Earlier this month, I had the great opportunity to attend the captioned event at Il Fornaio in San Jose.
Hosted by the Italian Trade Agency, this trade/media event was a wine & food educational dinner, which provided us with a learning experience on Italian wines and their adaptability to various culinary pairings.
Indeed, this event showed the potential of Italian wines as food wine, meaning the flavors of wine and food were enhanced each other, if properly paired. What I like about it was the wines selected were within a reasonable price range (around $20-40), and from all over Italy, so that it was like traveling around Italy through food and wine.
Each course from antipasti, the first course, the second course to dolci consisted of three dishes, paired with three wines, so that we could play with a number of combinations. Also, the dinner was thoroughly guided by Jienna Basaldu, an advanced sommeliere.
The full list of the dinner and wine pairing is found below. Here, I share some of the impressive pairings for me.
(1) Etna Bianco & Smoked carpaccio -- the wine, made from volcanic soils in Etna, Sicily, has fruits of pear, apricot and yellow apple with a hint of salinity and smokiness, which are nicely matched with smoked swordfish.
(2) Vermentino & pasta with pistachio pesto cream sauce -- the wine has fresh and bright fruits of peach and guava with some herbal and savory notes. These herbal and leafy notes go well with green pesto.
(3) Etna Rosso & Seabass with tomato sauce -- the wine has ruby color with tart cherry and cranberry fruits. Structured with medium + acidity and tannin, it is soft enough to go with fish. Some tertiary and savory notes such as porcini mushroom in the wine also enhanced the flavor profile of the dish.
(4) Barolo Chinato & Layered chocolate cake -- Herbal notes of fennel and cardamon of Barolo Chinato gives chocolate cake a bit of spice and they make a delicious pairing!
Thank you! I enjoyed the experience so much.
Menu of the Night
Carpaccio di Pesce Spada
Burrata con Pomodorini
Etna Bianco DOC / Terra Constantino "De Aetna" 2019
Falanghina Basilicata IGT / Paternoster 2021
Alto Adige DOC / Cantina Tramin, Pinot Bianco 2018
Risotto al Gamberetti
Casarecce al Pistacchio
Crepes alla Parigina
Soave Classico DOC / Pieropan 2020
Vermentino Di Sardegna DOC / Argiolas 2020
Prosecco DOC Rose / Val d'Oca 2020
Branzino alla Livornese
Ossobuco Di Maiale
Etna Rosso DOC / Alta Mora 2018
Vino Nobile Di Montepulciano DOCG / Carpineto 2017
Salento IGT Primitivo / Masseria li Veli "Orion" 2020
New York Style Cheesecake
Moscato d'Asti DOCG / Saracco 2021
Passito Di Pantelleria DOCG / Donnafugata, Ben Rye 2019
Vino Aromatizzato / Fontanafredda, Barolo Chinato NV