This article originally appeared in the June/July 2020 issue of Dream of Italy.
When I dream of Italy, I dream of being in the award-winning wine cellar that holds the massive wine collection served at Ristorante da Gigetto, a family-owned restaurant located in Miane. We are truly in wine country, with the Treviso Prealps to the north, the Montello hills to the south, and the Prosecco region – Valdobbiadene – to the west.
We arrive without a reservation, dressed casually with our two dogs. Three strikes against us, I wonder? Not at all. The hostess greets us warmly and leads us to a table.
Eleven rows of copper pots line the wood-beamed ceiling of our dining room– more copper pots than I’ve ever seen. They remind me of Indian copper bells. Would they ring if a strong breeze blew through?
Our server Irena brings us menus and the 62-page wine list. How will we ever decide? We settle on a Rosso 2016 from Maeli, a winery we have visited before in the Colli Euganei.
We start with salmon and octopus, then seafood pasta, and then porchetta. Dessert is three kinds of crème brule served in petit cups– vanilla, coffee and pistachio. After dinner Irena brings our coffees and leans in close – asks in a conspiratorial tone – would we like to go downstairs and see the cellar?
The restaurant’s cellar is a series of six rooms in the shape of an “O”. We walk in a circle – like the rim of a giant wine barrel. There are wooden tables throughout where Irena says they sometimes serve aperitivo. There is a functioning well in a corner and a stone-faced Bacchus watches over – happily at home here.
We see every conceivable way to store wine: racks, shelves, cabinets, and the upside down “V” boards used by riddlers. Every surface, every cubbyhole stores wine and spirits. Look inside a stone sink, there’s wine there too.