The event held at the luxury Italian hotel Baglioni in London, was a wine presentation by Mr Bruno Vespa who is an esteemed, well known Italian television Journalist. I grew up watching him on “Rai Uno” the main Italian TV channel so I was really excited to meet him.
Mr Vespa produces his wines in Manduria Puglia where he owns a history Colonial in the best area of Primitivo. His passion for wine led him to become a winegrower with his two sons Alessandro and Federico. I tried the “Primitivo di Manduria” reserve “Raccontami” which won several important prizes and the Primitivo di Salento “Il Rosso dei Vespa” with “Il Rosso di Puglia. All of them really excellent.
There was a nice atmosphere in the hotel, very elegant with the ladies wearing beautiful dresses. Most of the guests were Italian so I just felt at ease speaking my mother tongue.
Several celebrities were present including Nancy dell’Olio who you can see in the photo on the left next to Italian stylist Angelo Galasso.
The focus were Mr Vespa’s wines which were beautifully arranged in a stylish pyramid.
The was a piano playing in the background too. Very sophisticated!
During the evening, to accompany the wine, nibbles were served; these were prepared by Giorgio Locatelli. I particularly loved the mussels stuffed with rice and topped with a thin layer of crunchy potatoes. These were amazing! I would like to try making them at home.
Then we had “capesante” or scallops, big and juicy, a risotto with hare and liquorice, lamb with polenta and peppers and a chocolate mousse with red wine jelly. Not bad at all!
The wine perfectly matched every course. As you might know, we Italians love to pair wine with food. I had a really good chat with some wine experts who were present at the evening and I learned that the difference between a cheap wine and a more expensive one is not just about taste. More expensive wines need less chemicals in order to last well. That is why when you drink cheap wine it gets to your head much quicker than a more expensive one as there are more chemicals added to it. I am not a big drinker so I am even more sensitive to the chemicals. To me a good quality wine makes a big difference.
Then Mr Bruno Vespa held his presentation. To me when I meet someone I have been watching on television for years I cannot help but feeling really excited. He is so popular in Italy!
Then finally a huge cake arrived. It was a fantastic combination of sponge, with puff pastry, custard and topped with lots and lots of fresh fruit. Sounds like heaven doesn’t it? This is what we would call in Italy “torta diplomatica” which is my absolute favourite. I had two pieces of it! Sooo incredibly good!
There were cheers and excitement among the guests when the cake was cut.
Italian celebrity chef Giorgio Locatelli helped Mr Vespa cutting the cake. Giorgio owns the Italian restaurant”Casa Locatelli” in London.
And I did managed a photo with a man I really admire, Mr Bruno Vespa!