5 March

The Castellane di Soave do Corot

I am a proud and happy Castellana di Soave. This means that I was awarded a certificate and the “key” to the town of Soave at a really swell ceremony held in courtyard of Soave castle. Castellane are selected for their active appreciation of Soave wine.

A bus load of some 50 ladies and 8 gents (spouses) arrived in Verona. Michael and I met them at the Gran Guardia and we trooped up the colossal white stone staircase to an exhibition called “Corot e l’Arte Moderna”.

We met up again at the Il Bersaglio for dinner. Leo Ramponi, the boss here, loves people, food and wine. The food is good and rib-sticking. Leo chooses every wine himself – he knows his wine cellar intimately. This ensures that a customer will get good, reliable and sincere advice. The restaurant has an olive oil list that describes the flavors and olive varieties used in each oil. He has a sprits list that includes whiskies, scotches, rums, calvados and more obscure items. Again, Leo knows them all and can help the client make an informed decision.

And guess what wine our group of Castellane is served? The same wine that created “the incident of the Imperious Sommelier in Venice (see March 2 entry in this diary). Vicentini Soave. The wine was Fresh, bright, floral with a zippy acidity.

As we are leaving we spot a Wurlizer jukebox. Buttons indicate Hocus Pocus by Focus (I had this album.), Barry White, Bryan Ferry, Vanilla Fudge, Grand Funk , Roxie Music. Wow! A blast from my past. “ The jukebox dates from the 1960’s” says Leo but the music is the last batch of records the company provided. They date from around 1975.”