We chose eight occasions for you to drink well – and responsibly – at Cheese 2017.
You’ll find local wines, sparkling wines, rums and cocktails.
Pairing drinks and cheese is an important tangible tradition of Italian gastronomic heritage. Pairing events always had an important role at Cheese. It couldn’t be otherwise, considering the origins of the Slow Food Movement, and the territory that hosts Cheese. The city of Bra set between Langhe and Roero hills, both home to exceptional wines.
In this 20-year edition, however, we have surpassed our most optimistic expectations. To guarantee the best match ever, we planned a practical Cheese 2017 guide, with eight occasions to drink well, and responsibly.
1 – Great Classics: Brunelli and Parmigiano Reggiano
The Taste Workshop Brunello Compared is reserved for Slow Food members, and will pair two fantastic wines with various agings of the classic Parmiggiano Reggiano from White Modenese Cow, Slow Food Presidium. We are talking about Poggio al Vento Col d’Orcia and Manachiara di Nardi 1999, 2006, 2010: three great millesimi of two great vintages that reflect the importance of a terroir.
The workshop is on Sunday the 17th of September at 4 pm, at the Wine Bank in Pollenzo six kilometers from Bra. You can reach there with the special shuttles that leave from Bra to Pollenzo.
2 – Enological Migrations: Tastings from the north to the south Italy at the Wine Bank in Pollenzo and at Bra’s Enoteca
If you were too late to book a spot at some of the Taste Workshops, or if you are willing to try other occasions to drink, there are two other spots at Cheese: The Wine Bank in Pollenzo, where Slow Food has built a tangible memory of Italy’s wine heritage, will offer a guided tour with some of the greatest wines and cheeses of Italy. Simply stroll along the cellars of the eighteenth-century building. Tour with tasting costs 10 euros.
If you prefer to taste and pair your drink freely, you can also take the shuttle back to Bra, precisely towards Via Garibaldi where you’ll find the Great Hall of Cheeses and the Enoteca. You’ll find 130 cheeses and 600 wines offered, representing some of the best of Italian wines. You’ll also find French, Spanish, American, Portuguese, British, Irish, Romanian, Bulgarian, Dutch, Polish and Swiss cheeses. To sum up, each cheese can be easily paired with a different glass.
3 – Around the World in 80 Cheeses: notes from the Orient, with Triple A wines
If Eastern wines intrigue you, pass by the Biodiversity House! Triple A di Velier is a historical importer and distributor of natural wines and distillates in Genoa, and an official sustainer of Slow Food Italy. At the footsteps of the Hasan Mountain in central Anatolia, autochthonous grape varieties grow at 1500 m above sea level. The grapes here have been cultivated for two hundred years in small gardens, and turned into wine with spontaneous fermentation in ancient amphorae.
Udo Hirsch, born German and a resident in Turkey for many years, is the owner of Gelveri-Manufactur. He will be presenting his wines and pairing them with Turkish cheeses. Slow Food Presidia Georgian wines won’t be missing, thanks to Iago Bitarishvili from the Kartli region near Tiblisi who will present them. The event will be held on Friday at 1:30 pm at the Biodiversity House.
4 – An enclave of flavors, aromas and textures of the Langhe
If you want to fully immerse yourself in the Langhe, the official sparkling wine of Cheese, Consorzio Alta Langa DOCG will set up a lounge area at the square of the marketplace. You will be able to experience many flavors that originate from Piedmontese hills: together with the classic method sparkling wines, you’ll also find the soft Robiola di Roccaverano Agrilanga with the crunchy Tonda Gentile hazelnuts selected by the Associazione Regina Nocciola.
The Alta Langa DOCG (brut, pas dosé, white, or rosé) is produced with Pinot Nero and Chardonnay grapes cultivated on the hills between Astigiano, Cuneese and Alessandrino. It’s aged for at least thirty months. The delicate bubbles perfectly match the spring notes of the Robiola Roccaverano, rich in fresh herbs, cherry, and hazelnuts. When it’s the end of summer, the milk is richer in fat and the cheese’s sensory profile is extended. With the crispy and toasted hazelnuts, three consistencies find the perfect match.
5 – Pleasure of Beer – Taste Workshops
We are not offering just wine to pair your cheeses with. Slow Food follows and promotes many artisanal breweries in Italy and abroad, through the guides and manuals published by Slow Food Editore, Taste Workshops, and Beer Squares at our open-air events. Among the most interesting beer events, we recommend Traditional Lambic: The Queen of Naturalness.
Traditional Lambic (Slow Food Presidium) is one of the rarest and lesser known beers in the world, defined as a drink between wine and beer. Don’t miss the opportunity to taste it on Saturday the 16th at 1 pm, at the courtyard of Scuole Maschili.
We can’t forget to mention the United States. Don’t miss Raw in the USA: Raw Milk Cheeses and Artisanal Beers on the 17th of September at 7 pm at the Liceo Scientifico G. Giolitti High School. Since the 1980s United States has witnessed the rebirth of natural fermentation, from cheeses to artisanal beers, producing excellent prosciuttos and salamis. In this workshop, we’ll present some of the best products born in the US: Jasper Hill Farm from Vermont, Meadow Creek Dairy from Virginia, Rogue Creamery from Oregon and Uplands Cheese from Wisconsin. The stories of the cheeses will be connected to the story of beers, thanks to Adrian Walker from Firestone Walker Brewing born in 1996 in California, now one of the most appreciated breweries in the US.
6 – Quality Beer Academy, Beer Square and Birrificio Antoniano
Official partner of Slow Food’s events, Quality Beer Academy in Piazza XX Settembre will receive beer enthusiasts with 35 street stands and a rich program of tastings guided by their talented beer sommeliers. The focus of QBA will be the American brews by Firestone Walker, in the presence of Adrian Walker who will tell the secrets and give anecdotes from the brewery. Other tastings with cheeses will give the central role to Belgian ales, with mixed and spontaneous fermentations of Rodenbach and Boon.
There are also 36 other artisanal breweries set up at the Beer Square. The stars of the Piedmontese and Lombardian brew scene will dominate the square along with breweries from rest of the country, and a few from abroad. Their aim is to find the perfect snacks to pair their products with, among the offerings of the many street food stands and food trucks.
On the Slow Food Presidia Avenue, you’ll find the Birrificio Antoniano, who will be offering many beers produced with Slow Food Presidia products: Ponte Molino with the Timilia wheat of Castelvetrano dark bread, la Torlonga with the Solina dell’Appennino grain from Abruzzo, and the Borgo della Paglia with the biancoperla corn from central-east Venetian plains.
7 – Paloma and Negroni sbagliato for a shakerata
A real cocktail bar with the best bartenders selected by Velier will be there to combine the most challenging pairings with the art of mixology. To give you an example, we have asked the bartender Angelo Canessa to give us a few sneak peeks: Paloma with the bitter notes of Tequile and grapefruit juice is perfect when paired with Robiola di Roccaverano. For Negroni sbagliato fans, we recommend a pairing with 36 months aged Parmiggiano Reggiano: the bitter notes and Vermouth match perfectly with the soapiness of the PDO. At Cheese 2017, you can find all of these and many other cocktails at the Velier cocktail bar set up at Pizza XX Settembre in Bra, open everyday from 4 pm.