The Barbera 7 ends its journey at the legendary Felicin in Monforte

The Barbera 7 ended its week-long tour of tastings and winery visits in Asti and Langa with some old Nebbiolo at the legendary Da Felicin in Monforte d’Alba. The last wine we opened together was a 1978 Franco-Fiorina Barbaresco, a bygone bottle, to borrow Eric’s phrase. Not everyone agreed with my assessment of the wine but I thought it was fantastic (Frank and Charles would have loved it, I’m sure, for I have drunk many old expressions of such great Nebbiolo with them).

Owner, chef, polyglot, and showman Nino Rocca’s food was excellent last night. His asparagus with savory zabaglione was superb.

His cooking is colorful and creative, riffing off the Piedmontese canon, like these tajerin dressed with ragù and new garlic.

The décor at Felicin is elegant 19th century, the atmosphere warm and jovial, and the cellar… aaaahhhh… the cellar… That’s an artist label 1989 Bartolo Mascarello created especially for the restaurant. A little out of my price range… but, wow…

Nino and his wife Silvia are extremely sweet folks. He and I like to joke that he looks more Jewish and I look more Italian…

Come valanga scendo come tormenta salgo (I descend like an avalanche, like a blizzard I climb). Nino showed us how partisans used to leave messages for one another by scribbling notes on the back of paintings so that the Germans wouldn’t find them. The text on the back of the frame he showed us was the motto of the Alpine battalion “L’Aquila” (“The Eagle”) when it fought for the liberation between 1944-45.

Bye-bye, Barbera 7, I’ll miss you guys. It’s been an incredible week and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your support — professional and personal. You’re the best…

From left, clockwise: Thor, Whitney, Cory, Fredric, Stuart, me, and Jon.

I’ve been gone for a week now and the homesickness is really beginning to get to me. One more day of meetings and then an evening in Milan with friends… I can’t wait to hold my sweet Tracie P in my arms and tell her over and over again how much I love her…

5 Responses to The Barbera 7 ends its journey at the legendary Felicin in Monforte

  1. Strappo says:

    Bravo, JP. Not only was the Barbera 7 experience and reportage marvelous, but you got all the way to the last paragraph before mentioning how much you love Tracie P.

  2. fantastic to finish the Barbera tour in the best restaurant in Langhe region: my prefered restaurant, with a fantastic cellar! Evviva Nino e Felicin!

  3. [...] After 4 days of intensive Barbera tasting, winery visits and Grissini belly stuffings the Barbera 7 experiences a nebbiolo fairytale visiting the ancient village of Barbaresco and Neive, tasting at [...]

  4. [...] Above: Silvia and Nino Rocca preside over the kitchen and dining room of one of Piedmont’s most important wine destinations, Da Felicin in Monforte d’Alba. I took this photo in March when I dined there with the Barbera 7. [...]

  5. [...] “infanticide!” It was a very lonely evening for me in the heart of winter in Piedmont: the Barbera 7 had abandoned me in my hotel, just as Jeremiah’s lovers had “forgotten [...]

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