"Moralists renounce all pleasure except that of meddling in the pleasures of others." Russel -Voluptates, from Latin 'Pleasures' - Last night was a special evening! With my glass companions and an interesting new entry I went to the 2015 edition of Voluptates in Imola... for an educational evening that turned into a sort of American sit-com! My stomach still hurts from laughing... and well, not just from laughing, but I'll tell you the rest later! Poor Andrea' (this is a tribute to Federico... Andrea, I know you read me so forgive me 😄 ) was in great spirits and made some incredible assists to Laura and me! I'll tell you just this anecdote: a few years ago I visited the Rocca di Imola (it's really beautiful, if you're in the area, drop by!) to organise some food and wine events with them... I have a vague memory, but I was struck by this very slippery ascent/descent (it was the historical entrance to the carriages)... a corridor open at the sides, long and with really low parapets (you can tell from the photo below). When I described that it was a whole series of jokes between people flying down from the towers drunk, the official sponsor of the evening being the Funeral Home, and that at the entrance, before the very slippery slope, there were coffins with various finishes to choose from before proceeding further... in short, the triumph of black humour... but what a laugh! (I know telling it like this is not as good... but trust me! 😄 )


Arriving at the San Domenico complex I was amazed that everything was so well organised! As it was a Saturday night, there were a lot of people, but we had a short queue at the entrance and had no problems doing the tastings... although it remains that, no matter how evocative, locations that are spread out over corridors always risk creating difficulties! The former convent of San Domenico, seat of the Dominican order, now a museum, is one of the most significant buildings in the historical centre of Imola and it is really impressive to visit it at night.


Saturday evening was like being 'among friends'! The event is organised in collaboration with the Italian Sommelier Association - Romagna and there were many fellow sommeliers present, both serving and as guests! But first let's start with the two best-looking AIS Alta Romagna sommeliers: Alessandro Carloni and Fabrizio Tugnoli *_*


I read up on the Voluptates Association and I must say that I was pleasantly impressed... In particular, I will quote what is written in the booklet:

"The initiatives of the Voluptates Association are aimed at encouraging moderate and conscious consumption of wine oriented towards quality and not quantity. DRINK LESS, DRINK BETTER'

We are on the same wavelength! I have never been able to stand people who drink so much unconsciously, it really irritates me. And I have to say that the management of the vignette evening meant that I saw very few drunks around... The entry price started at €15 with 5 tickets (6 tickets for AIS members and Slow Food members) which allow you to taste from 1 to 5 wines. Right quantities, right everything... and above all overall there were some really good labels! I will mention what in my experience are the most interesting labels at Voluptates 2015 (those highlighted are precisely the ones I 'discovered' thanks to Voluptates!):

Journey in Italy - White Wines:

  • Petite Arvine 2013 - Ottin (tickets 1)
  • Gewürztraminer Nussbaumes 2013 - Cantina Tramin (tickets 1)
  • Pinot Bianco Sanct Valentin 2012 - San Michele Appiano (tickets 1)
  • Collio Bianco Molamatta 2012 - Marco Felluga (tickets 1)
  • Albana di Romagna Project 1 2013 - Leone Conti (tickets 1)
  • Carignano del Sulcis Rosa Grande 2014 - Mesa (tickets 1)
  • Trebbiano d'Abruzzo 2002 - Valentini (tickets 3)

Journey in Italy - Red Wines:

  • Fumin 2011 - Les Cretes (tickets 1)
  • Lagrain Riserva Taber 2012 - Cantina di Bolzano (tickets 1)
  • Sfursat Fruttaio Cà Rizzieri 2010 - Rainoldi (tickets 2)
  • La Pineta 2008 - Podere Monastero (tickets 2) Thank you Fabrizio! 🙂 🙂
  • Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Villa Gemma 2006 - Masciarelli (tickets 2)
  • Barolo Cerretta 2009 - Germano Ettore (tickets 3) Thank you Mirko! 🙂 🙂
  • Montefalco Sagrantino 25 years 2009 - Caprai (tickets 3)
  • Sassicaia 2011 - Tenuta San Guido (tickets 4)
  • Amarone della Valpolicella 2008 - Dal Forno (tickets 5)

