Thursday, March 31, 2011

Asprinio D'Aversa A Tavola at A Taverna Do Re


 Dinner with friends. That’s how Giovanni Lamberti, photographer and sommelier described it as he invited me to dinner last week. One of the little dinners that he throws about twice a month in which he invites friends to hang out and talk about food and wine. Well, Giovanni’s friends include Chef Francesco Parrella of A Taverna Do Re and Francesco Martusciello, CEO and winemaker for Grotta Del Sole. And it was at Parella’s restaurant that his latest little get together took place. He designed a menu to pair with four wines from Grotta Del Sole.

As we ate our starter; a crunchy bruschetta with guanciale, Martusciello presented his family’s winery. A story that I’ve heard before, but never tire of listening to. Especially when he talks about Asprinio…Asprinio D’Aversa. Images of past harvests played on the wide screen TV as Francesco talked about this grape, grown in vineyards with vines measuring up to 20 m high. Vines that hug poplar trees. Vines that produce this acidic grape which they use for three wines. While sipping a glass of Asprinio D’Aversa Spumante Metedo Martinotti, Francesco continued with a mini-lesson on sparkling wine. He explained the wine making process, the differences between Metedo Martinotti and Metedo Classico. Once again, a lesson familiar to me. One I have had on several occasions up close in personal by Francesco in his winery. But this time felt different.

In the meantime, Parrella and his staff continued with wonders from the kitchen. Appetizers included a lightly fried mozzarella with an anchovy and basil pesto and a baccala (cod) tartar on an olive pesto.
Then time to move onto another version of Asprinio D’Aversa. Asprinio D’Aversa D.O.C. a dry white wine with a hint of lemon in the aroma. Paired with a generous serving of pasta with potatoes and provola cheese with a creamy sauce made with Provolone del Monaco DOP drizzled on top.

Then along came the heavy hitters, so to speak. Parrella presented his second course; home range chickens that had been slow roasted and stuffed with fave beans, pancetta from Tramonti, and porcini mushrooms. Then the chef’s surprise, and one of my favorites …pasta lardiato. For these two dishes, Martusciello shared his third version of Asprinio; Asprinio D’Aversa Spumante Metedo Classico.

Dessert was also a treat; tiramisu with pistachio nuts. This time we moved to the Vesuvius area for our wine. Vesuvio Lacryma Christi Spumante Dolce. A sweet sparkling wine that paired perfectly with Parrella’s creation.

And that is when it hit me. That the difference in this tasting as compared to my other tastings with Grotta Del Sole was the wine and food pairings. The chef’s challenge to present a menu to go hand in hand with the wines. The discussions between forkfuls of appetizers, pastas, chicken, and desserts. Questions, answers, more questions, and more answers between courses. By the end of the evening, I believe that each of us went away with a clearer understanding of sparkling wines, a respect for the farmers who cultivate this amazing Asprinio grape (one in danger of extinction), and a full and satisfied stomach.
I’m looking forward to the next ‘little get together’…

Grotta Del Sole
Via spinelli,
80010 Quarto (Na)
0818762566 fax
info@grottadelsole.it

A Taverna Do Re
Via Support Fondo di Seperazione 2
80100 Napoli
081 5522424
info@atavernadore.it




La Cucina Tradizionale di Pasqua at Mise En Place, April 5



Mise En Place is back with a new spring schedule at a new location.  On Tuesday, April 5th beginning at 1800 ish, Chef Nicola Di Fillipo will teach a class traditional Easter recipes.  A discussion on wine pairing will be led, as usual, by sommelier Marina Alaimo.  Terre del Principe and Quintodecimo are the wineries selected for this event.  For more information, or to sign up, contact  Mise En Place.

