Saturday, June 7, 2008

Trip to Alba (Wine Country)

Today we took a "field trip" to a city about an hour outside of Torino, called Alba. It's in what they call "Piedmont" which is generally the wine country in this part of Italy. It was extremely beautiful, there were orchards for as far as the eye could see.

First we stopped in the actual city of Alba, and visited an outdoor market. I bought a new belt, which is made of "Italian Leather" and made in Italy, it's pretty nice. The market was huge and there was everything, from toys for little kids to hardware, to clothes and fruits and veggies. A couple of the girls bought new purses and a few also bought some scarves, so for the rest of the day they were all wearing them, it was pretty funny. After walking around the market for about an hour I found Cassie and Brittney and we decided we had pretty much seen the market and decided to go find a cafe. We found this really nice little cafe down the street, Cassie had a glass of wine, Brittney had a shot of espresso and I had a hot chocolate (they are really thick, really hot, and really rich). After hanging out at the cafe for about an hour and eating some antipasto (appetizers) we met back up with the rest of the group to head off to the winery.

About 10 minutes later we pulled into this small little farm/winery where we had lunch. It was really good, the USAC people are really good friends with the family that owns it. We had a ton of appetizers, cheese, salami, bread, Italian salsa and some other stuff. We also had some white wine, because apparently, you are supposed to drink white wine with appetizers. I tried some, it was pretty strong but not too bad.

Then for the main course we had some really good pasta which had ground beef in it. With this course we had some red wine. There were about three different types of red wine circulating the tables, one was called "Dolcetto d'Alla, which was really good, very smooth and it didn't have too much of an after burn. The other one I tried was called Cial, which I didn't like very much, it was a little stronger and a lot more dry. And the third I didn't get to try.

After we were all done with the pasta, the hosts passed out some cookies that were all different flavors, like peach and grape and a ton of other flavors, I tried the amaretto flavor, but it was really strong and pretty rich. With the cookies we had a different type of wine, what they call a dessert wine, which is sweet. This probably my favorite wine of the day, it tasted almost like a soft drink because it had a small amount of carbonation but it also was really sweet.

I ended up leaving with two bottles of Dolcetto d'Alba, a bottle of the sweet wine called Spasus and another red wine called Nesbiolo d'Alba, which I was recommended because it was like the Dolcetto but better. These are mostly gifts but I'll keep secret who gets what ;).

After leaving the winery we headed about 15 minutes down the road and up a hill to a castle that is about 600 years old. The castle was kind of boring but the scenery was the best part because you could see the entire valley and all the surrounding mounts from the top of this hill. I have plenty of pictures!

Overall it was a pretty fun day, got some really good food, some good wine and a great look at the Italian countryside, which most of us decided would be a great place to live!

Alba - Piedmont


Evelyn said...

It looks like you're having fun! We are all wallowing in our jealous ennui. Gorgeous pictures!

Anonymous said...

you might have to help me get some wine for my mom while I am there :)