Trip to Italy - Dulcis in fundo:

  • Doro 2010 - Masari (tickets 1)
  • Carignano del Sulcis Passito Forte Rosso 2011 - Mesa (tickets 1)
  • Montefalco Sagrantino Passito 2008 - Antonelli San Marco (tickets 1)
  • Marsala Superiore semisecco Donna Franca - Florio (tickets 1)

Champagne & Co.:

  • Franciacorta Pas Dosé Sublimis - Uberti (tickets 2)
  • Trentodoc Riserva Lunelli 2006 - Ferrari (tickets 2)
  • Extra Brut Minéral 2007 - Agrapart (tickets 2) Thanks Ale! 🙂 🙂
  • La Closerie Les Béguines - Jerome Prévost (tickets 3) Thank you Fabrizio! 🙂 🙂
  • Dom Pérignon 2004 - Moët & Chandon (tickets 4)

Vive la France:

  • Pouilly Fuissé les Champs Blac 2012 - Domaine Thibert (tickets 1)
  • Trevallon Rouge 2011 - Domaine de Trevallon (tickets 2)
  • Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos 2012 - Jean-Paul & Benoit Droin (tickets 2)
  • Châteauneuf du Pape 2012 - Château de Beaucastel (tickets 3)
  • Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru 2009 - Bruno Clair (tickets 4)
  • Pomerol 2006 - Château Hosanna (tickets 4)
  • Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Cras 2007 - Georges Roumier (tickets 6)
  • Sauternes 2003 - Château d'Yquem (tickets 6)

 Stars of Europe:

  • Riesling Briedeler Schäferlau Spätlese 2009 - Zum Eulenturm (tickets 1)
  • Riesling Zöbinger Gaisberg Reserve 2010 - Johannes Hirsch (tickets 2)
  • Gratallops Vi de Vila 2010 - Alvaro Palacios (tickets 2)
  • Dalmau Reserva 2009 - Marquès de Murrieta (tickets 3)
  • Unico Gran Reserva 2003 - Vega Sicilia (tickets 6)

Ugo's Sangiovese:

  • Romagna Sangiovese Riserva Monte Brullo 2010 - Costa Archi (tickets 1)
  • Romagna Sangiovese Riserva Domus Caia 2011 - Ferrucci (tickets 1)
  • Romagna Sangiovese Riserva Olmatello 2011 - La Berta (tickets 1)
  • Chianti Classico Gran Selezione San Lorenzo 2011 - Castello di Ama (tickets 2)
  • Brunello di Montalcino 2009 - Biondi Santi/Tenuta Greppo (tickets 4)


The wine I enjoyed the most out of all those tasted was the Riesling Briedeler Schäferlau Spätlese 2009 - Zum Eulenturm ... granted that I love Rieslings madly, this one was truly superlative! On the nose a very intense minerality with hints of naphtha that almost felt like being in a petrol station, a nice body and a freshness that made it drinkable but persistent! Finally, given that it 'cost just 1 ticket', I imagine it was good value for money!


I liked La Closerie Les Béguines - Jerome Prévost, but I was not thrilled! It may be that I was still recovering from my Sommelier diploma celebrations when Laura and Andrea and I uncorked this masterpiece, the Dom Pérignon Vintage 2004 - Moët & Chandon, but I was expecting something more! Then good final acidity and wood balance, but let's say that La Closerie Les Béguines - Jerome Prévost is not a bottle I would buy! Of course, there are only 6000 bottles a year worldwide... a rarity and blah blah blah, but I prefer to buy a nice 'Arcano' 2000 Franciacorta from the Gatta family, as there are only 600 bottles every 3 years, it is aged 11 years on the lees and costs exactly half as much. That's just taste...