Mise en Place
via Cervantes 55/16 80134 - NA
Tel. 081 19806236/48 Fax 081 19806236
miseenplace@lestanzedellacultura.it

Passagiando sulla Bocca degli Inferi, Sunday April 3

 Passagiando sulla Bocca degli Inferi  or  "Walking along the Mouth of Hell"


Join Flegreando and discover the legends and stories linked to Lago D’Averno, the ancient entrance to Hades and a fascinating and mysterious place since ancient times.

It will be possible to conclude the day with a visit to the historic Mirabella Vineyard, located behind the Temple of Apollo.
where you can also try their wines and local products.  For more information or to reserve a spot, email info@flegreando.org.

Contribution € 5.00
Cost for the tasting € 10.00
Reservations required
Clothing and comfortable shoes are recommended
Meeting time is  10.00 at Restaurant del Lago d'Averno-Charon

Jazz at Veritas Restaurant, Sunday April 3

 Another Sunday lunch starring live jazz at Veritas. This time the musical atmosphere will  echo that of  the early days of jazz with a touch of  spring!

This will be an excellent chance to try Chef Gianluca D’Agostino’s new spring menu.  For more info or to reserve, contact Veritas Restaurant directly.

veritas restaurant
corso Vittorio Emanuele 141
80121 Napoli
t 081 66 05 85
www.veritasrestaurant.it

info@veritasrestaurant.it

Lunch
start 13.00 pm - 15.00 pm
Sunday and Holidays
Dinner
start 8 pm - 11.00 pm
Tuesday - Saturday


Monday, March 28, 2011

Amazing Appetizers:Mozzarella di Bufala in Costa di Pane Fritto e Pesto Basilico e Acciughe by Chef Francesco Parrella


Chef Francesco Parrella of A Taverna Do Re knew exactly what he was doing when he paired this
amazing appetizer with a glass of Asprnio D’Aversa Spumante Metedo Martinotti (Grotta Del Sole). A lightly fried mozzarella with an anchovy and basil pesto. Here is the surprisingly simple recipe:


Ingredients
50 g of mozzarella di bufala, bread dough, extra virgin olive oil (for frying), pine nuts, basil, and anchovies.

Procedure
Wrap the mozzarella in the bread dough and fry in olive oil. Prepare a pesto using the basil, pine nuts, anchovies, and olive oil. And there you have it.

A Taverna Do Re
2, Supp. Fondo Separazione,
Naples  80100
Italy
081 5522424

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Luigi's Calypso


I have a friend named Luigi. Luigi Tecce. And he makes a Taurasi that everyone has been talking about; Poliphemo. A wine made with aglianico grapes from his vineyard in Paternopoli (Av). With grapes from vineyards that are at least 85 years old. I tried his 2006 for the first time last summer in Taurasi’s centro storico. It was perfect with a panino di salsiccia alla brace under the stars. I’ve had his 2005, most recently at last weekend’s Parlano I Vignaioli. On several occasions, I’ve tasted his 2007, not out yet, but he brought a bottle or two along with him to Ariano Irpino last month. We shared it the judges table over 12 plates of spicy soffritto. His aglianico…his Taurasi…his Poliphemo.




Luigi is full of surprises. He likes to experiment in his cantina. So when I saw him during the Dsfida di Soffritto with a dark, green unlabeled bottle, my curiosity got the best of me. This bottle held one of the wines that he makes for himself in small quantities. Luigi smiled and poured me a glass.



Brilliant golden rays of sunshine left the bottle and shone in my glass. Sweet aromas of mature fruit and spices. The flavor, to my surprise, was slightly frizzante.

Luigi…allora? I asked…What have you been up to?

He smiled again…and filled me in. Coda di Volpe (that I was able to guess), Bombino, and Trebbiano (ah ha!). But that’s not all. This is added to the marc of passito, dessert wine, made with Fiano, Coda di Volpe, Greco di Tufo, and Malvasia. Fifteen days of maceration in wood then its 6 months of slow fermentation in a demijohn. This creation had been in the bottle since about the 20th of August 2010.

Does it have a name? I wondered.

