A Royal Red Wine From The Queen of Teroldego
Foradori Teroldego Vigneti Delle Dolomiti (IGT) 2018, 12.5%
After an active day in the mountains of Trentino, perhaps trekking in the vast Naturpark Drei Zinnen (Three Peaks Park) or skiing in Cortina d´Ammpezzo, it’s time to replenish your reserves. And here a favourite at the table is a bowl of giant canederli (bread and flour dumplings), which are laden with smoked bacon chunks and served in a warm broth. Local breads and cheeses are also on the table, dispatched before you tackle the filling polenta and sausage based dish known as Smacafam. Apples will feature in the dessert course, perhaps their version of strudel.
And all the while your enjoyable companion is the Foradori Teroldego, a superb wine of the region made by the experienced Elisabetta Foradori. She is indeed regarded by many authorities as the queen of Teroldego.
“It has beautiful colour and rich fruit, but sometimes the tannins can be a little drying. You need to hold on to it for a while or pair it with gamey foods, but the flavour is unique. And you won’t find it anywhere else in the world.” That was young Elisabetta Foradori speaking to Vino Italio back in 2002 who even then considered her as the leading producer of Teroldego.
In 2016, The Modern History of Italian Wine honoured her as one of the leading producers in the renaissance from the 1960s onwards. She led the local change from pergolas to Guyot (lower yield, more quality), practiced the “diligent use of small oak barrels” (to tackle the international market), and then her embracing of biodynamic cultivation and her adoption of the amphora in “this land where Regina Elisabetta (Queen Elizabeth) reigns” further enhanced her wines.
|A handy base in Drei Zinnen (Three Peaks Park) in the Dolomites,
about 3 hours from the Foradori vineyards.
Even the 8th Edition of the World Wine Atlas concurs: “the unrivalled queen of fine fully ripe Teroldego Rotaliano is Elisabetta Foradori. Her improved clones, and experiments with fermenting in amphoras, impresses her clients more than they do the authorities, so she sells them as IGT Vigneti delle Dolomiti.”
This dark ruby aromatic wine is indeed a gem, light in alcohol but full of flavour, a distinguished part of the Trentino gastronomy. About two months back, we got a great idea of how the wine and food go together thanks to a Tasting the Dolomites meal (Take Out of course in the current circumstances) organised by Cork’s leading wine-bar, Latitude 51, as part of their own deliciously defiant response to setbacks over the past two years (including those Covid 19 restrictions). The wine itself is pure, precise and elegant and Very Highly Recommended.
We nibbled on Speck (smoked cured ham) and Taleggio cheese for a start. Then moved on to the hearty Zuppa all’Orzo (pearl barley), eating and drinking in that bowl. I had been a little wary of the dumplings having been very disappointed with a series of Northern European dumplings a few years back. But these, packed with herbs and Speck, were in a different class altogether. Then on to another highlight, the Smacafam, a sausage and polenta pie, a hearty rustic type of pizza, full of flavour and topped with delicious cheese and that meaty sausage was just superb.
|Speck (via Pixabay)
Then time for the finalé, after a decent pause! Apples are abundant in Trentino and L’Atitude included their take on an Apple Strudel, a superb take indeed, enhanced with a dab or two of crème fraîche. They even included a digestif, some prunes soaked (deluged!) in Grappa to bring the curtain down on an excellent insight into the area.
Been in that area just once myself, on a day trip from Austria, and remember having the best ever Spaghetti Carbonara in a high altitude restaurant in or near the Naturpark Drei Zinnen (Three Peaks Park) in the Dolomites and then enjoying a stroll around a nearby lake (in pic above) under some awesome peaks.