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From Northern England to Lanson Champagne…all in one evening!

AITI Toscana at Galleria Il Ponte

What could be better than to after a “hard day’s” work, starting off last Friday night with listening to Karen Whittle, a friend and AITI Toscana member, showing photos of Northern England at Galleria Il Ponte in Florence? Not much…and many others seemed to be of the same opinion here… ๐Ÿ™‚

Aiti Karen Whittle 8

Preparing for the event

While watching Karen, and her husband Alessandro Fontani, preparing for the photo evening (me not being much help here, other than offering a bit of moral support ;-)), to Beatles tunes in the background, such as I Feel Fine

Baby’s good to me
You know she’s happy as can be
You know she said so
I’m in love with her and I feel fine”

…we all started getting into the mood for discovering more about the hidden treasures of Northern England. The presentation of these Northern regions through pictures (taken mostly by Alessandro Fontani and Karen’s brother, Peter Whittle), and the witty and brilliant comments by Karen, made the event into a wonderful and typically ironic description of British landscapes and characters.

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Tea and cake

The photo presentation was of course followed by tea and cake, prepared by Karen, in order to end the evening in typical British style.

Aiti Karen Whittle 7

These kind of evening events where an AITI member talks about his/her home region, or country, showing photos, was the second in a series. The first event took place in November last year, where Dusica Sinadinovska talked about Macedonia. Stay tuned for the next AITI Toscana event during the next few months.

From Cricket to Wimbledon

From the landscapes of Northern England and cities such as Blackpool and Manchester, I continued with other friends to a Champagne & Bistecca dinner Da Burde. Champagne Lanson was the brand of the evening, thus in some sense continuing on a British theme what with Lanson being the official sponsor of Wimbledon and all…!




We started out with a Porrata in crosta as antipasto which was perfectly paired with Lanson Black Label – Brut. Its clear hue with a touch of amber, persistent sparkle, typical “toasty” aroma, and taste of citrus and fruits, made it perfect together with the porrata. The second glass of Black Label was even better, as the bouquet had opened up revealing all the detailed nuances of the aromas. So together with the Passatelli in brodo di calvana, it felt even more like perfection.



The evening just went from good to better, with Lanson Rose Label – Brut Rosé, which is described by the producer himself as “Fresh as a rose”. While some of my friends were exchanging stories about their passion for travelling, I was definitely only thinking that I want to be there, at the next Wimbledon tournament, drinking Lanson all day long. ๐Ÿ˜‰ The Spaghetto del Fabbri al Sambudello del Casentino, went well with the salmon pink hue of Lanson Rose Label, its aromas of roses, and taste of berry.



The peak moment of the evening was the enormous and delicious bistecca, which was served with patate arrosto and fagioli. The other main character here was Lanson Gold Label – Brut Vintage 2005. This Vintage Champagne is aged at least 5 years in the Lanson cellars, thus giving it a persistent perlage, elegant aromas of candied fruits, acacia, linden honey, and a rich taste of pear and quince. The combination of Lanson Brut Vintage and  bistecca is innovative and interesting, but in the end, as many of us around the table agreed on, a traditional red Chianti Classico or similar, probably would have been a better option.


The evening ended with cake and a glass of Vecchio Amaro del Capo. Then we were all ready for bed, after a long day and evening with a lot of exciting events, and wonderful food. ๐Ÿ™‚

Katarina Andersson

Seen often at wine events streaming live, Katarina is a wine writer, wine educator, social media strategist, and translator. She is the founder of WinesOfItaly LiveStream. She has been a guest at The Cellar, hosted by Richard Glover, at Wine Two Five, a podcast hosted by Stephanie Davis and Valerie Caruso, and at the Twitter chat #WiningHourChat founded by Li Valentine.

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