Not really, though I was thinking about Calypso… He answered.

A name wasn’t important. It didn't need to have a name. This wine wasn’t for sale. It was what it was. A product of different wine making techniques, a combination of various grape varieties, a series of trials and errors. An outlet for his creativity, for his curiosity. For himself and for his friends.

Grande, Luigi…and grazie.

Luigi Tecce
Via Trinita #6
83052, Paternopoli (Av)
0827 71375

Italian Version

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Diary of a Sommelier Student: Taste, Watch, Listen, Learn


It was a little over a year ago that I attended my first sommelier class. A lot has happened since then, but I remember that class as if it were yesterday. I especially remember the words of then AIS Campania president Antonio Del Franco. He told our class of 50 or so aspiring sommeliers that a sommelier never stops learning. He stressed the importance of getting out and discovering. Training, if you will, as an athlete would train for an athletic competition.

Those words have stuck in my mind. And as I approach the end of my II level sommelier class with AIS Napoli, his words are often replayed over and over again in my mind.

Last weekend in Campi Flegrei, on Lake Fusaro came my chance to practice what Antonio Del Franco preached. Parlano I Vignaioli was a two day event , held March 20-21, which featured nearly 50 organic wine producers from all over Italy. Stands were set up in  Casina Vanvitelliana with a beautiful view of the Ostrichina and Lake Fusaro in Bacoli (Na). The day I chose to go was a sunny Sunday afternoon. Perfect  weather and a perfect occasion to taste, watch, listen, and learn.

I began with the familiar…to taste Campania. Campi Flegrei, Irpinia, the Amalfi Coast. But then I realized I needed to branch out. To taste the other regions around that sunny Sunday. Wines from Alto Adige, from Piemonte, from Sicily, from Tuscany. Here my textbook came alive. Here I began to put together the pieces of the puzzle. To connect the region to a wine…a wine with a grape variety. To file away the colors, the aromas, and the flavors in my mind’s library.

I kept a close eye on what was going on around me. So besides tasting, I watched who was tasting. Often, wine producers would leave their counters in search for something new…something different. I watched and wondered what a Taurasi wine producer from Paternopoli (Av) would think of an aromatic Gewürztraminer from Alto Aldige. I watched how one enologist shared with another his Fiano di Avellino 1999 vintage. I watched how sommeliers and other wine enthusiasts would approach a table, choose a wine, and taste. I often asked them for their opinions and suggestions on something to try. And then I would listen.

Parlano I Vignaioli was full of seminars and wine laboratories. I attended one on rosé. An excellent chance to listen during an informal wine tasting led by professionals and the winery owners themselves. To listen during the question and answer period. On my own, I walked through the wine tasting stands and asked questions. As each producer spoke, I listened. I listened to Sicily. I listened to Tuscany. To Campi Flegrei, Caserta, Amalfi, and Irpinia. I listened attentively while they talked about their wine production; from the vine to wine. Their challenges, their struggles, and their successes.

By tasting…and I mean really tasting. By watching…not looking. By listening…when you absorb every word and store it away. That is how you learn. And that, I believe, Antonio Del Franco meant as he spoke to my class a little over a year ago. A day that seems like only yesterday.


Sunday, March 20, 2011

An Irpinian Adventure with Villa Raiano and La Buona Novella...

What better way to share a territory with friends than to introduce them to the wines and recipes of a region.  That was the the idea behind Andiamotrips latest wine tour on Saturday March 19th.  An adventure in Irpinia starring the wines and the food of this beautiful part of Campania.

The day began at Villa Raiano, a winery in San Michele di Serino.  And on the winery's terrace, with an amazing view of the valley, we received a mini history/geography lesson from our guide and friend, Lello Del Franco.  He pointed out the hills, the mountains, and explained to us how vast and diverse a territory Irpinia is.  Something that we would soon learn during our wine tasting.

