Man, why wasn’t I born Italian?
I won’t bore you with the details of my week-long visit to Sardinia, Italy. I’m going to condense it all into one post…maybe two. Okay…I’ve decided…two. One today, and one tomorrow.
I don’t have a long list of Sardinian restaurant recommendations for you. As I discovered (somewhat naively Americanly of me, I’ll admit), Saridinia is a big place. With many restaurants.
But here are the highlights…
Dinner at Agriturismo Ogliastra, close to Tortoli on the east coast of Sardinia, where we ate everything they grew and made on the farm…goat cheese (which my company’s creative director tells me is written and pronounced goat cheese, not goat’s cheese–thank you, David…are you reading this? See how much I’ve learned?), roasted pig, eggplant, wine…all in a very cozy environment, and all with very personal service. Agriturismo is “the thing” in Sardinia…basically farms open up their homes to tourists. (Some both for overnight stays and meals, others just for meals.)
Another highlight was the day I convinced everyone to check out Hotel su Cologone. We were really glad we did. Gentlemen readers should keep this place in mind if they’re looking for a Sardinian hotel recommendation for a romantic getaway weekend with the little lady in their life.
The hotel is in the middle of nowhere in Sardinia, and it boasts lovely environs. We passed a pleasant hour in the outdoor bar area, sipping Sardinian wine and talking about Borat. Classy.
Pig is also quite the thing in Sardinia, as this photo from Hotel su Cologone hopefully proves. (In case you didn’t get it from the Agriturismo photo.)
Then, there was a visit to the Cantina at Jerzu. Basically, this is a local wine-making cooperative. Everyone in the town brings their grapes into the Cooperativo to have them crushed and made into wine. We had a tour from one of the three guys who runs the Cooperativo, and he was really sweet and nice. The tour was all in Italian and ad-hoc, so if you’re looking to visit, definitely call ahead and arrange something. We were lucky because we were traveling with our friend Richard, who is a native English AND Italian speaker and served as our main translator. (Our guide did understand English, but struggled a bit to speak in-depth about wine-making. He was really nice, nonetheless.)
We were all a little bummed because apparently we missed the start of wine-making season by ONE DAY, but it was still a great upfront and personal tour, and I’m really excited for my six bottles of Jerzu wine to arrive in London. I’ve done Napa before and I’ll tell you–in Napa, you get the museum tour–the marketing tour. At the winery in Jerzu, Sardinia, we were right there, watching the bottles go by. (Which was very cool for us operational and efficiency types. And hey…see that big tub in the picture? That’s a Tub o’Wine!) We also got to see the locals come in to pick up their Vino Tavelo–table wine, sold by the liter via a garden hose. (The wine was a real bargain at 1.80 euros per liter, although you had to bring your own bottle, and I have no idea how it tasted.) Good stuff.