Have you been present when a sommelier describes a wine with all its aromas and different nuances of taste on the palate? Can you always understand what he wants to communicate?
Often experts know a variety of aromas and tastes wider than ours because they also have a greater knowledge of herbs and plants.
The rush of life and the way of supermarkets have accustomed us to a few flavours and just a few spices that we always use almost automatically in our daily repast. Yet there is a world of herbs to discover (or rediscover) in order to enter a more fulfilling taste dimension.
This is what happened in Colleferro in an event organized by the Stella Camilli of Bottega del Vino, a wine shop specializing in offering small volume quality wines, along with the Officina Botanica, a nursery offering a wide variety of medicinal herbs and Norcineria Cesqui, which follows a centuries-old tradition of handmade sausages.
The invitation was reserved for wine lovers who wanted to take a journey filled with flavours, and was guided by an oenologist and the famous sommelier Luciano Mallozzi, well known in famous television programs. In addition to being a wine expert, Luciano is a true storyteller able to enchant the audience with his stories.
“Every wine tells a story and a tasting is like reading a novel in dialect, every region and every country has its own dialect that gives a depth and a unique experience”.
The wines presented were a selection from the Frescobaldi Wine House and in particular from the Pomino Estate on the border between Tuscany and Emilia Romagna. One of the wines has been called Benefizio to remember the ancient customs of the Tuscan Kingdom where it was necessary to give a ‘florin’ in order to pass. So, the many stories around the Pomino estate have increased our attention and we will not easily forget.
The gustatory experience started with ‘Leonia‘, a rosé brut that tasted fresh and perfumed with grapefruit, lime, toasted almonds and herbs such as limoncina and thyme. Luciano Mallozzi could also sense the scent of magnolia at the beginning of this part of the Chardonnay vineyard at high altitude.
Leonia was the woman who started the production of ‘modern’ wine, following the French style of choosing the vines to be pressed for each type of wine and not mixing the whole production. In the nineteenth century in Italy this was a revolutionary concept as Leonia was of Tuscan origin but was born and raised in France where she had learned their style of winemaking.
Back in Italy after marrying a Marquis Frescobaldi, Leonia immediately changed the style of Pomino and started what is now one of the major Tuscan and Italian companies. And the sparkling wine with the classic method could only be dedicated to her.
The second white brut was also dedicated to Leonia and is made with Pinot Noir grapes that have a strawberry nose. Here we experienced the scent of Artemisia, the herb that had fascinated an entire generation of poets. A plant called ‘holy grass’ for its therapeutic powers but also a ‘cursed herb’ when distilled (absinthe) and misused by ‘cursed poets‘ such as Baudelaire and Rimbaud. One of its varieties is also one of the herbs that gives flavour to Coca Cola.
We conclude this story here, but it continued with tastings of other wines, with the last of the samples aromas: that from the production of the Antica Norcineria Cesqui that since 1890 has been working pork in a traditional way, creating a particular variety of sausages.
The mastery by the last generations has been to add a touch of resourcefulness with fragrances and spices that make their production unique. It was a perfect sensory experience and we all came home with a ‘piece’ of their history to try with friends.