Italian Cheeses and Wines at the Holiday Inn


Anyone with an interest in wine will have met Italian wines, but may not appreciate the fact that it was Etruscans and Greek settlers who produced wine in Italy before the Romans started their own vineyards in the 2nd century B.C. Roman grape-growing and winemaking was prolific and well-organized, pioneering large-scale production and storage techniques like barrel-making and bottling. Drinking Italian wines you are experiencing a great heritage.

Crusty bread goes with cheese.
Crusty bread goes with cheese.

However, Italian cheeses also have a history, with names like Moro’s Sottocenere al Tartufo, Ubriaco Rosso Piave, Ubriaco al Prosecco (using Prosecco in the aging), and Caciottine (matured two months in Prosecco, Raboso red wine, beer, red chicory and truffles). There are cheese connoisseurs just as there are wine aficionados.

Bringing both together, the Holiday Inn’s F&B Manager Daniel Boswell presented seven Italian wines and three Italian cheeses for the guests to experience.

These wine tastings at the Holiday Inn have attracted an increasing number of Pattaya wine lovers (and an increasing number of some of the most elegant ladies)! Wine, cheese and haute couture seem to go together.

More cheese!
More cheese!

The tastings are done in the Havana Bar, with the finger food stations dotted around the outer walls and another large central area. And by “finger food” this was not limp pizza slices, but such mouthwatering items as sliced wagyu beef with brie and marinated feta cheese. I spotted the executive chef from the Amari (Shaun Venter) looking at the cheese selection!

The first wine was a sparkler, Chamdeville Blanc de Blanc NV, and whilst it was a satisfactory palate cleanser, it had little to elevate itself from all the other sparklers available from the rest of the world.

The first of the cheeses.
The first of the cheeses.

The second wine was a San Marzano Santoro Primitivo Puglia IGP 2013. This Puglia IGP was a very pleasant wine, good nose, easy in the mouth and a long finish. With all the wines at a special price of 990 baht, this one was worth it.

Holiday Inn has been brave and alternated reds and whites, and guess what? It works, with the next being a Chardonnay Puglia IGP 2014! My tasting notes run “little nose, good taste and a long finish.”

During this time, I was also experimenting with the di. Vino Ubriaco riserva cheese and the Capra al Fieno cheese. The former is a whole cows milk (and goat lipase) matured for three months, whilst the latter was a goats milk cheese matured for seven to eight months covered in dry hay which comes from the organic grass plantations in the high mountains. For me, the Capra al Fieno was my choice and went very well with the next wine, a red Piuma Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOC 2014. This was a wonderfully soft wine, good nose and finish and was the wine of the night for me, remembering of course, that wine appreciation is a very personal attribute.

By contrast, the next wine, the Piuma Trebbiano d’Abruzzo DOC 2014 had very little going for it, from the same winemakers as the Montepulciano (remembering the proviso).

The sixth and seventh wines were Toscana Rossi IGT 2013 (red) and Toscana Bianco IGT 2012 (white). Neither would qualify as the “super Tuscans” but both were indeed very pleasant.

Holiday Inn can congratulate itself on this latest Tasting evening, and my personal thanks to F&B Daniel for the background on the cheeses and to Gypzy in her new position. We were very well looked after, thank you!