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Piemonte: drinking barolo and barbaresco and September reopenings

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My husband and I are travelling to Piemonte and Emilia Romagna at the very beginning of September for the first time and have learnt so much from this board. We're looking forward to reporting back on our trip.

I wanted to ask the more experienced travelers to those regions if they think that the restaurants will be up and running as of 1 September (a Monday this year), immediately after whatever August break they take?

I also wondered what approach people like to take when ordering barolo and barbaresco in Piemonte? My experience from drinking these wines at home has been that they often benefit from a few hours of air prior to drinking. Do people familiar with a restaurant's wine list in the Piemonte sometimes call ahead to say that they'll be ordering a particular wine and to ask if it could be opened ahead of their meal for them?

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  1. My suggestion would be to start your meal with a Barbera or Dolcetto and then have a Barolo or Barbaresco with your main course.

    The restaurants in Piemonte are well versed in serving their wines in the proper manner. I am sure they will pour your wine into a decanter to give it more air if you ask them to do so.

    1. Some do call ahead, but you lose the benefit of seeing the entire list unless it is up to date and all on line, something which is unusual.

      One way around this is to ask the restaurant to " double decant" the wine. It might seem strange but it works.

      7 Replies
      1. re: allende

        Thank you DavidT and allende. DavitT, I'm not sure we'll manage two bottles between us but I absolutely love dolcetto and will be sure to drink some in Piemonte. I'll ask about double decanting, allende.

        1. re: johannabanana

          Maybe drink your Barbera & Dolcetto at lunch!

        2. re: allende

          allende, as a regular visitor to the Piemonte and Emilia-Romagna, I wondered if you were familiar with the August/September closures? We just heard from Amerigo dal 1934 that they expect they might be closed for their summer holidays during at least some of the first week of September, which is when we planned on eating there. I'm now worried that the other restaurants we were excited about (all your recommendations on this board: Da Ivan, La Buca, Del Belbo-Da Berdon, Il Centro, Osteria Veglio, and La Conchiglia d'Oro in Liguria ) might be closed too.

          1. re: johannabanana

            I'm not in Italy now. Will be back on Sunday and will answer you then

            1. re: allende

              That's very kind of you.

            2. re: johannabanana

              As far as I can see, all those places will be open in the first week of September. It's always possible that something will change, but I doubt it.

              We had dinner at Conchiglia d'Oro this past Thursday and as usual, it was spectacular. In addition to everything else, an incredible dish of grilled shellfish:polpo, calamari, moscardini, calamaretti, gamberoni, and the Red shrimp from San Remo. Enzo is a genius at the grill; we've never seen anyone like him, and that includes some of the masters of the grill in France (e.g. Verge'). Everything about the place retains it's freshness just as it has for the 15-20 years we've been going. The dessert carrello would even please a French pastry chef.

              Totally filled on a Thursday night at the end of March.

              Comfortable clean rooms to stay in; nothing fancy, but just fine for a night.

              1. re: allende

                Thank you very much for the September information. Your recent dinner at Conchiglia d'Oro sounds amazing. Very useful to know about the rooms there, too.