On the weekend of November 16th and 17th 2013, the 47th National Congress of AIS (Italian Sommelier Association), Wine in Progress, took place in Florence. The location was the famous Stazione Leopolda, well suited for high profile events.
Within the event, the Alcatraz space dedicated to premium Extra Virgin Olive Oils, as all initiatives by Fausto Borella, Maestrod’olio, was elegant and well organized. Very interesting were the side events: from the cooking show by Michelin starred chef Marco Stabile, to the tasting of chocolates made with Extra Virgin Olive Oils, to the tasting of incredible cheeses from a refiner, paired with different Extra Virgin Olive Oils, to the Challenge of the butchers, to a mini-lecture about Extra Virgin Olive Oil tasting given by Fausto Borella in the main conference room.
It was not easy to find the Alcatraz area, you’d get there from the second room of Wine in Progress, where a big sign with the symbol of the Accademia Mestrod’Olio, the Crown, could be seen. At over 20 desks the “new” oil could be tasted. Fattoria La Maliosa unveiled its blend of 6 varieties, the La Maliosa 2013, this year very harmonious and smooth, with no sharp edges. Interesting and difficult the combination of an oil event within a wine one. The journalist Maurizio Pescari, who introduced chef Marco Stabile’s show cooking, asked those present who had ever bought oil in a wine shop, and no hand was raised. Then he explained: “The wine does not sell oil,” praising Fausto Borella’s initiative of introducing in a specific wine reality (the National Congress of the Sommelier Association) an area dedicated to olive oil excellence.
Many sommeliers tasted out of curiosity, some of them “knew” biodynamic wines and were thus intrigued by the Demeter sign at our desk. Many Florentines, who came to taste wines, stopped by. The greatest satisfaction? To have a Japanese sommelier tasting and appreciating the La Maliosa oil, showing a very professional interest in our oil, even though the Extra Virgin Olive Oil is still a little known and used product in Japan, where it has though a great potential.