In twenty four hours I managed to touch ground in three different European countries: Riga at 12:30am, Helsinki in the morning and Tallinn in the afternoon. Incredible, isn’t it? It was not the first time that I took the ferryboat that bridges the distance between Helsinki and Tallinn, but this time I suffered a great deal during the trip. The sea was stormy, despite the fact that normally that part of the Baltic is very calm. An hour and a half later I was in Reval (the ancient name of Tallinn). I hopped in a taxi and rushed to the evening tasting of my wines, at the Bonaparte restaurant.
I must admit that the quality of Estonian restaurants is without a doubt the best of the three Baltic republics and the hunter-chef Artus Ovchinnikov is a sterling representative. We tasted the Langhe Nebbiolo Lirano 2007 with elk meat, and wild boar with the Barolo Leon 2005, but the most incredible thing was the antipasto: Beaver paté with very flavourful bites of lynx thigh served with the Dolcetto d’Alba Ercolino 2009. The dishes were very well prepared in terms of both presentation and quality, the service was impeccable, and I give it a vote of eight!
The next day was a tasting of my entire line of wines at the Veinituba wine shop run by the sommelier Rein Kasela, an institution in the world of wine in Estonia and the Baltics. Rein is in his seventies and yet has the enthusiasm of a young boy; this energy is without a doubt supplied by his incredible passion for wine. We began with the Langhe Bianco “Nascetta” 2009, and concluded with the Barolo Riserva 2004.
The well-sated guests were young sommeliers, journalists and importers all very curious to taste the great wines of Piedmont. The most excellent photographer Meeli Kuttim took splendid photos of the event – be sure to take a look!
Estonia is a country that has always fascinated me, their language has an ancient sound and their names seem like those of warriors: Urmas, Imre, Urvo, Orm, Ilo, Kadri, Kajah, Piret, and etc. My hope is that these warriors by name will ever more to understand and spread the word about the quality of Italian wine.