Bevagna - Enoteca Piazza Onofri

While Bevagna, surrounded by its ancient city walls, is an interesting and quite enchanting place. It's greatest secret is a most wonderful and welcoming Inn and Wine cellar - the Enoteca Piazza Onofri, located just off the Piazza Onofri (see Google Map at end of post).

In order to take advantage of a full night of wining and dining we had taken rooms at the Inn. These were spacious, comfortable, clean and quiet, and very reasonably priced. What more could you ask for? Good Food & Wine, that's what! And we got it and more!

We were the first group to arrive  in the small intimate restaurant, (it was a Thursday & early evening - too early for the locals). Normally this would make me feel conspicuous and uncomfortable, but  not here. The atmosphere and staff were warm, friendly and inviting.

Our hosts for the evening
We knew from the start that we were going to order the 'tasting' menu. These menu's are offered with  matching wines for each course - a great way to experience the full spectrum of flavours that Italy has to offer. The alternative would be to select from the extensive menu - helpful advice was always on hand (we made use of it anyway) - but choosing appropriate wine would have taken skill and lots of time as the wine list exceeds 400 wines!

If you love wine and esp. Italian wine take a look at the list here, (WARNING - link opens a 120 page wine list).

The food, wine and service were all beyond expectations, but to top it all we had the pleasure of witnessing the Art of the Sommelier........

We're all used to the rather pompous and pretentious rituals of the English wine waiter - showing us the bottle and offering a small tasting (and daring you to reject it), before pouring the wine. NOT here. Be prepared for pure theatre performed by a knowledgeable, friendly and thoroughly unpretentious and endearing young Italian Master, who clearly enjoys every moment of his job.

So what did he do, that others don't? Put simply he primed the glasses.

That is he took   a very small amount of wine and proceeded to rinse out each of our 'clean' glasses, by swirling the wine to cover the glass to the rim before discarding it. At the same time he observed the colour, viscosity and odour of the wine to make sure it was fit to serve.

After all this theatre, which took about a minute per glass, he knew the wine was in perfect condition and all that was left was for me to taste and agree to it being served.

The purpose of this ritual is to purge the glass of all chlorine (from the water used to wash the glass) and any odours from the environment where the glasses were stored. Furthermore when you come to taste the wine the glass is coated in a fine film which enhances the sight & bouquet of the wine. Try it for yourself - I have and it really does make a difference, even to a relatively inexperienced palette such as mine.

The perfect location for a quiet evening of fine food and wine

Full marks, alla salute, cin cin, cent'anni Enoteca Piazza Onofri!

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