Special Report from The Travelling Gourmet in the pre-Alpi of Italy

The Travelling Gourmet’s Special Report from sunny Italy in the pre-Alpi before the mighty Dolomites.

In Rolle, population 70, the 2nd Charme Sommelier Concorso added Hollywood razzamatazz to Relais Duca di Dolle……


MERRY making and much wine and good food was the order of the day and the 3 winners of the Charme Sommelier 2008 National Competition was only announced around 38 minutes past midnight on 22 September 2008. To loud applause, the 3 winners which numbered two bella raggazi and one gentleman were announced and presented with their prestigious certificates. Standing precariously on the narrow glass walkway over the Relais Duca di Dolle swimming pool, they grinned in unabashed jubilation while the paparazzi clicked away with their high tech digital cameras. The whole competition to my mind was a huge success with good food, great wines from the Grandi Vini group and, of course, boisterous and bubbly Bisol’s Prosecco di Valdobbiadene to give more sparkle to the festivities.

For next year in 2009, I heard from my good friend, Gianluca Bisol, the Direttore Generale of Bisol, that the Charme Sommelier may go international, even to as far away as sunny Singapore, the Switzerland of the East. The way I see it, it can only get better and better, as time goes by like the theme song from that classic 1942 multi-Oscar winning movie, “Casablanca”.

The next few days were quiet and peaceful for me as I savoured the peace and serenity of Relais Duca di Dolle agriturismo where time seems to stand still and the air is always fresh, clean and pure. I love it here.

A secret paradise far from the madding crowd where one can unwind and enjoy Prosecco ‘Crede’ as a ‘vino di meditazione’ with a simple raddichio pasta from Jada with some prosciutto and formaggio con raddichio and fiore maiale (lean, lovely, sweet pork from Jada), then a nice freshly brewed Espresso which I brew myself, to finish off a delicious meal. It has to be Espresso, you see, because in Italia, no one except loud, rude, uncouth, taste challenged tourists from New York, ever has Cappuccino after 11am, or, God forbid, Mama mia! an ‘Americano’ coffee. Italians you see, not only have warm and good hearts, but also great style and good taste, for was it not Catherine de Medici who gave la forketta (the fork) and Zabaglioni to the French when she went to France to eventually become, the Queen of France, centuries ago.

Buon appetito e salute!

Ciao from Il Turista Buongustaio…..

PS I shall tell you the names of the 3 winners shortly {:-)

About thetravellinggourmet

As a renowned Travel, Food & Wine Writer he has travelled the world in a keen & indomitable pursuit of exotic delicacies & fine wines. His articles have been published in over 20 prestigious publications, both local & international. Dr. Lim has toured and trained in Wine Evaluation & Oenology in most of the world's top wine producing areas from France to Australia. The Travelling Gourmet says, "Gastronomy has no frontier. These are the gastronomic voyages of The Travelling Gourmet. My unending mission. To explore strange new cuisines, to seek out new wines and new culinary experiences, to boldly go where no gourmet has gone before...." Have pen, will travel. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any other information storage & retrieval system, without permission from Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet and/or MSN. Material may be works of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents may be true but may also be products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance whatsoever to actual person or persons, either dead or living, events, or locales may be entirely and purely coincidental and unintentional. No part of this website may be used to villify others or for criminal purposes. Interests: Travel, Food, Wines, Cooking, Wine Appreciation, Parachuting, Languages, Music, Reading, Swimming, Hunting, Ballet, Fencing, Archery, Anthropology and more... The Travelling Gourmet is a copyrighted trademark. All rights and photos reserved. No part may be reproduced without permission.
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