After a tour of the winery, we got down to business.  Wine tasting.  And when you are talking about Irpinia, you are talking about the big three, Greco di Tufo, Fiano di Avellino, and Aglianico. Two whites and red grape that thrive here.

On this particular day, Villa Raiano shared with us their newly bottled Greco di Tufo 2010. A blend of white Greco grapes from their vineyards in Tufo and Altavilla Irpina.

To emphasize Irpinia's vast differences in altitude, soil composition, and climate, we also had an opportunity to try two Fiano di Avellino white wines.  The first, Alimata 2009, a Fiano made exclusively from their vineyard in Montefredane.  The second,Ventidue 2009, from their vineyards in Lapio. 

Since lunchtime had arrived, we decided to continue our wine tasting and discussion of Irpinia at La Buona Novella, a restaurant in nearby Aiello del Sabato.  Here, over a meal featuring typical Irpinian products.  Appetizers included the 4 sformatini; Ricotta and spinach. Verza and baccalà (cod). Potatoes with scarmoza cheese and porcini mushrooms. Radicchio with guanciale (pork cheek) and carmasciano cheese.

Next, a rich bean and chick pea soup with porcini mushrooms and chestnuts.  Two first courses; sciatelli with guanciale and carmasciano cheese and paccheri with green peppers, friarielli and tuna.
Our second course was a tender veal which had been marinated in aglianico overnight then slowly cooked.  It was accompanied with mashed potates with a surprising touch, a refreshing lemon peel.
During our meal, we continued our wine tasting with two reds; Aglianico 2009 and a young and smooth Taurasi 2007.

Over dessert, a mousse di ricotta e fragola, I began to think about future adventures in Irpinia...maybe walks through the vineyards. And why not?  Spring is just around the corner...

Villa Raiano
Via Bosco Satrano 1
San Michele di Serino (Av)

La Buona Novella
Via Capocasale, 3-4 Località Tavernola San Felice



Accademia Del Gusto at Nautilus Enoristorante, Varcaturo (Na), March 25th

Nautilus Enoristorante has invited us to their monthly Accademia del Gusto. A series of events which includes a full course meal and wine tasting. This month the menu is based on baccala', cod. ''Il Baccalà tra Sale e Dolcezza''...The meal will feature wines from the winery Masseria Frattasi. The cost of the evening is 35 euro.


But the evening does not end at dessert. Afterwards,Michelangelo di Toma will lead us through a whiskey tasting explaining the various origins, characteristics and posible pairings of the following;

Balvenie 12yo double wood
Glenfiddich 18yo
Alderbeg Vigedail

And what is a glass or two of whiskey without a Cuban or Tuscan cigar?

The fun starts at 2030 ish...

For more info, or to sign up, contact me at andiamotrips@gmail.com or call Nautilus directly at 081 839 2006 or info@nautilusitaly.it

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Tavola in Tramonti-Tenuta San Francesco

Per Eva

Every year around March, Gaetano Bove throws a party.  He throws a party to show his love for his territory...his Tramonti...his Campania  And this year's celebration was no different.

The cantina of Tenuta San Francesco was where friends and family gathered for una grande festa.  We celebrated over a lunch that included true Campanian home cooking such as pasta and fagioli, sauage and friarielli, and barbecue spare ribs. We celebrated with salami, cheeses, and prosciutto.  And we also celebrated over glasses of wine that I have enjoyed many times over various occasions (here and here...and here).  Wines such a  Tramonti Bianco 2010 and 2009...a celebration of Campania's Falanghina, Biancolella, and Pepella.  Per Eva 2009, celebrating his wife Eva as well as Genestra, Falanghina and Pepella. The celebration continued with the reds...Aglianico, Piedirosso, and Tintore celebrating in a glass of Tramonti Rosso 2008 and 4 Spine Riserva 2007.  E'Iss..Gaetano's 100% Tintore showed up to the party as well.

