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2005 "Le Bessole" Amarone, Accordini and Pantagruelica deli, Venice

I have invited the girls to dinner tonight and so make my way to the fish market in Campo Santa Margherita right after morning coffee and writing session. Dinner is grilled aubergines, onions, red peppers…burrata and San Daniele … gambas and garlic butter … spinach gnocchi with pumpkin, courgettes and parmesan … scallops in their shell with a mushroom and cream sauce and breadcrumbs, grilled ….veal scaloppini with wine sauce…and ricotta cake.

Wine: picked up this bottle in Pantagruelica, a gorgeous deli in Campo San Barnaba, next to Ca’ Rezzonico. When I chose it, the shop owner said “now that’s a nice bottle” and I agreed and believe it or not, he said, “Now, be sure not to serve it too warm.” I died! Finally, a normal person. I needed no further encouragement and dove into the story of the night before and the abruti of a restaurant owner who yelled and me and chased me out of his restaurant because I did not want to drink his Amarone at 22-effin degrees. He agrees and says, 16-18 if warm out and a bit more if it is cold out. As I as telling my story, a few of the locals listened and joined in the discussion. They all offered to go back to the restaurant with me and tell the man off. Pantagruelica owner said that most people just do not know about wine and think that because they are Italian, they know more than anyone else. Feeling very vindicated, I carried my 2005 Amarone Classico “le Bessole” from Accordini home with me ….to the delight of my friends…it was nectar.


I also served a few wines from this wine shop around the corner …. The place where the locals buy their wine for 2 euros a litre and the wine is kept in baskets and siphoned out into used water bottles. Wanting to see if any of it was any good…I bought the Prosecco and the Refosco and the Pinot Nero. The Prosecco was light and fruity and that’s it. The Pinot Nero was way too sweet. When I asked why the Pinot Nero from Treviso is so sweet, the Rastafarian-cum- rabbi youth cheerily running the shop assured me that it was simply down to the soil type.  I am not at all convinced. I think they just piss the vines and then add a lot of sugar. You could not even tell that it was Pinot Noir. I know the Pinot Neros from further north, in Alto Adige and they are stunning – they rival Burgundy’s Volnays: very feminine, floral yet strongly-structured wines with great acidity. I am also a fan of Refosco…but again, this version was palatable  at best. So, have come to the conclusion that most Italians drink dreadful wines and don’t even know it. 


Anyway, having fed our bodies, it was time to feed our souls and so we made our way to the Scuola de Carmini to attend a concert of Operettas and ballet.


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