Wines and other drinks of Giro d’Italia 2018: Stage 15. Tolmezzo — Sappada

It was interesting to see Chris Froome in a situation where he had to attack, and could not wait for and defend off attacks from other riders. We cannot write him off yet. But he did only gain 10 seconds (6 + net 4 bonus seconds) on Simon Yates. And as the French TV-comentatiors said: Double Britsh the day of the Pince-wedding in London. Chris Froome is still 3.10 behind Simon Yates, but he advanced from 12th to 5th in the GC, and took time on all the other competitors. Simon Yates gained time on all tha riders, but Chris Froome.

It is not often we see a rider as exhausted as Thibaud Pinot was when he finished yesterday, and it will be interesting to see how he has recovered before today’s stage.

The French TV-commentators said that the organisers had decided the riders should not be allowed to change bikes before Mont Zoncolan, and discussed what would happen if a rider got mechanical problems. I did not get all the details, but it did not seem to be a problem.

Today is another mountain stage with a summit finish. It is not by far as hard as Mont Zoncolan. But it can still be an exciting stage.

We are about as far to north-east as we can get in Italy. The stage starts not many kilometers from where the borders of Austria, Italy and Slovenia meet.

Up here in the mountains, there are no wines to be found, at least not locally produced quality wine. Sometimes we can find good wines from down in some valleys in the mountain stages. But not so today. We have to accept the sad fact: No wine today.

In areas where it is too cold to produce wine, as up in the mountains, I often search for intersting beer as a substitute. Searching will usually mean searching the internet and some beer guides. It is not easy to search the internet for local Italian breweries for a person who do not read Italian. I have found one that looks interesting, Birra Gjulia, that makes beer from local ingredientes. But it is located between the city Undine and the Slovenain border. It is closer to where we started yesterday than where we will start today. And it is located in one of the better wine areas in Fruili, so I would rather go for wine if I should fill up from this area.

There is an important difference between wine and beer for a procjet like this. Grapes take character from where they are grown, which has to do with the soil, cimate etc, which is what the French call terroir. A good wine starts in the vineyard. They grow Chardonnay all over the world. But no other places will it give as good wine as it gives in the best parts of Burgundy. Nebbiolo is at its best in Piemonte, etc. Beer is more about style than terroir. An IPA is an IPA, if it is brewed in Italy or Norway. The quality of the water influence the quality. But quality is more based on the skills and sometimes creativity of the brewer, rather than on terroir.

There are traditional beer types with long, local tradistions. Pils is a beer that originates form Pilsen in the Check republic. Altbier is a spciality of Düsseldorf in Germany, and there are many Belgian beer styles. A Belgian Blonde is a good beer. But a Beligan blonde brewed in Italy or Norway is not as ineresting as a Belgian blonde from one of the traditona breweries in Belgium, even though it may still be a good beer. Local beers are what we are looking for and drinking at the place, not what we are looking for at a distance.

I think one should always drink water with wine. We drink water for the thirst, wine for the taste. In mountain areas, we can often find good water. But I have not found well known sources, and brands derived from them, in the area where we are now.

Dolomite is a cabonate rock, named afte the Dolomites, where we are now. Dolomite is oten used to neutralise lakes that has been damaged by acid rain. But then it is more about fishing water than drinking water.

We have to resign. This is a BYOB-stage. We have to bring something to drink from other places. A wine from the eastern part of Friuli can be a good choice.

Tomorrow is rest day.

Wines (and some other drinks) of Giro d'Italia 2018

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