Blog | 5 Maggio 2017 | Fabio Ciarla
Emilia Romagna: 5 reasons why it will soon be among Italy’s top wine territories / Vinitaly2017-1
Vinitaly has just concluded, having satisfied most of the participating producers and with less criticism and renewed optimism among the stands. During this year’s event I was often—in fact, almost always—inside the Emilia Romagna* hall, where I was finally able to learn more about a territory that had always intrigued me. It’s easy to talk about piadina and Lambrusco, but it’s not so common to experience an extraordinary dish like pisarei e fasò and drink Albana di Romagna as it should be; something unique that has led me to believe that Emilia Romagna will become one of the top wine producing areas in the coming years. I offer my first 5 reasons to explain why I’ve reached this conclusion. I’d like to know whether they are equally convincing to you, or if you have other reasons—the sixth, seventh or tenth—to add . . .
- Variety: Emilia Romagna is essentially two regions, not only because of a certain rivalry between them, but also because together they offer an extraordinarily rich enological and gastronomic panorama. With regard to wines, Lambrusco always comes to mind because it’s the most famous, despite the fact that the dry versions—led by Sorbara—are qualitatively superior. In 2017 we mustn’t forget to celebrate 50 years of Albana, Sangiovese, and Gutturnio DOC. And what can be said about the organoleptic tour de force that is Vin Santo di Vigoleno? In terms of food I really don’t know where to start, perhaps with Parmigiano Reggiano? Mortadella Bolognese? Or with the combination coppa-salami-pancetta, all certified products that make Piacenza Italy’s province with the most DOP labels.
- Cheerfulness: represented at Vinitaly by Luca Gardini, who was declared best sommelier in the world a few years ago and is a “one man show” who highlighted the carefree, happy, and daring aspects of this dual region, but also its authenticity. How did he do this? By being himself, but also by stating that Emilia Romagna is a “pop region” par excellence. An immense success for everyday wine as representative of local roots and traditions.
- Costs: here I’m not implying superior cold cuts or the best balsamic vinegars, because—rightly so—these cost an arm and a leg; rather the fact that Emilia Romagna’s competitive advantage lies in its ability to produce many quality products at a modest price. As for wine, Gardini wrote a two-page article titled “The Emilia Romagna of Lambrusco and Sangiovese beats the Prosecco of Veneto”, which was published in the Gazzetta dello Sport with the list of 50 winners at Vinitaly in terms of quality/price. Not bad at all!
- Easy wine and food pairing: few regions can boast such variety and quality regarding food and wine. A case in point: in celebration of 50 years of Gutturnio DOC we tasted “pisarei e fasò” (by Isa Mazzocchi from Ristorante la Palta), “Cubo Puro di Pernice di Manzo” (by Daniele Repetti from Nido del Picchio restaurant), and “Torta di Vigolo” from Pasticceria Perazzi. Simplicity and richness in the first case, a re-elaboration of a traditional dish in the second, and pure tradition in the third. What more can you expect from a cuisine that also produces white wines along its coastal area?
- Team: that’s right, Emilia Romagna’s “team approach” seems to work well. The “Carta Canta” competition demonstrated this concept well: a prize for the wine lists (restaurant, bar ecc.) that offer a qualitative assortment of Emilia Romagna wines. Genuine “Ambassadors” of Emilia Romagna wines are nominated, creating that virtuous cycle based on pride, which becomes a vehicle for promotion that can only be beneficial for a region.
* For the sake of transparency, I must clarify that during Vinitaly 2017 Enoagricola Blog officially collaborated with the Enoteca Regionale of Emilia Romagna.