A warm sunshine called us outside to continue the celebration with music, dancing, and desserts. It was at this point that I noticed Gaetano with a couple of additions to the Tenuta San Francesco family.  Two bottles of grappa; Tintore and Ginestra.

A sip or two to help with the digestion, and it was time to leave the celebration.  This party where, once again, I witnessed up close and personal the spirit of a region called Campania.

Tenuta San Francesco
Via Sofilciano, 18
Tramonti (Sa)
089/876748
www.vinitenutasanfrancesco.it

Italian Version 


Sunday, March 13, 2011

A Saturday Perfetto...Made in Caserta

A spectacular view from Le Campestre's terrace

The Campania region invited me out for the perfect Saturday. A Saturday ‘made in Caserta’…a beautiful part of the region that I must admit, I know little about. An early spring sunshine accompanied me on my way towards Castel di Sasso, towards Az. Agricola e Agrituristica Le Campestre. It was here where I would spend my afternoon and get to know this part of Campania also known as Alto Casertano through its beautiful scenery, local products, and wonderful people.

It took me on a walk through Casavecchia vineyards and over to the stalls to see Caserta’s particular black pigs and piglets. It invited me to pull up a chair on Le Campestre’s terrace which has a spectacular view of the countryside. Where I could breathe in fresh, clean air, enjoy my aperitivo of local products from surrounding producers. Here I met mozzarella and ricotta from Il Casolare. A thinly sliced prosciutto crudo from Masseria Trianelli which was fantastic when placed on top of a foccacia from Pizzeria Pepe. I snacked on taralli and other products from Panificio La Fattoria while sipping artisan beer from Karma. ( All products that deserve a much closer look, and their own future blogs.)

But the Campania region also wanted me to meet a product that Le Campestre is proud to share. Their conciato romano…a cheese made with sheep’s milk. A cheese that is only produced in Alto Casertano, and in limited quantaties. So at lunch that day, the Lombardi family, gracious owners of this slice of paradise, prepared a lunch for me and the rest of the guests that day which proudly featured this ancient artisan product.

I was also reunited with my friends Manuela Piancastelli and Peppe Mancini of Terre del Principe. This winery has literally put ‘made in Caserta’ wines like Pallagrello Nero, Pallagrello Bianco and Casavecchia back on the map. At lunch, their Castello delle Femmine 2009, Ambruco 2008, and Vigna Piancastelli 2007 filled our glasses. During lunch, a  ‘world premier’ of Terre del Principe’s dessert wine. The only dessert wine, passito, produced using Casavecchia grapes. 200 bottles of Il Sasso di Riccardo (named after Peppe’s 2 ½ month old grandson) were produced to accompany Le Campestre’s conciato romano and will only be sold along side a small terracotta jar full of this cheese.

Besides the food and scenery, Campania showed me a Caserta region that opened its hearts…and wallets. After the meal, an auction which raised over 1,000 Euro for the Italian Association against leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma V. Picazo, for the creation of a center for bone marrow transplants at the Ospedale Civile of Caserta.

On my way home, Campania showed me a colorful sunset. A sunset that made me think back to the day that I spent at Le Campestre. A day where I was invited to take a peek at Alto Casertano through its products and its people. A sunset that gave me the enthusiasm to discover another part of Campania…a colorful Campania ‘made in Caserta’…

Italian Version



Tuesday, March 8, 2011

In Search of Something…Dolce...

Le Castagnole
Every now and then it happens…not often, but every now and then. Festa della Donna and Carnevale sharing the same day. And seeing that I had the day off, I decided to celebrate in my own sweet way. In search of something…dolce. Something particular that I would find during this time of year in my Campania region. I stopped by Nautilus, a bar/ pastry shop, and restaurant located in Varcaturo (Na) for a chat with owner Francesco D’Alena who shared with me some of Campania’s sugary specialties.

