Maybe the major media missed this story but last week there was a Piemonte (Piedmont) invasion in NYC! Although I've never been to this region in northwest Italy, I surrendered my tastebuds to their wonderful wines and cuisine at two Piemonte focused tasting events.
Any discussion of Piemonte must begin with an homage to their impressive wine tradition - there are 20,000 wineries in the region producing a wide variety of vinos from sweet whites to voluptuous reds. I attended the Piemonte Land of Perfection Grand Tasting and tasted several varietals.
Bold and complex, the noble Barolo is perhaps Piemonte's most famous red wine but don't overlook Barbera d'Asti for an excellent everyday wine or Brachetto, a sweet & sparkling red that is ideal for the summer season.
Asti and Moscato D'Asti are two Piemontese white wines that have become increasingly popular in the U.S. Both wines are on the sweeter side and Asti is a bubbly/sparkling wine and Moscato D'Asti is lightly sparkling (fizzy). To learn more about the wines of Piemonte, I encourage you to visit the Piemonte Land of Perfection website.
Of course, wines are meant to be paired with food, so to broaden my knowledge of Piemontese cuisine I also attended Undiscovered Italy: Piedmont's Langhe Roero. Presented by cookbook author and culinary historian Francine Segan at the 92nd Street Y, this tasting was a delicious survey of the region's foods. Langhe and Roero are territories within the Piedmont region and towns within that zone include Alba, Barolo, Bra, and Verduno.
Piemonte means "at the foot of the mountains" and the region's cheeses have a lushness imparted by the rich milk produced by cows who nibble on the fragrant grasses of the Swiss Alps. The Slow Food movement began in Langhe Roero and the area is world famous for white truffles.
From pasta to sweet treats, hazelnuts also appear frequently in Piemontese cuisine. In addition to the celebrated Barolo, Piemonte also produces Barolo Chinato - Barolo that has been fortified with herbs and spices to create a distinctive flavor. Barolo Chinato is perfect as a digestivo or aperitivo and also pairs beautifully with dark chocolate. To learn more about Langhe Roero, visit the tourism website.