Anyone who has read this blog will know about our love of wine! It’s even better if it’s local wine!
Lockdown is finally easing here in Italy. So, we thought it would be a good idea to visit our favourite local vineyard in Calabria – Altomonte!
Luckily, another one of the teachers at our school is a good friend of the owner. We were able to visit Altomonte for the harvest in 2019. Unfortunately we had to miss the wine tasting last year due to lockdown. We were excited to visit this year to see if the wines were as good as 2019!
Altomonte is a short 30 minute drive from us up into the fabulous Aspromonte mountains, perhaps among the most evocative and still unspoilt in Italy. As you drive up to the vineyard you get fabulous views. However, nothing prepares you for the view when you arrive! You can see for miles and see where the Ionian and Tyrrhenian seas meet!
The owner Nino was there to meet us. As before, his family had prepared a massive feast of meat and cheese to enjoy while we were tasting! We’d just settled down to the tasting when another family arrived. So this was a great opportunity to practice our Italian doing what the Italians do best – eating and drinking wine!
We started off on the 2020 white wine, which started off as dry and then developed to fruity. Even Lisa liked this and she is not a fan of white wines. Lisa became very excited to find out that he’d started making rose wine this year called “Rumbe” which is outstanding.
Then came the point I was waiting for – the red wine! Nino does two. The first is a very drinkable one called “La Tacca del Lupo” which is perfect with pasta. My favourite is the heavier red called “Melfio.” This is so full bodied and coats the mouth perfectly! It’s perfect with stews and braised meat.
These retail for between €8 and €15 a bottle in the local shops. However buying direct from Nino meant that we only paid about €6 a bottle for some amazing Calabrian wine. Nino always grows his vines organically, so you get none of the headaches associated with other wines.
After three hours of food, wine and fantastic company it was time to go back home with our bounty. Just then, a rainbow appeared as if to wish us well on our travels back home. However, Nino insisted that I tried some of his home made grappa as a digestif. I prepared myself for the shudder that I normally get from this. However, it was smooth and I could have happily had some more!
If you are ever in Calabria send me a message. You could do a lot worse than organise a tasting with Nino. You won’t regret it!