Le Chiacchiere…you can’t have Carnevale without this airy dessert made with flour, butter, yeast and eggs. Baked or fried, then topped with powdered sugar. Behind the counter, next to jars of sanguinaccio, a chocolate dipping sauce, they lay. If I desired, I could even have it predipped in chocolate. I desired.

Le Castagnole…Here was something that would definitely work towards filling that sweet spot. Simple sugary spheres filled with a Chantilly cream. A cream that softly explodes in your mouth giving the tiniest, tiniest hint of rum.

Le Zeppole di San Giuseppe…A pastry which was offered to me in two versions; baked or baked halfway, then fried. The crème Chantilly was here again, but this time, swirling around the top of this tiny tart. Add a few cherries, and we are good to go.

Today, however, is also International Women’s Day. A day where on every street corner, one can buy a small branch of mimosa blossoms. That’s not sweet, though. So Francesco showed me his mimosa cake. A white cake covered with yellow ‘blossoms' and a fresh strawberry on top. Inside, my new best friend, crème Chantilly and a pineapple sauce.

Sticking with my sweet theme, I was curious which dessert wine could share the stage with these desserts. Campania? Francesco asked…Of course! I answered. Fiano di Avellino? Well, Privilegio 2000, from Feudi dei San Gregorio or maybe something from Terradora…Falanghina? Eleusi 1999 from Villa Matilde. Maybe I wanted to go red. Ra! from Viticoltori De Conciliis starring Barbera could be an option.

All sweet options… all Campania…and each one satisfying my search for something …dolce.



Nautilus
Via Ripuaria 259, Varcaturo (Na)
081 839 2006

Italian Version


Monday, March 7, 2011

4th Annual Disfida del Soffritto-The Envelope, Please...

When Slow Food Irpinia Colline dell’Ufita e Taurasi invited me to attend the 4th Annual Disfida Del Soffritto in Ariano Irpino as part of the technical jury, I was honored, flattered, and excited. I would have a chance to sit in on a battle for bragging rights on which community had the best traditional recipe for this pork based dish.

In Irpinia, in the Avellino province, soffritto is a dish which is traditionally prepared using a caratella di maiale, pork organs such as lung, spleen, intestines and heart. It is sautéed in sugna (pig fat)…not stewed and depending on who you talk to, other ingredients such as tomatoes, potatoes, rosemary, and bay leaves can be added to the mix. It is served with day old bread, and of course, hot peppers…the hotter the better!

So how do you judge tradition? Particularly a traditional dish which can vary greatly from town to town…county to county?

Non era facile…It wasn’t easy. But it was sure fun!

Seated at the judges table, along with Michele Bruno, Presidente Slow Food Puglia, Luciano Pignataro, wine and food journalist, Erasmo Timoteo, Head of the Comunità del Cibo di Terra Madre Slow Food Campania, Lidia Merola, Director of Tipeatalia, Luigi Tecce, wine producer, Laura Gambacorta, wine and food journalist, and Guido Pensato, wine and food journalist, I was ready to try this time-honored recipe in 12 different versions. One by one we were served with a smile by the following gastronomical teams:

 Ariano Irpino
 Ascoli Satriano
 Paternopoli
 Candela
 Grottaminarda
 Orsara di Puglia
 Flumeri
 Faeto
 Taurasi
 Pietra Montecorvino
 Teora
 Roseto Val Fortore
 Montecalvo Irpino
 Celenza Val Fortore
 Carife

After a bite (or two…or three) of each dish I needed to give my evaluation in three areas. What did I think about the difficulty in the preparation of each dish? 3 to 7 points. How was it presented? Appealing to the eye? 1 to 3 points. And last but not least, how did all the flavors balance… or did they? 5 to 9 points. But our table wasn’t the only jury that day. The teams were up to see who would win the popular vote as well. About 500 visitors that day voiced their opinion.

And when the last fork was set down, the winners were announced. The envelope, please.

Faeto (Fg) was the team that received the most points from the technical jury, while Carife (Av) won the popular vote.

