#ImissItaly. Dreaming of La Subida (and don’t miss the massive Zoom aperitivo from Friuli tomorrow).

It seems like a lifetime ago. In many ways, it was.

In January, a middle-aged traveling salesman made his last trip to Italy before the world changed in ways that no one could imagine.

Stranded over a weekend between Friday and Monday meetings, he snuck away for a moment of respite in a village that lies literally on the edge of the western world.

There he hiked through vineyards and read a novel he’d been meaning to crack. He couldn’t call his loved ones in any case because the internet connection was too faint.

He rested, drew a hot bath, and gathered his thoughts and dreams before he headed to one of his favorite taverns in the world, La Subida.

The purple top turnips had been julienned, soaked in red wine sediment and patiently cooked in a pot before being tossed with lovingly crumbled musetto, Friuli’s boiled pork sausage.

Glorious brovada, so simple, so rich in flavor, so satisfying in his belly and his heart!

What a wonderful pairing for the tavern-keeper’s wine, the traveler thought to himself. It was a fresh, mineral-driven Tocai (Friulano) that achieved balance thanks to its masterful blend of fruit sourced from different plots with different ripening times. But then again, of course it does: if it grows with it, it goes with it, he chimed silently remembering the adage uttered by a famed restaurateur.

Every aspiring restaurant professional, thought the traveler, should experience this dining experience as he had for the first time nearly a decade to the day before this last visit.

The taverner Mitja Sirk worked the dining room like Muhammad Ali. Outside a silence fell upon the countryside as the waning gibbous moon hung in the sky.

Lonesome but fortified, the man found fleeting peace in his bones as he hiked back down the hill to his bed.

I’m dreaming of Mitja’s Subida this morning. It all seems like a world away even though I was there just a few months ago.

Tomorrow, the kind folks of Friuli are mounting what they are billing to be the largest toast of all time.

At noon CST (1 p.m. EST), 7 p.m. CET, you can attend a white wine toast hosted by the Strada del Vino e dei Sapori del Friuli Venezia Giulia (the Friuli “wine and flavors” trail).

Register on Zoom here.

The middle-aged salesman hopes to get back there soon. Some day, he will.

2 thoughts on “#ImissItaly. Dreaming of La Subida (and don’t miss the massive Zoom aperitivo from Friuli tomorrow).

  1. Jeremy, I’m wistful about the post. I was – was – supposed to fly out next Thursday for two weeks in Italy with my family that included a week in Trieste during which time I would have tried to make it back to La Subida. I had one of the very best meals I’ve ever in Italy there a few years ago and was hoping to reprise the experience, even without the wines from a number of top winemakers from the Collio and Carso who were are hosts the first time. They weren’t cooking, though, so I am sure would be terrific again. La Subida is a wonderful place. Hopefully next year. Hopefully.

    • One of these days we’ll get there together, man! It will be there when this is all over. Hope you and loved ones are all healthy and safe. Glad to hear from you here. Un abbraccio

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