I Sovversivi del Gusto are freedom fighters for food and wine, traditionalists yet modernists, innovative and noteworthy. This is best described by Adriano Liloni’s initiative to organize a tasting of SDG products on a stylish train along Lago d’Iseo in Lombardia.

Not only was I excited to spend time with these producers and taste their products, but I was thrilled to do something new and unpredictable. The five hour drive in a van was not so bad since we had the Franciacorta setting to admire on the way. Vivid green vineyards juxtaposed bright purple lavender fields, white snow-capped mountains and the deep blue lake.

Relieved to hear that we would be served on this fancy food train by the producers themselves, we got started with white wines and rosè, in particular my favorite rosé Il Chiaretto by La Basia. Our first surprise snack was Nocciole D’Elite hazelnuts and cookies. Next came the plate of famous Beppe Dho’s sliced meats together with new SDG Patrizia Vanelli’s fresh goat cheeses. Let’s not forget the indispensable piadinas from Emiglia Romagna.

What I love about Italy is that every region has endless beauty to offer. There is always something new to discover. This is what I found to be true especially this weekend as we rode along the charming Lake Iseo, which I had never heard of before. Then we continued on to Val Camonica where the backdrop changed dramatically to emerald colored rivers surrounded by sky-high rocky mountains. We stopped at the end of the line in Pontedicapo, home to UNESCO site for its ancient rock incisions, but didn’t stop to admire it, choosing to go straight to the restaurant to eat two plates of pasta. Not only did everyone load up on pasta but also huddled around in herds at the coffee bar to refuel for the second half of the ride.

On the way back things got a little crazy with finger-licking chocolate tastings, endless glasses of Barbaresco, and of course Paolo’s renowned Grappa. Unfortunately the gloom of the end of the line was near and we said our goodbyes to new and old SDG friends. Before leaving for good, I bought a bottle of Il Brolo’s award winning olive oil as a keepsake of an extremely fun day. Quality people, quality products and quality fun! Until July….


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