Wines (and some other drinks) of Giro d’Italia 2016 – Stage 21: Cuneo — Torino

Giro_2016_00-21I do not really like when accidents are as decisive at they can seem to be now. On the other hand, they are part of the game. And one may ask if Kruijswijk was taking too high risks.

Now is the final. It starts mainly slightly downhill into Torino, where there will be a finsh almost as the Paris finish in Tour de France: 8 laps of 7,5 km in the city. But there is one important difference: In the Torino laps, there is a “bump”. Not very high and hard, but with 8% gradient. After three weeks of cycling, going over this “bump” 8 times can be hard, probably too hard for some. I think someone will get away, and some will be lagging behind — and that we will not see the typical “Champs Élyssées bunch sprint”.

Without accident, I think Nibali will not loose his lead.

Giro_2016_21

We are in Piedmont. Once again, the stages goes a bit outside the best wine regions. They are som kilometers to the east. A little before we are halfway between Cuneo and Torino, we will the district Langhe to our right.

One of the grapes grown here is Nebbiolo. The name derives from nebbio=fog, and it thrives in this area where it is often foggy. It is red/blue/black grape that need long repening period, and it is condidered a difficult grape to grow. It gives best results in Piedmont.

It has thick skin, but is rather light in colour. It is rich in taste and tannins. It easy to be tricked by a Nebbiolo wine, because of the light colour. We will often expect a light wine, not the tanninic and powerful wine we often get. Lange Nebbiolo DOC covers the entire Langhe.

The king of Piedmont is Barolo, produced in the district Barolo DOCG, a sub district in Langhe. Barolo is a powerfull, complex and tanninic wine. It is noe an easy drinking wine. It usually takes some time to learn to appreciate Barolo. If Barlo is the king, then Barbaresco is the queen. It is produced from Nebbiolo, a little furter east.

Another important red grape in Peidmont is Barbera. It is a grape deep in colour, low on tannins and with high acidity. It is a wine that goes with many types of food. If you will have red wine with fish, a barbera may be a good choice. Tannins and the proteins in fish do not go togheter well. It is better to choose a red that is low in tannins, like a barbera.

On of the leading districts for Barbera, is Asti, south west of Torino, were they produce Barbera d’Asti.

The third important red grape is Dolcetto. The name refers to some sweetness in the grape (dolce), but the wines produced are dry. The main production area for Dolcetto is further to the east in Piedmont.

It is strawberry season. A classic combination is strawberries and the sweet, white Moscato d’Asti, produced from Moscato (Muscat) grapes in Asti. Give it a try. When dicussing strawberries, I must admit that may favourite paring is Brachetto d’Aqui, a red, sweet fizzante, very low on alcohol, produced a bit further to south east in Piedmont.

If you will have something for celebration at the final, go for Franciacorta, despite it is from Lombardia, not from Piedmont.

Then it is arrivederci Italia. Beinvenue à France June 30, the day before the start of Tour de France, for Wines and other drinks of Tour de France. A bientôt.

Wines (and some other drinks) of Giro d'Italia 2016

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