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Piedmont dinner at the Lido

We arrived at the Lido at around 7pm ostensibly to help get things ready but everything was under control. It was good to finally meet Birger who was there with the winemakers, Enrico Nada and Fabrizio Battaglino who were accompanied by Alberto Alessandria. This was very welcome as Alberto had sent me a box of his wines to try when the shipment arrived for tomorrow's dinner (I admitted to Enrico and Fabrizio that I thought Alberto's Barbera even better than theirs - but, then, it retails for over £20 so it should be!).

There were ten on our table so it was always going to be lively. Enrico and Fabrizio introduced the wines, bringing a touch of live theatre to the evening. Two whites to start, quite different but both very good. Which went better with the wild mushrooms on sourdough toast? Probably the Roero tonight but if they had been creamier, then I think the Langhe Bianco would have taken the prize. With the main course of osso buco with mashed potato and spinach, I was pleased to see Fabrizio's all too young Roero open up well and Enrico's Barbera gained in richness and complexity with the food too, in true Italian style. The cheese (Denhay Dorset Drum and Docellate Mountain Picante) was accompanied by Enrico's 2007 Barbaresco and, just before the almond zabbaglione with vanilla pears were served, Fabrizio's late-harvest Arneis came along to show that it also goes well with blue cheese.

All together, a good evening. My only gripe was that there were too few bottles to take home with me so I had to make do with an oddly perfumed (but quite interesting) Australian fortified Shiraz for a nightcap.

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