Italy Bound! (And a Great Italian Barolo)

We’ve been in the mode of Bordeaux for a long while, but all of that is about to change!   This summer, we are taking the family to spend a month in Italy (with a few days in Paris).  This trip was on Christina’s “bucket list,” as she wanted to immerse the kids in the laid-back culinary culture of Italy at an impressionable age.  They love food and adventure, and they’ll be nearly 10 when we go, so not only will they be able to enjoy cooking classes with us, they’ll also be well-behaved as we visit a winery or two…!

To get in the spirit of things, I pulled out an Italian Barolo to drink on Valentine’s Day.  I know this is not from the region of Tuscany where we will be traveling, but it was calling to me.  I hadn’t had this wine in quite a while, and I was pleased to see how well it was drinking:

Great Italian Barolo.
Great Italian Barolo.

2000 Domenico Clerico – Ciabot Mentin Ginestra – Deep dark brooding red/black fruit nose with a little bit of rose and cinnamon adding character.  In the mouth, the deep dark red fruit flavors and spices, combine with a little tar and balsamic on the long, tannic, dark-fruit finish.  This is a very nice Barolo, that is still young and in need of another 3-5 years in the cellar, but it can be enjoyed now with some air time.  I feel that this wine has a lot more to show, if it is only given the time to bloom.  I am very happy to have more of this in the cellar.  (93 pts.)

As for the trip, we’d love your food and wine recommendations.  We don’t leave for a couple more months, so we have just enough time time to make some reservations.  We’ll be asking for your opinions – starting with wineries in Tuscany.  We’ll be in Sovicille (near Sienna) and Cortona (near Montepulciano) for about two weeks.  We have a short list going, and we only have a few days we can actually devote to it with the kids, but we want to hear any favorites you have.  What are the top places you’d go?  We want to know!

Ciao for now!

2 thoughts on “Italy Bound! (And a Great Italian Barolo)

  1. Massimo Borghello

    Dear Bob
    I enjoy your posts on eBob. As an Italian I feel a duty to comment on your trip. Firstly (and you may know this already) bear in mind that travel by car in those parts of Tuscany can be a frustrating and logorating/lengthy experience – much of the localised movements are in small windy road where if you end up behind a truck you’re way out of luck. So my suggestion is do not overplan in terms of movements as the beauty of tuscany is in sitting somewhere (still) vs sitting in your car. In particular I would not consider Cortona “near” Montepulciano and I would suggest you instead focus your winery trips while/during your Sovicille stay. In Cortona relaxing and eating is great (I recommend “La Bucaccia” to eat in Cortona). My top winery recommendation is Felsina (30 mns drive from Sovicille – but importantly most of it on a motorway) where the Rancia is one of Italy’s top Chiantis no doubt. I also recommend a trip (with lunch) to Monteriggioni (forget the name of the place but there are like 2 restaurants only anyway). Enjoy.

    1. Hi Massimo –

      We really appreciate your thoughtful insights. You’ve given us some very helpful tips that we are taking into account as we plan – thank you!

      I think we have too much we want to do and not quite enough time, since we have extended family with us for part of the trip, so your advice to prioritize is great. We’ll see how it goes…


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