Ardesio DiVino

Recently my husband was lucky enough to go to the Ardesio DiVino wine festival thanks to a competition win.  This post is written by him based on his experiences.

View from ardesio italyWhat could be better on a summer’s day than to sit outside and share a glass of wine with friends?  Well, why not throw in spectacular Alpine scenery and some traditional Italian food?  And why restrict yourself to just one glass, when you could sample from hundreds of the best that Italy has to offer? In fact, why not do all that, without having to give your wallet a hangover?

1-2016-08-10Less than 2 hours on RyanAir from Stansted takes you to Begamo in the shadow of the Alps in Northern Italy.  A 40 minute drive up into the stunning mountain scenery brings you to the small, picturesque town of Ardesio. Normally a haven for mountain hikers, on the 1st weekend of August the town plays host to an annual wine festival, Ardesio DiVino.

ardesio divino wine producerThis year, the festival’s 12th, saw 38 producers set up stalls in the winding streets and historic courtyards. They are mostly small, often family run vineyards, making sometimes just a few thousand bottles a year. Each is only too happy to talk (often in varying degrees of broken English) about the wines they make, what gives each one its own unique character and to share their passion.  And though these are small businesses, there is no shortage of quality as the smattering of international wine awards (and my own taste buds) can confirm.

Italian Wine FestivalNow, I’m no wine expert.  Though I know a lot more now than before I went. So if you don’t know your Spumante from your Frizzante, then fear not.  Ardesio DiVino is not a cliquey get-together for the wine elite.  Of the 3,000 or so visitors, many are locals who come just to enjoy some good wine in the celebratory atmosphere (which extends on the Saturday night to a big party with live music in the town square). There are also craft stalls and a dedicated food festival section to tickle any taste buds that the wine hasn’t reached.

views of Ardesio ItalyEntry to the festival costs 20 euros per person per day.  For that you get your own glass, a map to navigate around the stalls dotted through the town and the chance to sample at least 2 different wines from each producer.  And by sample, I mean a generous taster portion that will give you chance to appreciate more than a few brief sips while you channel your inner wine critic.  And there will be plenty left in the glass for you to check out your friends’ selections too.

views at Ardesio DiVinoMake sure to take some water with you, to keep hydrated.  And a pen is handy too; with so many wines to try, it can be hard to remember where those favourites were, so it’s useful to make a few notes as you go.  Especially since, with most bottles selling for comfortably under 10 Euros, you will definitely be wanting to bring some back home.  The only decision harder than which wines to buy, is whether you can get one more in your suitcase without having to pay excess baggage.

Ardesio Di Vino Wine Festival

Ardesio di Vino festivalThis weekend my husband is lucky enough to be enjoying the Ardesio DiVino wine festival in the Italian Alps. Judging by the pictures he’s sending back it will be an amazing experience.  He’s gone along with his brother.

ardesio divinoAs you can see the setting for Ardesio DiVino is very picturesque.  The festival is held in Ardesio in Lombardy, in the Italian Alps.

Moscato dessert wineEvery year thousands of wine enthusiasts stroll around the streets of the small town of Ardesio, tasting wine & food offered by a myriad of independent producers. It’s known for its lovely atmosphere, immersed within the historical inheritance of the old village. It sounds like the perfect way to spend a weekend.

July Degustabox

snacks and treatsThis month’s Degustabox has been a goody. I love the idea of combining one of my favourite foods: chorizo, and crisps.  These lattice style crisps from Seabrooks Crisps have a spicy bite. This week the itsu crispy seaweed thins have made it into the lunchbox and they are really handy for adding a bit of variety and they are full of good things too. Rowntree’s Fruit Pastilles Infusions are a new twist on the traditional sweet with orange & grapefruit, raspberry & pomegranate and apple & elderflower flavours. Brookside Chocolates mix a smooth dark chocolate with blueberry: a perfect combination. Bahlsen Choco Leibniz have long been favourites of ours, but now they come in handy portion packs with two biscuits in each: again these are great for lunch boxes and picnics.

Jordans muesli

My normal breakfast is muesli, but I like to switch it around and try out different brands and flavours.  Jordans Swiss Style Muesli has given me something new to try with its blend of crispy wheat flakes,creamy oats, juicy raisins and finely sliced almonds. Sarsons Balsamic Vinegar is perfect for summer salads and I find it goes well with strawberries. For a bit of added crunch and spice to your salad or ploughman’s, there’s Felix Gherkins which are handpicked in Sweden in late summer.

july drinksFor a great start to the day I’ve been trying Cracker Drinks’ natural fruit drinks. They have some interesting blends with no added sugar or sweeteners.  Another good way to breakfast is to have an ALO drink which includes the benefits of real aloe vera. Rejuvenation Water is an amino acid enriched spring water designed to help you deal with the rigours of modern life.Qcumber offers  refreshing blend of natural cucumber and sparkling spring water. We’ve also been enjoying berrywhite organic with lovely flavours such as sparkling cranberry & guava or sparkling lemon and ginger.

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