Thanks to Mirko Morini, I tasted the Barolo Cerretta 2009 - Germano Ettore. Intense garnet red in colour, the nose is very vanilla, with an important hint of jammy cherries and a delicate hint of new leather. A beautiful entry in the mouth, intense and persistent, it is the classic wine that I would happily drink in my rocking chair in the evening listening to Bach. A really interesting discovery I made thanks to Fabrizio was the pure Pinot Noir 'La Pineta' 2008 from Podere Monastero! We are in the Sienese Chianti hills for this truly elegant and refined Tuscan IGT that is nonetheless fresh and excellently drinkable. Note of merit for the label designed by sculptor Konrad Winzer:


Other really good tastings were the Petite Arvine 2013 - Ottin, the Trebbiano d'Abruzzo 2003 - Valentini, the Fumin 2011 - Les Cretes, the Sfursat Fruttaio Cà Rizzieri 2010 - Rainoldi and the Châteauneuf du Pape 2012 - Château de Beaucastel. On the other hand, I was not thrilled with Masari's Doro 2010 because it lacked freshness (but the wrong serving temperature also influenced my negative verdict, I'm sure!).

In addition, Voluptates continues to support the activities of Comitato Sao Bernardo, an Imola-based non-profit organisation that has been active for many years, first in Brazil and for the past few years in Senegal as well. Specifically, the proceeds will be allocated to projects being implemented in the Senegalese region of Ziguinchor Casamance. An extraordinary toast to the dignity and development of these communities!

"The greatest pleasure I know is to do a good deed secretly and have it discovered by accident." Lamb

The only tragedy was that when we came out of the tasting we were struck by a sort of chemical hunger, but it was late... but couldn't we have been hungry before and taken advantage of the San Domenico tasting (unfortunately we had to book in advance and we improvised)? Damned aperitifs which always cheat you 😛 Anyway, we found an Indian restaurant in the area which to say it was hallucinating would be a compliment... Sad the menu, sad the dishes... and for me, who really love Indian cuisine and atmosphere, it was a great disappointment! The restaurant is the most shabby I have ever seen... after Checco lo Scapicollo in Rome (this one is really, really unbeatable!), a chinoiserie which has nothing of the saturated Indian atmosphere! And the prices are very high for the very poor quality served: with the main courses it's around €18 for bowls of don't-know-what-in-the-spicy-sauce... dulcis in fundo I was in the bathroom all night! -.-"'

voluptates-10 The mutton with mustard sauce: so spicy and covering the taste of the sauce that any beast could have been inside... I hate that you can't taste what I'm eating! Also, the appearance looks 'vomited'... bad!

On a positive note, it made me want to go eat in a proper Indian restaurant... and I am reminded of my university years in Bologna and India, a really atmospheric Indian restaurant with an open kitchen in the heart of the city! I haven't been there for years, but I have wonderful memories and hope to go back soon...

restaurant-india-bologna Some dishes from the India Restaurant in Bologna

So, mutton aside, it really was a beautiful evening... one that stays in the heart!

Have you been to Voluptates? Did you enjoy it? What 5 wines tasted at Voluptates 2015 would you like in your personal cellar? Leave me a comment 🙂


PS I greet you with a humble (constructive) criticism as a web & marketing professional for the next edition dedicated to the event organisers. To read it, I ask you to support my blog by sharing this article: it is a small gesture of free love that costs you nothing and means a lot to me!

Dear Voluptates Association, congratulations! What you do in the city of Imola is truly extraordinary, a quality festival where I finally see not speculation but a lot of passion. For work I deal with brand & web design and online promotion... well I almost missed your event! Although I am a fan, although I post the events I find on my site, I had not seen yours and I discovered by chance that it was on Saturday afternoon at Laura's! You may think I don't live in the area any more, but Ravenna and Imola are really close by: is it possible that there was almost no echo here? I asked some wine-loving customers I know and even they knew nothing about it! This is why I invite you to boost your online work and improve your image (web, logo, flyers, booklet, graphics...) in order to spread the beauty of this event as much as possible. If you would like to contact me for advice or collaboration, I would be very happy! Congratulations on your work!

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