Eventi, Friuli, Vino

Mandi from Friuli: wine experiences

Again, I started the week thinking to write a post on wines given my participation in the Superwhites 2008. Obviously participation as free taster. I mean I was able to taste 7 different wines for a total of 9 glasses in 3 hour time. At the end I was very happy but still sober. Ok, sober in an metaphysical sense. But when you have the opportunity to taste some of the best wine, with a good person, in a beautiful city, in two different locations… why say no, especially if you go home walking.

I was saying, I started with that mood the week. I found the blog of “Il vino dei blog” (Blog’s wine) and wrote a post about my favourite wine label. Then I discovered on line the Wine Blogging Event and found out that was just closed the event dedicated to white wine from Friuli. My region ! Alas, I lost the possibility to give an Italian, friulan opinion. What a pity.Commenting on the web page of Fork & Bottles , which hosted the event, I decided to write my view on the subject for English friends (hoping that language is not a barrier). Today I start talking about my approach to wine, hoping to have time to give you some indication on Friuli’s wines.

First of all, I come from a small village closed to San Daniele del Friuli, more famous for ham. My grandparents had a small vineyard (vigna in Italian), just 5 meters long, just one row (I’m not able to translate ‘filare’). But it was really nice to go to our vineyard on the old tractor of my grandfather. It was an old orange Fiat tractors. My grandfather drove crossing the village in hot September afternoons. With my grandmother, as well, we stayed in the vigna some hours to collect the brunches and staining our clothes.We came back home with all the bundle. Then my grandmother did all the work that is better describes in books and movie. To be sincere, given the modesty of the vigna and maybe the detach approach of my parents toward the ‘field work’, there wasn’t a big party or happiness around all the event. Anyway for me it was really funny the day of ‘vendemmia’. Once I did the ‘vendemmia’ with the family of my cousin, my best friend Laura. Her vineyard was definitely bigger and working with more people, including her father, grandfather and grandmother, was really funny and usual.

But the way, talking about wine…I’m a novice, without any particular education on wines, but with a great curiosity. When I was a child, when I ate at my grandparents home I drank a sort of Spritz, it was a mix of Sprite (gassosa) and our red wine. Good good good…Then the rest of my family is more or less teetotaller. Really unusual given the strong emotional connection that exist for friuliani (people from Friuli area) with wine. The connection is so strong that we pronounce Merlot in our way. Some years ago I discover that Merlot everywhere has a French pronunciation. Incredible ! I’ve always listen and pronounced Merlot saying all the letters, including the final T. Last summer I was with my boyfriend, who is from Rome and pronounce Merlot in the right way, and other four people in a popular restaurant in Udine, one of the Friuli’s cities (maybe be the only Friulana city, but it’s a long discussion…another time I’ll explain what is Friuli). We wanted some wine and the waiter said ‘Merlot’ in friulana-way. I asked him to repeat explaining him way, given that my boyfriend thought I was crazy when I pronounced Merlot the first time in front of him. So I won: 5 people told Merlot in friulana-way vs 1 with the French pronunciation. Why Merlot with the T, because it is really popular wine in Friuli and because our dilect-language (Friulano, it’s a language) often have a consonant as final letter

When I arrived in Rome, 5 years ago, I discovered wine and till then I drink it. First I’ve re-discovered reds and finally whites, with a strong passion for the mix tastes or the most gorgeous tastes as some sweet wine. That to let you that I’m not an expert. Definitely not. On the Fork & Bottles Wine Blogging Event page I’ve found a lot of interesting wine names. Different sometimes from the ones I know. But it was a great pleasure to realize how far common friulani names can arrive. I want just conclude with my favourite white wine from Friuli discover at Gambero Rosso wine tasting or during the Superwhites 2007-2008 . They are:

Verduzzo La Tunella, that you can find here

Maybe Verduzzo is more a sweet wine, but I love it. I tasted it the first time a Gambero Rosso tasting in Rome. I fell in love immediately. It has a mixed taste, it’s a successful (for me, at least) summary of my region flavours where the typical weather is rain, but the sun can give life again when it’s in the sky… where food is a mix of Italy and MittleEurope, where frontier was a political reality but people’s origins hid a history of wars, peace, commerce, rural life. That is enough to say that I love this wine

Sauvignon by La Tenuta La Luisa, that you can find here

Another immediate love during the Superwhites 2007 event in Rome, another mix this time of particular flavours. If you read the label, it mention ‘salvia’, ‘peperone’, and leaf of tomato.

For today it’s all.

Mandi (it’s the traditional Ciao in Friuli. Of course even that simple word hid a meaning…next time)