A Piemonte moment in Manchester

A five course meal at a hot new restaurant with two outstanding producers from renowned Piemonte wine estates…just another evening in Manchester.

The dinner was held at Damson Restaurant, the first independent restaurant to locate right in the heart of MediaCityUK. Our suppliers at Boutinot organised the event for Jeff Chilcott of Marchesi di Grésy and Pietro Colla of Poderi Colla to showcase a selection of their wines and share the stories behind their labels.

Piemonte is located in north-west Italy, and is renowned for its excellence in wine and gastronomy. It is home to the most famous of Italian wines – Barolo, Barbaresco, Moscato d’Asti, to name a few – and is recognised as the best place in the world for white truffles.

To start out, a little tasting from both estates, of which both the Campo Romano Pinot Nero from Poderi Colla and the Merlot daSolo Monferrato Rosso 2006 by Marchesi di Grésy took the cake. The Piemonte cuisine didn’t disappoint either. A mouthwatering rissoto of wild mushrooms, truffle cream and Parmesan crisps tantalised our taste buds, only to be further indulged by Marchesi di Grésy’s Gaiun’ Barbaresco 2004 to accompany our main course: slow braised Cheshire beef in red wine, creamed potato, seasonal cabbage, smoked bacon, glazed button mushrooms & onions.

                                                     Boutinot dinner
Boutinot dinner Boutinot dinner

After cleaning the final bit of potato off my plate and savouring the last sip of Barbaresco, I thought we were past the peak of the evening, but we were only half way there. Finishing off the meal was an array of cheeses that would make even a Frenchman’s mouth water accompanied by Poderi Colla Bonme Moscato Aromatizzo NV. The term Bonme means ‘absinthe’ in the Piemontese dialect. A very aromatic and sweet wine made from the Moscato grape, it is infused with herbal extracts of absinthe, keeping with a tradition that has been upheld in the region since the Middle Ages. This one could have just as easily started out the meal as an apertif, but I was grateful to have it lingering on my palate after a scrumptious meal.

The end?

Hardly. The after party was even more up close and personal:

Boutinot dinner

The after dinner party at Damson Restaurant

We made our way from the dining area to the bar where we sipped on a bit more of the Gaiun Martinenga  2004. With red cherry flavours and high acidity, we just couldn’t get enough of this Barbaresco. The Marchesi di Grésy estate consists of 11 hectares in Martinenga and now maintains vines in three sub-zones for their Barbaresco, each with its own identity and sense of place – Martinenga DOCG, Camp Gros Martinenga DOCG and Gaiun Martinenga DOCG. Jeff Chilcott, the cellar master at Marchesi di Grésy, has been working with the estate since 1990. Originally from New Zealand, he now seems fully engrossed in the Italian passion for making great wine to pair with great food.

Poderi Colla is a proud family-run estate committed to tradition. With 27 hectares of prime Piemontese vineyards, the property is split across three distinct sites – the Cru Barolo, Dardi Le Rose in Bussia, the Roncaglie vineyards in Barbaresco and Bricco del Drago near Alba for Riesling, Pinot Noir, Nebbiolo and the delicious Dolcetto. After speaking with Pietro over dinner, I was able to get a glimpse of how tradition remains the focal point of the family business. However, in order for the business to remain competitive in the global wine market, they also realize they must embrace modern technologies in winemaking and marketing.

The Campo Romano Pino Nero is available now at the ‘ditch and soon that juicy Merlot daSolo Monferrato DOC Rosso will be too, so come on over and check out some Piemonte treasures!

Wine Campo Romano Pinot Nero
Region Piemonte
Producer Poderi Colla
Grape Pinot Noir
Vintage 2010
ABV 13%
Price (take out/drink in)
£22.50/£28.50
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