In the Lokanda Devetak Restaurant in San Michele del Carso, Friuli, our international group of IWINETC 2013 wine bloggers settled in with anticipation. The meal was to showcase the “Strada del Vino e dei Sapori del Goriziano.” We were fresh off an extensive tasting of Villa Russiz wines at the large and elegant winery that dedicates profits to children’s charities. I was remembering most fondly their Defi de la Tour – an elegant Cabernet Sauvignon.
Having spent a good hour taking a passeggiata in Cormons before that, we were ready by 20.00 to relax, and our appetites were piqued.
A tray of locally produced treats – including cows’ milk cheese and meat from the village- were passed and enjoyed with the Vitovska Carso 2010, Castello di Rubbia – Grad Rubije.
Next we received a beautiful pair of leak and sausage tartlets, which paired beautifully with Friulano 2011 Gradis ciutta from San Floriani del Collio. The warmth from the fresh-baked tarts warmed our bodies which had shivered in the vineyards and cellars of Lis Neris in the morning.
We moved on to a steaming risotto enlivened with Karst cheese produced by Dario Zidaric. The classic northern Italian dish was served alongside an intriguing 2008 Damjan Poveršič Malvasia, which had a lovely golden hue bordering on amber from two weeks maceration on the skins.
Our main course was a rich and flavorful guinea fowl in herb bacon. The 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Il Carpino from San Floriano del Collio matched the rich dish beautifully.
We breathed a moment, resting and contemplating the beautiful meal. And then, a cucumber gelato predessert gave us strength to carry on. Next, the karst honey semifreddo with apricot purée in a basket of puff pastry made us smile. And when we felt like we couldn’t take another bite — cookies coffee and grappa were somehow calling out to us. The impressive staff of Devetak Sara had cared for us with a generous spirit.
And so we loaded our bus, sleepily anticipating a blissful night’s rest at La Subida. Our two-story apartment-like lodgings offer multiple porches and views of the craggy forested hills. We would sleep well on beds covered with soft white duvets and a whimsical fox skin tossed across the top with aplomb. And though we lie down with bellies full, we will be keen to taste the homemade apple cake, fresh apricot preserves, local fresh yogurt, and just-carved prosciutto of the La Subida breakfast.