Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Wines from Frescobaldi, Dinner by Chef Gene

Frescobaldi at Cafe Ysabel
April 16, 2007


Crab Ice Cream with Leek Foam and Vanilla Salt
Arugula Salad

Salt Crusted Fish
Fennel Butter Sauce


Roast Suckling Pig
Gnocchi in Pomodoro Sauce
Guava Confit

Grilled Venison Medallions
Fire Grilled Tomatoes, tossed Peas
Risotto of Wild Mushrooms & Saffron
Roasted Chestnut Puree
Caramelized Onions in Puff

Parmesan and Honey Figs

Dulci's Trio
Cassatta Siciliana
Tartufo Gelato
Mele al Forno

Black Olive Truffles

Giuseppe Pariani was the special guest last night at Cafe Ysabel, he was invited by Future Trade to discuss the importation of Frescobaldi wines. I was at the dinner through the invitation of a friend who consults with Future Trade; in turn, I was able to invite another friend to take part in the dinner.

Mr. Pariani, representing the wine producer Frescobaldi, gave us a great deal of insight into the wines we had at the dinner: Pomino Bianco 2004, Nippozano Riserva
Chinati Rufina 2003, and two vintages of the famous Montesodi Chianti Rufina, a 2001 and a 2004. We learned the history of the grapes, some historical family intrigues, and how the grapes are affected by the soil (terroir as the french have labeled it). Chef Gonzalez lent his expert advice on what to expect as we tasted the wines with our meal, how the notes might change, creaminess to enhance flavors, or the acidity to cut the sweetness.

A wonderful meal with highlights including the tender salted fish, the perfectly grilled venison (rare and juicy), the tartuffo, the black olive truffles, and the general sense of well-being after an amazing meal with interesting conversation from a group that enjoys excellent food and wine. Frescobaldi will probably be easier for me to remember now that I've had an evening learning more about the grapes and region they are cultivated in, reading the literature, relating the flavor of the wines to the food. I think I understand the meaning of an austere grape, one that is masochistic, and offers a subtle platform of enjoyment. One small step towards understanding the wine.


Katrina said...

You are certainly farther along in your knowledge of wine than we are. I look forward to hearing your input when we have our wine party.

Your dinner really sounds enviable! The dishes are so intriguing. How wonderful to enjoy a meal that was created to perfectly complement the wine served!

Mila Tan said...

I think I'm more fond of the stories behind the grapes than the wine itself. Sometimes I still catch myself thinking, it's just really expensive grape juice. Sour at that. I don't know if I'll ever fully appreciate wines and it's vocabulary, but I do enjoy the process of learning/tasting, especially with friends!

P said...

A quote from sideways; I like to think about the life of wine... How it's a living thing. I like to think about what was going on the year the grapes were growing; how the sun was shining; if it rained. I like to think about all the people who tended and picked the grapes. And if it's an old wine, how many of them must be dead by now. I like how wine continues to evolve, like if I opened a bottle of wine today it would taste different than if I'd opened it on any other day, because a bottle of wine is actually alive. And it's constantly evolving and gaining complexity. That is, until it peaks, like your '61. And then it begins its steady, inevitable decline.

Mila Tan said...

That was a great line from Sideways. Thanks Poch! How's Rama? How are you? Keep warm and drink, eat, think of us.

Pike Market Peonies

Pike Market Peonies