One of the great benefits of owning a gay guesthouse that also serves dinner is the opportunity it creates for me to taste and buy some wonderful wines. So it was this morning when I headed off with last year’s list and a whole sheaf of suggestions to Juri my wine merchant to begin to put this year’s wine list together.
Virtually from day one Juri has been supplying Bellaugello Gay Guest House with our wines, his knowledge of the vast gamut of Italian wines is not exceeded in Umbria, add to that he is a nice guy, buying wine becomes a pleasure. Into the Aladin’s cave I ventured, where oh where to begin… this is just one small part of the vast enoteca.
On the list there are a few firm favourites I wish to retain, many guys request local Umbrian wines, they make great wine here, Il Decugnano is a personal favourite. I also love those great robust reds from the cantina of Schola Sarmenti in Puglia, their Nerio having won huge awards in the wine world and their Dicotto with 18˚ of alcohol is truly ‘strepitosa’ a wine everyone should try at least once in a lifetime.
There are others that have been poor sellers so they have gone replaced for the first time by some super Tuscans and an amazing complex Barolo. Start saving guys great wine does not come cheap!
I have fallen love with wines from the region of Alto Adige a region I seem to keep returning to and will be adding to the collection of these light but deep reds grown on steep rocky hillsides above row upon row of fragrant fruit trees. Of course the delicious Gewurtztraminer from Garlider remains, as does the Naran from the bio cantina of Pravis, this is the wine produced with no chemicals or sulfates, somewhat different to the palate but nonetheless excellent.
A new addition to the list will be the award winning wine prosuced by the Tuscan cantina owned by ‘Sting’. This is not stocked by Juri, and I have yet to taste it but it has been acclaimed and I guess even I can be a bit diva-ish sometimes…
Gone the Champagne, I now firmly prefer Franciacorta, delicious smooth small creamy bubbles that slide down the throat, and I am adding a great rosé Franciacorta, perfect for summer aperitivo.
Oh! and there are more, but to find out exactly what you will just have to come and stay at Bellaugello. And remember if you choose a bottle at dinner and do not like it then I will take it back leaving you free to choose another, I cannot wait to taste them all, but know that this happens only very very rarely…