [as if there was such a thing] and lightly dusted with chalk dust. Most of dark and red fruit flavors were muted by the above and finished a bit short. Not really a wine I could get excited about, but hey that's just me.
The next wine a Sagrantino di Montefalco was excellent right away, the nose immediately opened up with a blast of crushed black-berry fruit, dark ripe cherries grab your senses and don't let go. On the first slurp down, you'll encounter abundant dark fruits [mentioned above], vivid minerality, smooth tannins, a light sprinkle of chalk and long lingering finish, that will have you coming back for more. This wine while not "stellar" did wow me in its flexibleness to partner with many food types as I had enough of it in my glass to get through two of the different dishes. It was the wine that quickly became the favorite of the night at my table last night and we were all sad when the last drop fell from the bottle.
Okay folks that is all from Umbria for today and the 2012 International Wine Tourism Conference and Workshop, so stay tuned tomorrow as I've lots more that I'm excited to share with you about this exciting region, its wonderful wines, great foods and the friendly people that call Umbria home. Until next time continue to sip long and prosper, cheers!