Monday, November 16, 2009

Expect the Unexpected

What can you expect when you attend a wine tasting at Ciao Vino in Varcaturo? The unexpected. The evening was scheduled to begin around 8 and as 8 rolled around, we learned that our group was held up and would be coming around 9. Fabrizio, our host, was not discouraged. He went down to the wine cellar and came out with a bottle of wine that, as he put it,’ was ready to be opened.’ A bottle of Brunello di Montalcino from 1998. So as we waited, Fabrizio, Vincenzo Di Meo (owner of La Sibilla, and enologist), Carmela Di Meo (enologist), Zac, and I had an impromptu wine tasting of a great wine in great company.

When the guests arrived, our wine tasting became a celebration. Wines such as Ribolla gialla 2008 from Girolamo Doriogo (Fruili), Chardonnay Monteriolo 2005 from Luigi Coppo (Piemonte), Santa Maddalena 2008 from Produttori di Termeno (Alto Aldige), and Marsiliano 2007 from La Sibilla (Campania) were served to an appreciative public. As we tried each wine, we discussed the acidity and noticed the differences in age of each wine. A grand buffet was prepared with favorites such as Stefano Pagliuca’s pizza, Sciardac’s appetizers, and a great mozzarella braid from Mini Caseficio Costanzo in Aversa to name a few.

The party was composed of American and Italian wine lovers alike, including Max, an Italian-American in town on business from Houston. Coincidently, that evening he celebrated his birthday and blew out the candle which was resting upon a great tiramisu. As I mentioned earlier, unexpected. His daughter, who is finishing her thesis in Rome, was there as well and bursts out into song with an amazing acapella version of Aretha Franklin’s ‘Respect’ and ‘Kiss’ by (The artist formerly known as )Prince. Unexpected. Alessandro Palmieri (director of marketing for Feudi dei San Gregorio) pulled out a bottle of his winery’s Patrimo (merlot) to give us a sneak preview. Once again, unexpected. And greatly appreciated if I may add. Great pastries, roasted chestnuts and excellent conversation rounded out the evening.

So, If you get the opportunity, join us for an evening. You never know…..

Ais Napoli has some great photos of the event on their site. Click here for a look.

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