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Umbria — Wine Routes

Quite unexpectedly, Ksenia Smirnova became the temporary owner of an oak barrel for wine.

For our big gastronomic journey, this was the occasion to pave the wine route through Umbria.

You ask, how did the barrel turn out to be for me, and why is it temporary?

The fact is that my brother, a great lover and connoisseur of wine, for many years had dreamed of acquiring a wine barrel, and an experienced person who had absorbed the aroma of more than one successful crop.

To get such a barrel is not easy at all.

This barrel has got to us by pure chance — the owner, ninety-year hereditary winemaker, I couldn’t infect my heirs with my passion for wine and, realizing that the winemaking family would stop there, after five years of persuasion and bargaining, he nevertheless gave a hundred-year-old barrel, practically his age, saying “greedy tear«.

The brother appreciated, was delighted, and … left me, instructing to clean and «something to pour«.

And if I coped with the first task easily and quickly, then for the implementation of the second I will have the agony of choice.

And the choice is great!

Of course, only Umbrian wine can be poured into the Umbrian barrel of Italian oak.

The last couple of years, the Umbrian wines often occupy the top lines in Gambero Rosso, getting the famous Tre Bicchieri — three glasses, or are awarded five vines — Cinque Grappoli — in the guide Duemilavini, which goes under the brand of the association of Italian winemakers Bibenda.

I am afraid that trying all Umbrian red wines (I delicately keep quiet about whites — you can’t fill them in this barrel) will definitely not be possible without harm to health.

In addition to a dozen DOCG and DOC wines (the highest category of Italian wines, the origin and production technology of which are carefully checked), there are hundreds of IGTs (they used to be called table wines), as well as an infinite number that are not indexed at all.

This does not mean that these wines are bad, it’s just that even IGT winemakers don’t get any sense — they already have all the wine, right in cans, bought by knowledgeable people.

So that people like me, newly-made wine lovers, do not go astray during tastings, they developed several wine routes in Umbria.
One of them — La Strada del Vino dei Colli del Trasimeno — around Lake Trasimene.

Wines Colli del trasimeno — This is the DOC fault, and there are also white, and red, and pink, and even champagne.

Another wine route is La Stada dei Vini del Cantico — It takes place not far from Perugia and includes not only excellent DOC wines, but also one DOCG — the famous Torgiano Rosso Riserva.

This year, he was the one to get “Three glasses” and “Five vines”. This wine produces distillery Lungarotti.

So in the store you need to look for a label with the inscription Lungarotti Rubesco Riserva Vigna Monticchio Torgiano Rosso Riserva.

Since this is Riserva — that is, wine, additionally aged first in a barrel, and then in a bottle — now is the time to drink the 2007 crop. The main grape variety in this wine is Sangiovese. This wine is also beautiful because it can be laid for 20-25 years, and it will mature in your home.

Especially good, of course, with red meat.

If you like white wine, then you are La Starada dei Vini Etrusco Romana. Here you have to go to my favorite city Orvieto for Orvieto Classico, Orvieto Classico superiore, Orvieto or Orvieto superiore.

Most often, of course, comes across Orvieto classico, you will meet him in every restaurant, bar, cafe and trattoria.

In the summer heat — this is a real salvation! Especially distinguished by the general background Orvieto Classico DOC Il Bianco Decugnano dei Barbi 2010.

This is a winery Decugnano, makes and beautiful champagne.

Symbol Umbria — Sagrantino grapes, so I will pay special attention La strada dei vini del sagrantino. This is truly the greenest place in Umbria.

Between the towns of Bevagna, Montefalco, Betton (we already went there for geese) and Cannara there is almost a country road winding between the vineyards, and the horizon here are determined by the nearby hills where pines and cypresses grow here and there.

Here, my heart feels, I’m a keg and pour.

Several distilleries at once (hmm, so I honestly call them wineries) produce delicious Montefalco Sagrantino. All of them are also more than once crowned with numerous glasses and vines. I love very much Arnaldo Caprai Montefalco Sagrantino Collepiano 2007 and 2008.

No worse Montefalco Sagrantino y Tabarrini (2007) and Villa mongalli (2008). Very curious about what Sagrantino 2013 will be like?

After all, it is something I, most likely, have to endure until next year!

It is not so easy to visit all these wineries on your own — they are reluctant to let them take money for tasting, and they ask to notify us in advance about the visit by phone.

However, once a year, at the end of May, a festival of open wineries takes place in Umbria, it lasts only one day, but if you plan a route in advance, this day will be unforgettable!

Ksenia Smirnova:
“I am ashamed to admit, but I really love to eat. Yummy.

Everything, whatever I do, is somehow connected with gastronomy. Being in fact a philologist, I unscrupulously reduced any of my scientific work to the systematization of buns, the story of peacocks baking in the Middle Ages, and to various gluttony.

Now I am writing my dissertation and teaching Italian at the university, where I torture students with articles from Gambero Rosso. I also have other interests: I love Italian opera very much and even teach Italian to future opera singers. So what do you think?

The relationship between opera and food does not end with Rossini’s gourmet!

One has only to recall the table in Traviata, or Già la mensa è preparata from Don Juan, or Puccini’s “Bohemia”, where three out of four acts are about food (or its absence). I also love to travel, but the pleasure of a trip for me will not be complete without gastronomic experiments.

Yes, yes, and the notorious «I will not eat until I take a photo» — also about me! I tried to fight with myself.


In the end, I realized that I always suffer in the third round of hell. Sad but what a company! ”

The idea of ​​the week:

Idea of ​​the week: Bologna

About the city of Bologna, where does the Bolognese sauce come from, Bolonevian raincoats, lapdogs and the Bologna process, says Ksenia Smirnova. She lives in Italy, writing a dissertation.

See below.

Touring Umbria: Perugia

Together with Ksenia Smirnova, who lives in Italy, we begin a great gastronomic journey around the peninsula.

See below.

Umbria: Perugia neighborhood

What is assisi strudel and where does the beautiful Kyanina live? Our great gastronomic journey through Italy with Ksenia Smirnova continues!

See below.

Traveling Umbria: Norcia

Today, together with Ksenia Smirnova, we arrived in Norcia, a town in Umbria, closer to the border with the Marche region.

Every Italian experiences to this place exclusively.

See below.

Traveling in Italy: Lake Trasimeno

Our great gastronomic journey through Italy reached the shores of Lake Trasimene, where Caesar lost the battle to Hannibal and Xenia Smirnova.

See below.

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