Observing the smiles in Ariano Irpino that afternoon, though, I believe that everyone won.

Italian Version


Sunday, March 6, 2011

Agrosud 2011-The Buffet is Open !


I took the opportunity last weekend to travel through southern Italy….well, sort of. I visited Mostra D’Oltramare in Fuorigrotta (Na) during Agrosud 2011. From the 25th-27th of February, this exhibition hall was full of stands with gastronomical products from not just Campania, but other southern regions as well such as Basilicata and Calabria. An excellent opportunity to taste cheeses, salamis, olive oils, and other prodotti tipici. An excellent opportunity to have a pizza prepared by Gino Sorbillo and by As Pizziaouli Napolitani. Snacking and shopping…does it get any better?




Saturday, March 5, 2011

Diary of a Sommelier Student: The Wine List, Please-SUD Ristorante, Quarto (Na)


There it sat…plain…simple…black… SUD Ristorante stamped on the front cover.

The wine list. SUD’s wine list. A complement to chef Marianna Vitale’s highly acclaimed menu featuring Campi Flegrei and Campania. A collaborator, a comrade, a friend. And a crucial part of the dining experience that SUD does not take for granted. I stopped by SUD one afternoon to talk to co-owner Pino Esposito and get a closer look.

Entering into SUD, my eyes went directly to the shelves that cover the entire right side of the restaurant. A wall covered completely with wines. My eyes habitually go straight to the Campania labels, and here I saw many familiar faces. Pino tells me that about 40 % of his 300 wines are from Campania. A point that is important for him and his restaurant. I reached for the wine list. A list that Pino is in the process of revising, something that he does from time to time. That afternoon, in fact, his wine consultant, Fabrizio Erbaggio and SUD’s sommelier, Francesca Martusciello were there to talk about just that, as well as satisfy a few of my questions.

Campania thrives at SUD. And it should. It is a region rich in wines and wineries that compliment Marianna’s menu without overpowering it. A dinner guest at SUD would be offered, then, a glass of a sparkling Asprinio D’Aversa as a benevenuto, a welcome. If they wanted to stay in the Campania region, here they’d find a wide variety of white and reds from large wineries and small. I saw a diverse selection of Aglianicos, and Taurasis (made with Aglianico) who proudly rein in the region with their dark ruby red coloring, dark red fruit aromas. My eyes skimmed over other deep reds such as Primitivo from Caserta which produce some really smooth Falerno del Massicos. Rich full bodied reds such as Pallagrello Nero and Casavecchia. All reds that would stand up well to dishes rich  with Neapolitan ragù sauces. I saw Campania whites such as Pallagrello Bianco and Fiano di Avellino who have lovely aromas and are a popular choice with chef Vitale’s menu, Francesca shared with me. Flavorful Falanghinas and Greco di Tufos were along for the ride. Popular choices to pair with fish dishes such as baccala (cod).

Talking with Pino, Fabrizio and Francesca, I learned that wines from Tuscany are also what guests are looking for. Many women diners want to relax at the table, so they’re looking for wines with fresh fruity or floral aromas. Francesca often suggests Pinot Nero, Sangiovese, or Caniolo Nero (which has an enchanting aroma of roses). What else shines at SUD? Verdicchio di Matelica,a white from the Marche region which pairs well with a menu based on fish, crustaceans and shellfish. The same for Soave from Veneto. Also wines from Fruili…from Piemonte.

International wines? Right now, France is featured in the sparkling wines section with their champagne. But what is interesting about this young restaurant’s wine list is that it is a ‘work in progress.’ An international section will be added to enrich the carta dei vini in about 15 days.

A carta dei vini...a wine list whose goal is to work side by side with the chef.  To be its right hand, so to speak.  And SUD's list takes you through Campania...throughout Italy...and soon...beyond.


SUD Ristorante
Via Santi Pietro e Paolo,
Quarto, Naples
081 0202708

Italian Version