Welcome to The Fine Wine Experience Best of Italy dinner. This is, admittedly, a personal selection of best-in-class favourites, for Italy now makes wines of exceptional quality in 20 regions and countless zones within. This evening we focus on just a few, but each of these wines demonstrates Italy’s potential to make wines of a quality to ‘sit at the high table’ of fine wine, while also delivering a style and expression that is uniquely Italian.
While Italy has been producing noteworthy wine for millennia, recognition in export markets really grew in the 1970s and 1980s. Two things happened in concert: Italy proved its point for quality by making wines from Bordeaux grape varieties at a quality to rival the best growths of the Médoc and Pomerol. That is represented tonight by Sassicaia and Masseto respectively. Recognition for the native classics of Italy followed. While Biondi Santi and Giacomo Conterno were outliers – gaining recognition perhaps first, others, like Angelo Gaja and Bruno Giacosa followed in the 1970s, followed by Gianfranco Soldera and Giuseppe Quintarelli, all represented here tonight too.
Today, as we enter the 2020s, fine wine connoisseurs around all over the world are more accepting of the status of Italy as a true source of fine wines, more accepting as examples from other regions and other native Italian varieties reach that same high standard.
So, please join The Fine Wine Experience this evening. Perhaps the selection of wines we shall enjoy together will reconfirm some existing favourites for you, but I hope too that you find something new too as you continue your exploration of Italy’s best.
Dinner Menu and Wine Pairings
Grilled Octopus served warm
Eggplant Caviar, Avocado, Crispy Kadaif
2017 Livio Felluga ‘Terre Alte’ Rosazzo
2017 Marisa Cuomo ‘Fiorduva’, Furore Bianco
Tomatoes, Fennel Pollen, Confit Egg Yolk, Parmigiano, Lettuce
2011 Biondi Santi Brunello di Montalcino Riserva
2013 Gianfranco Soldera Case Basse ‘Toscana Sangiovese’
Roasted Baby Chicken
Mushroom Ragout, Truffle Jus
2007 Gaja Langhe ‘Costa Russi’
2001 Bruno Giacosa Barolo Riserva Le Rocche del ‘Falletto’ di Serralunga d’Alba
2002 Giacomo Conterno Barolo Riserva ‘Monfortino’
Charcoal Grilled Australian Beef Bavette Marbling 9 plus
Mashed Potato, Sautéed Asparagus, Red Wine Sauce
2006 Tenuta San Guido ‘Sassicaia’ Bolgheri
2006 Tenuta dell’Ornellaia ‘Masseto’ Toscana IGT
Selection of Italian Cheeses
2008 Romano Dal Forno Amarone della Valpolicella
2003 Giuseppe Quintarelli Amarone della Valpolicella