Frescobaldi at Cafe Ysabel
April 16, 2007
Crab Ice Cream with Leek Foam and Vanilla Salt
Salt Crusted Fish
Fennel Butter Sauce
Roast Suckling Pig
Gnocchi in Pomodoro Sauce
Grilled Venison Medallions
Fire Grilled Tomatoes, tossed Peas
Risotto of Wild Mushrooms & Saffron
Roasted Chestnut Puree
Caramelized Onions in Puff
Parmesan and Honey Figs
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.