After a long trip by bus our group was rewarded with a great dinner at La Subida Restaurant in the Eastern part of Friuli, the famous wine growing area called Collio, not far from the Slovenian border and Trieste. This area has a great tradition in wine and cheese making, and also for its olive oil. The indigenous white grape Tocai Friulano, similar in character to Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc, is in the whole area of Friuli, the most popular variety. To prevent confusion with the Hungarian and Slovakian Tokay, the grape’s name can only be used to denominate the varietal, but cannot be used on the label. The Friulana’s strong minerality suits well to accompany the prosciutto which is served all over the places. But the international varieties (Anything But Chardonnay comes to mind) have been planted widely, and this not only during the past twenty years as in many other parts of the world.
I also should mention the tank fermented blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc, a refreshing off-dry sparkler of good commercial quality, which was offered to us immediately after entering the restaurant, together with a baked cheese soufflé in form of a star on a wooden stick.
The 2010 Merlot was from the second vintage of a young wine maker. This wine with its soft tannins was quite pleasant in the expression of its varietal character. The desert wine, a Verduzzo from the North West of Friuli, was a sweet wine of straw/golden colour.
The meal lived up to our expectations. As already stated, Friuli and in particular Collio are famous for the high quality of local produce. All the dishes were masterly home -cooked, and as usual the hors d’oeuvres and entrées, together with a splendid “trou Normand” (a sherbet with balsamic flavour), and the desert and other sweets were outstanding.
A truly outstanding start of our Friuli trip (part of the International Wine Tourism Conference Blogger- Media Fam Trip) organised and sponsored by the Strade del Vino e Sapori Friuli Venezia Giulia!