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Marcel Swaghoven is our Wine Spy for Holland: his generously warm personality, special brand of humour and immense gastronomic knowledge make him uniquely qualified to offer professional, informed advice on every single facet of fine wine and food pairing. I first met marvellous Marcel when staying at Quinta do Noval in the Douro valley of northern Portugal. He arrived for a day-long visit in the company of the Guild of Dutch Sommeliers and our subsequent Port wine tasting and delightful lunch, with some classic Noval wines, was enormous fun and a firm friendship was born. Highly respected in their native Holland, Marcel and his Michelin chef brother, Eric Swaghoven, own and run Hotel Valuas in Venlo, a small town situated close to Maastricht on the Dutch/Belgian frontier. Eric is a superlative chef - holding the prestigious Dutch title of ‘Master Chef' since 2003 - Marcel is classified as a ‘Meester Gastrenoom' (Master Host) and together they welcome discriminating diners fr om all over Europe to their Michelin starred award winning restaurant, on the banks of the river Maas.


marcel_cropA Good Nose.Com is privileged to have Marcel's erudite contributions. His eclectic and thoughtful selection of international wines, frequently accompanied by precise gastronomic notes, offer insight to a classical world of fine dining and the everyday drinking of a professional with an exceptional palate. Marcel is passionate about wine and will share with readers his own personal experiences while travelling to exclusive tastings and enjoying gourmet



Marcel's inaugural tasting notes come from a recent trip to northern Italy: in some instances he helpfully identifies the respective restaurant locations, describes the meals enjoyed and interaction of food with wine, along with general impressions on quality.





Vintage Tunina 2005 Italian white wine
Producer: Silvio Jermann


Location: restaurant Loggia Rambaldi, Bardolino, on Lake Garda in the Veneto region of Italy.


Dish: gratinated scallops with bread crumbs and garlic. The scallops had a very nice quisson, inside a touch raw and presented fresh in the shell.


tuninaWine: cépage - Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Ribolla Gialla, Malvasia Istriana and Picolit - from the Friuli region. This wine is very closed with some notes of peach and pear. On the palate the taste is floral, soft and elegant with a very fine acidity. The mid palate is ripe and the finish smooth, dry and long. This is a very fine wine with ample fruity notes of pear and peach, displaying considerable complexity.


Combination with dish: The unison of scallops with wine was marvellous, a truly harmonious effect. The garlic worked well and Tunina 2005 has sufficient weight and fruit to help create one big harmony.


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Quarz Terlano 2005 Italian white wine
Producer Cantino Terlano


Location: restaurant Trattoria il Commercio Bardolino, Lake Garda, in the veneto region of Italy.


Dish: Tortellini with meat, fresh sage and butter - nice fresh pasta prepared al dente.


terlano_2Wine: cépage - sauvignon blanc from the Alto Adige region (southern tirol). This wine has an explosive nose of tropical fruit, passion fruit and peach. On the palate, first impressions are of round ripe fruit. In totality the palate is nicely integrated with good acidity and a long dry finish. The mid-palate offers peaches and great minerality. It has a nice enjoyable balance and is a delicious wine with great complexity and length.


Combination with dish: the wine and food go perfectly well together but there is no great harmony, simply because the wine is too complex!




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Brigaldara Amarone 2004 red wine
San Floriano Verona Classico D.O.C.


amarone_labelWine: Amarone is wine produced from partially dried or withered grapes, in this case Corvina, Recioto and Molinara. On the nose this wine is still very tight: I had to open the bottle more than three hours before drinking but after such a long pause it was a pleasure to drink and provided a totally individual drinking sensation. In the beginning it was a cherry and jam bomb, but during drinking, revealed far more of itself. It has a fine touch of oak and nice concentration of fruit, elegant soft tannins and nice acidity. We derived a lot of pleasure from this wine; it is high quality, has a really nice flavour of ripe fruit and is very well balanced.


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Col Vetoraz - Prosecco Millesimato 2007 - white spumante
Producer: Col Vetoraz, Valdobbiadene D.O.C.


Fresh citrus on the nose, but most of all pear and peach. The mousse is very good, not too 'explosive' but nicely intergrated. Very ripe and on the mid palate leaning towards medium sweet, or as Italians say "Amabile". This wine has a nice finish with fresh pear and peach fruit - a very enjoyable Prosecco!




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