Trip to Italy of Sommelier Jasper between wine and food

A fascinating trip to Italy on board of his blue Fiat 500 – Jasper sommelier’s point of view on Italian wine and food


Allow me to introduce myself!

My name is Jasper and I am what you call a “wine geek”. Since I was allowed to work with wine, I did.

I made a study of it and got in the possession of five different wine diplomas, but I always have to keep updating my knowledge. Especially on the subject of Italian grape varieties, since Italy is the most beautiful but at the same time the most complex wine country in the world, in my opinion.

This is why I thought of the plan to leave the Netherlands and make a proper wine trip to Italy, because you have to admit that the best way to get familiar with something is to surround yourself with it.

Trip to Italy of Sommelier Jasper between food and wine

Packed with a camera, a drone and some writing material, I hopped into my Fiat 500 and drove towards Piedmont. When I finally reached Piedmont after a two day drive, I was absolutely slack-jawed, knocked over and goggle-eyed by the stunning slopes which I had to drive through to reach my hotel.

I stopped after each corner because I was sure I had found the most beautiful view of Italy, knowing that after the next corner I’d had to stop again.

Trip to Italy between food and wine: the truffle and the Langhe in Piedmont

In the Langhe, truffle hunt with Carlo  

I think many people share the feeling of looking at a menu in a great restaurant and run into a truffle dish. You start salivating, although the price is a few times higher than the price of the rest of the dishes.

Despite the price, you decide to order the dish and, after finishing, you knew that it was worth it.

But what is a truffle exactly? and why are they so expensive?  After a day of truffle hunting and talking to Carlo, I knew.

Truffle served in a restaurant in the Langhe, Piedmont. Italian top quality food

As many super heroes, Carlo has two jobs. During daytime, he is a project manager but at night he is a truffle hunter in Alba, in the Langhe.

It sounds like Superman and his alter ego Clark Kent, doesn’t it? We walked into the forest with the his dogs and we talked about all the ins and outs of the truffle. Furthermore, he told me about his project: in short, he creates awareness with the people regarding the truffle and the nature. He teaches children, food professionals and sommeliers about the needs, culture and tradition of the truffle, but also about the needs of the forest where the truffles come from because, if you don’t take care of the environment, you will quickly notice a decrease in quantity and quality.

Of course, truffle hunting is a lucrative business so it is attractive to do the hunting, but Carlo’s approach is not money-driven, it is truffle-driven.

Keep up the good work Carlo!

Jasper van den Eertwegh
Dutch sommelier and district manager of Grapedistrict

Photo: Alessio Corneglio and Jasper van den Eertwegh


The trip to Italy has always inspired not only sommeliers and other Italian food & wine lovers, but also travellers and food & wine enthusiasts!

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About Author

Jasper van den Eertwegh
Sommelier olandese, specializzato in vitigni e vini italiani


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