Piemonte Forager’s Sampler
by Madison Brown
I’ve loved foraging since I was a kid. I have fond memories of snacking on freshly dug yampa roots in the high desert mountains and of crisp mornings picking wild plums, frosty leaves crunching underfoot. Just this week, walks with my dog have yielded handfuls of blackberries, and soon patches of golden chanterelles will awaken here in my neck of the redwoods.
The rich, rolling hills of Piemonte are a forager’s paradise. In my daydreams of an idyllic life abroad, I spend mornings combing through damp leaves of centuries-old chestnut forests seeking giant porcini or the elusive tartufo bianco (white truffle). My table brims with baskets of wild greens and herbs to accompany an indulgent diet of pastas, cheese, and cured meats. Ahh, la bella vita!
There’s something exuberantly abundant about Piemonte, an enchanting quality mirrored in the wines. Giulia Negri’s Barolo “La Tartufaia,” an earthy, sensorial opus, is named after a truffle forest beside the vineyard. Bèrto’s vermouth is an infusion of herbs and spices, crafted according to a secret family recipe. A juicy blend of indigenous varieties, Tenuta La Pergola’s Monferrato Rosso tastes like brambly berries with notes of rosemary and wild mint. This sampler is a gateway to the delights of Piemontese bounty: a dozen daydream-rousing bottles to pair with seasonally inspired dishes like mushroom ragù or herb-crusted roasts.