Friday, February 4, 2022


In February the Italian Food Wine Travel group #ItalianFWT explored wines from the relatively less known region of Oltrepò Pavese in northern Italy. Our host Susannah Gold graciously sent some of us samples to review. Two of the wines sent for this review were samples but as always, wine tasting notes and opinions are unbiased and my own. Do read the invitation post here and remember to join us on Saturday, 5 February at 8 AM PST on Twitter at #ItalianFWT to hear about who knew what and what they thought.

Oltrepò Pavese DOC (Pavia across the (river) Po in Lombard) is in Lombardy, Italy, centred around the village of Pavia. It is known for its classic method sparkling wines of the appellation Oltrepò Pavese Metodo Classico DOCG made primarily from Pinot Nero and still wines made from other international grape varieties, as well as a higher residual sugar wine called Sangue di Giuda (blood of Judah) made from Italian grapes Barbera, Croatina, and Uva Rara. With an ABV hovering at less than 10%, Sangue di Giuda is an excellent choice for an apéro paired with a paté and fruit. The rich soil combined with the closeness to the River Po gives the region an excellent terroir and incredible wines at an incredible QPR. I really wonder about other wine regions that are hidden gems in Italy! 

By a fortuitous coincidence, the Slow Wine tasting in San Francisco was in late January where M and I got to dive deeper into Oltrepò Pavese and met the lovely Director and Press from the Consorzio Tutela Vini Oltrepò Pavese. We hit it off almost instantly and they were delighted to know that I was new to Oltrepò wines. We went right when the event began but the wines were late so we had plenty of time to talk. They insisted we taste everything they thought would be interesting to us and after an animated tasting of almost all their wines they sent us off with a bottle of Sangue di Giuda. If you want to know more about Oltrepò Pavese wines visit them here


85% Pinot Nero, 15% Chardonnay
ABV 13%

Having spent 144 months on the lees, this wine was an excellent example of Oltrepò Pavese Metodo Classico DOCG wines.

Looks: bright yellow with flecks of gold and fine racy perlage

Nose: brioche, red fruits, cooked stone fruit

Palate: Echos the nose, but also has warm yeasty notes of brioche and a faint saline mineral edge. Racy and persistent bubbles, a very well structured intense and elegant wine with a delicious, long finish. 

Pairing: We wanted a variety of flavours with this wine so we agreed to have them all! We enjoyed this wine with honey-soaked chestnuts, a black pepper paté and garnishes, Parmigiano Reggiano drizzled with aged balsamic vinegar, salami Varzi and others, 3 year Gouda and a Grana Padano, olives, and an assortment of crackers, grissini, and other bread-y things. We loved each and every single pairing. The chestnuts, salami Varzi, Grana Padano, and the Parmigiano Reggiano with aged balsamic vinegar are definitely traditional regional matches for Oltrepò Pavese wines, but really enjoyed snacking on it all. Sharing always makes everything taste much better, I think! The next time we would pair this with a borlotti bean risotto, another Pavese classic. 

Oltrepò Pavese was new to me but I'm sure some of the other writers are familiar with it so see below and read what everyone tasted, enjoyed, and reviewed!
  • Our host Susannah at Avvinare, talks about “Wine Treasures To Be Found in Oltrepò Pavese."
  • My discovery of this region is here on Keep the Peas where I talk about “Just Now Discovering Oltrepò Pavese Wines"
  • Camilla from Culinary Adventures with Camilla adds Second Pours of Oltrepò Pavese Wines with Braised Short Ribs and Puff Pastry”
  • Linda from My Full Wineglass brings “Flying under the radar with an Oltrepò Pavese sparkling rosé”
  • Terri from My Good Life dishes about “Stone Crabs with Oltrepò Pavese.”
  • Martin from Enofylz showcases “A Taste Of The Unsung Wines of Oltrepò Pavese”
  • Deanna from Winevore posts “Wine for the Priest! from Oltrepo Pavese, Italy”
  • Jeff from Food Wine Click! waxes about the “Surprising Wines of Oltrepò Pavese”
  • Rupal from Syrah Queen post “Oltrepò Pavese Wines -One of Italy’s Best Kept Secret”
  • Gwendolyn from Wine Predator showcases “2 Pinot Nero from Oltrepo’ Pavese #ItalianFWT”
  • David from Cooking Chat reflects on “Tasting and Pairing with Oltrepo’ Pavese Wines” 
  • Wendy from A Day in the Life on the Farm checks out “Cheesy Vegetable Lasagna paired with Oltrepo Pavese Wine”
  • Liz from What’s In that Bottle suggests we “Check Out “the Other Side of the Pó” for Tasty Italian Wines “
  • Jennifer from Vino Travels adds “Pinot Nero in Abundance in the Oltrepò Pavese”
  • Lisa from The Wine Chef writes “Off The Beaten Path: Oltrepò Pavese, A Wine Region to Know About.”


  1. A Veritable Feast and perfect for a wine tasting and pairing.

  2. Payal,
    I am so excited that you met with Carlo and Lucia from Oltrepo'Pavese consortium and that you enjoyed the wines so much! Cheers and your pairing sounds divine. Susannah

  3. How great that you were able to attend the event and expand your understanding of Oltrepo Pavese wines!

  4. You're so fortunate to be able to attend the Slow Wine traveling show, what a great opportunity to speak with reps from the region!

  5. Your Oltrepò Pavese Metodo Classico sounds awesome as does your appetizers. I'm a fan of Borlotti beans, so I'll definitely be looking for Borlotti Bean Recipe Risotto recipe!

  6. I love a set up like this. I wish I could have attended a Slow Wine traveling show, but I am happy to hear about it through you! The wine sounds absolutely delicious.

  7. That must have been a great opportunity at the Slow Wine event to taste all those wines that one doesn’t regularly get to taste.