Sunday, February 28, 2010

On the Road-Dinner in Taurasi at Cantine Caggiano

I spent the weekend in Taurasi and on Saturday night I was treated to something special...Dinner at Antonio Caggiano's winery.  The occassion?  A chance to get together and celebrate wine and food.  Why not?
The event began at 730 pm at the cantina.  Antonio met his guests with a smile and great stories.  He spoke of his love of photography while pointing out his photos from a Venetian Carnvale trip he took several years earlier.  He spoke of Taurasi and its wine making history while showing us a stunning photo of 'la strade del vino'.  Then he talked about his love for his work and his vineyards.  He led us towards his famous cantina which is more like a museum.  I have been to his cantina many times over the past few years and it is ALWAYS different.  Around every corner there is something new, or should I say old.  Old bottles, old pieces of wine making machinery.  The cantina is built with materials that he found after the earthquake in the 1980s.  In addition there are glass sculptures and etchings, a small waterfall, and a wooden presepe.  A beautiful place to visit again and again.

Our group returned upstairs.  Aperitvo time.  Ristorante Oasis took care of us here.  In fact they were responsible for the entire menu for the evening.

So, a standing buffet of the following antipasti were served with Fiagre IGT 2008 ( 70% Fiano di Avellino, 30% Greco di Tufo).  Polenta with porcini mushrooms and black truffle, Ricottina di fuscella,  various omlettes, and
 potato and cod zeppole on a bed of  tomato and celery sauce.

We then went upstairs to the dining room for a formal sit down dinner. Our first courses were a cream of cicerchie soup with gratin of cod and  Dominus olive oil and paccheri  with cod, baked tomatoes, candied lemon and Dominus olive oil riserva. They were served with Bechar DOCG 2008 (100% Fiano di Avellino)

Next, another pasta dish.....Ravioli with butter and herbs, manteca campana and black truffle. This was paired with Devon DOCG 2008 (100% Greco di Tufo)

Ok.  Bring on the main course, bring on the big red....A slow cooked lamb on a bed of smoked mashed potatoes with a  reduction of Taurasi. Logical pairing- Vigna Macchia dei Goti 2001 DOCG (100% Aglianico di Taurasi)

And just when I thought that I could no longer have another bite, out came the desserts served with Mel 2004 ( a sweet dessert wine, 70% Fiano di Avellino, 30% Greco di Tufo)

Hazlenut cream with salty cookies, Millefoglie with a casalinga cream, ground nuts and cherries, and a tray of various little pastries. 

The evening concluded with cigars and Caggiano's Grappa di Taurasi Vigna Maccha dei Goti

This evening was definitely the highlight of my Taurasi weekend.

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