Thursday 19 November 2015

Italy: San Gimignano

San Ginignano is apparently famous as the inspiration for Walt Disney's logo, although now I can't find any reference to it anywhere so I am doubting myself. In any case, it is a typical Tuscan hill town. As an aside, I have to say that Tuscany combined three things I dislike - hills, mosquitoes and British, many, British, tourists. I think that's why, on balance, I did not like it as much as other places we went. I had just got used to ordering an espresso by just asking for a coffee, when I had to get used to asking for an espresso again, thanks to the deitalianisation of this part of Italy.

But I digress. We were extremely fortunate to be in the area for San Gimignano's annual wine festival, Calici di Stelle. The landlady at the villa explained the system: you go, pay 7 euros for a glass, and then drink as much wine as you like while people serve you snacks. It sounded too good to be true, but we went up there anyway.

We had a browse in some shops and went for dinner first. The town is very picturesque.

We thought we were on the main square and there were no wine stalls set up, so we nearly left. However, we thought we'd wander for a bit. We came across a street festooned with white paper moons and stars, so we followed it. And then we found the event!

It's tough to see, but each local vineyard had half a table and offered tastes of their different wines. I think we tried 6 or 7 in all, but there were probably 30 different wineries exhibiting. Marvellous. Meanwhile, waiters circulated with trays of meats, cheeses and breadsticks. There was even free ice cream. And a light show.

It was really rammed with people and it took us a while to get a table, which we then had to guard jealously for the rest of the evening.
We got to keep the glasses, which came in a little shoulder pouch for easy carrying. Genius.

What a lovely evening! We felt really lucky to have been in the area at just the right time.

When we got home I fed Rachael's friend Louise Vin Santo and cantuccini, because she was terribly keen to have a dessert wine. She did not care for it, at all. It is still a memory that tickles me: the look of abject horror as the flavour hit her tastebuds. I think Vin Santo is lovely. Clearly not everybody agrees.

No comments: