26 Jun
Sipping, wine tasting, wine, glasses, red, drinking, spitting

Battlesipping in my Barolo King T-shirt. Any commentary on my attire can be directed to Nick Stock.

When I came up with the name for this post I had a good, hearty giggle to myself. I know I’m a lame-o, but say “Battlesip” quickly and it sounds like you have a lisp. Hey, come on. I thought it was clever! Small things really do entertain my small mind on a cold and wet wintery evening.

Battlesip stems from the Lorenzo Galli Italian Wine Scholarship program that I undertook just last week with nine other wine folk. We spent two days ‘battling’ it out sipping wines from Italy as well as Australian wines from the same Italian grape varieties. The group had been selected based on an essay written a couple of months earlier (read mine here if you’re interested…or bored).

If you’ve been a follower of La Donna del Vino for long enough (I’m talking to you: Christine, Steven and Dan), you may recall that this was the same program I did a year ago. Thankfully there was no barring on previous scholars. They would have had  to hold me back pretty firmly to prevent me from applying again anyway. The program (now in its fourth year) gives the lucky scholars the enviable and rare opportunity to spend two days trying the best examples of a wide and varied range of Italian grape varieties. Experts sitting on a panel in front of you also provides ample opportunity to annoy them with questions. This year the panellists included Jane Faulkner (judge), Michael Trembath (judge), Dan Sims (judge), Mark Walpole, Sandro Mosele and Kevin McCarthy. All living legends in their own right.

The result after an exhausting two days testing our palates and sharing our knowledge was announced at Union Dining. Winner of the generous $10,000 trip (donated by Galli Estate’s Pamela Galli in honour of her late husband, Lorenzo) to explore all of Italy’s wine regions (and most likely Franciacorta) was Karina Dambergs, Senior Sparkling Winemaker for Clover Hill in Tasmania and Taltarni in Victoria. Winner of the Writers Award for the best essay was Scott Cosgriff, a lawyer with a passion for wine based in NSW. Winner of the Enoteca Sileno Encouragement Award went to La Donna del Vino. That’s right. Me. Apparently my tasting and communication skills weren’t so bad! There were lightbulb instances where I could identify a Carricante and Ribolla Gialla amongst other wines in the line-up, but as Dan Sims likes to remind me, there were also hilarious moments of pure stupidity, such as this where I actually made this quote when describing and attempting to guess a red wine:

Me: “Black toast, black liquorice, black olives, black coffee…basically lots of blackness. It has really bright acid and ripe, savoury tannins that coil around your tongue. I’ll say it’s Montepulciano.”

Jane: “Krystina, you’ve just given me lots of black descriptors…and you’re going with Montepulciano?” (A red grape)

Me: “Yeah…(hesitating)…I thought there were other wines that related to the other black grapes.” (Like Nero d’Avola, Aglianico, Negroamaro and Sagrantino)

Dan: “Black, black, black…blackness! Krystina…are you sure you don’t want to have another guess?”

Me: “No…I think I’ll stick with Montepulciano.”

Judges put a thick black line through my name.

It was Nero d’Avola. Nero. It means black in Italian. Urgh. It reminds me of this. And yes, I’m Austin.

Despite that, yes I won a prize. This prize entitles me to spend a handsome sum of money at Enoteca Sileno on their portfolio of wines. Did I mention I get them at wholesale pricing? It should be a bit of fun. What should I spend the money on? Help me out below:

Photos from the scholarship:

Bree chatting with the Barolo King during the masterclass

Krystina, Christine and Lisa

Lorenzo Galli Scholars 2012 with Pamela Galli

Chuffed and accepting the Enoteca Sileno Encouragement Award from importer, John Portelli.

Pamela Galli gifting the scholars after a challenging two days.

8 Responses to “Battlesip”

  1. Fammy Lee June 26, 2012 at 9:27 AM #

    haha…yes sooooooooo Austin Powers. loved it.

  2. whineandcheersforwine June 26, 2012 at 10:32 PM #

    Sounds like a wonderful experience, congratulations!

  3. Andrea Frost June 27, 2012 at 9:14 AM #

    Hi Lady,
    Congrats on your Galli award. Well done. I hope you get to revel in some super booze.
    Lady Frost x

  4. Clare Burder June 27, 2012 at 9:18 AM #

    Loved this one 🙂

  5. Tennille Chalmers June 27, 2012 at 9:19 AM #

    Nice one Lady. Prize money on Etna wines all the way.

  6. Breiflabben June 28, 2012 at 1:46 AM #

    Congratulations Donna .-)
    Argh, why didn’t you think of nero? Probably not easy under the circumstances, you deserve cred for sticking to your first opinion though.
    I tasted a 100% Nero d’Avolo last year at Fattoria Santa Vittoria in Valle della Chiana. A very tasty and nice wine called Poggio Grasso. They were quite proud of their wine from Sicilys famous grape.

    Spend your prize money on compareing Barolos and Barbarescos, something you probably have done hundreds of times before.

    • La Donna del Vino June 28, 2012 at 11:07 AM #

      I will, Breiflabben, regardless of how many times I’ve done comparisons before. I’m sure you’d agree, it never gets old 😉
      There is more and more Nero d’Avola being planted in Australia and more coming in to the country. For a grape I don’t probably drink enough of at present, it was a good lesson. Sometimes the grape is screaming at you and you have an off-moment and miss it, as was the case here. The great thing with experiences like this is that you learn from your mistakes and now it shouldn’t happen again!

      A presto,

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: