Sunday, March 5, 2017

Casa D'Engemoen hosts a taste of Italy.......

Last weekend, the third in our series of "theme nights" where we feature food and wine from a particular country. This time, it was our turn to host and Italy was the country.

Decanting the reds

Our patio furniture, the only table we have big enough for 6

The pasta bar


The wine:

Bottega N/V Gold Prosecco Treviso II ($27.49)

Beautiful aromas of pear, wheat and white flowers. Pleasing flavors of peach, almond, baked pear and citrus. Slightly off-dry and creamy, be sure to serve well chilled. 89.


What are ramps? The link above has a pretty good description. Since it was impossible to find them at this time of year, I used scallions with some garlic to mimic the taste. It was a tasty dish, but not spectacular. Different, for sure.

The wine:

Montresor 2015 Soave Classico ($15.49)

This is a dry, medium-bodied Garganega from the "Classico" hills behind the village of Soave. Light nose features some minerality with a bit of citrus, pear and apple. Fruity palate with citrus and green apple dominating. Pleasant and a very nice pairing with the food. 87.


You'll notice the title of this recipe is actually "Pancetta, Bacon and Pea" but there is no bacon in the recipe. This was sent to me from one of our wine clubs, La Stella, with our Fall shipment last year. They suggested trying it with a Pinot Grigio, so we did. 

The wine:

Santa Margherita 2015 Valdadige Pinot Grigio ($17.99)

Refreshing aromas of green apple, citrus and peach. Citrus dominates the palate. Crisp and refreshing at a reasonable price. I'm not sure it was a great pairing with the risotto, which probably could have benefited from a traditional pairing of Chardonnay. 88.


Chef Dez's Minestrone Soup

I've made this recipe about 15 times and it has always been a hit. Since my wife is now gluten-free, I substituted gluten-free Fusili pasta for the orzo.

The wine:

Rocca Della Macie - 2012 Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG ($26.09)

Previously reviewed during Dine Italia, here. It was an excellent pairing with the rustic, hearty soup.


I put the pasta maker to good use here, making this delicious ravioli and sauce from scratch. It was a big hit and became even bigger when paired with the wine of the night.

Collematoni 2007 Vigna Fontelontano Brunello di Montalcino Reserva ($129.99)

Intoxicating aromas of charred meats, dark berries, cedar, tea leaves and a touch of spice. Incredibly complex. Red fruits abound, as does cedar, leather and a touch of mocha. Tannins are smooth and supple. Finishes very, very long. This is a top-notch Brunello and is drinking incredibly well now. Very special. 96.



White Cheddar and Bacon Cappeletti, Pear and Pecorino Mezzaluna, Butternut Squash Mezzaluna (all bought at Granville Island). Three different sauces: Alfredo (store bought), Red (homemade), Rosé (homemade). 

The wine:

This was a mix-and-match fun experiment. Three different wines, meant to pair with different sauces.

With the Red and Rosé:

Castello di Monsanto 2008 Chianti Classico Riserva ($62.99)

Aromas of mint, dark cherries, plum, blackberry and spice. Dark berries dominate the pretty palate, with some cedar, tobacco and black plum as well. Very nice and paired very well with the sauces. 92.

With the Alfredo:

Ca' Del Bosco - 2009 Curtefranca Chardonnay ($42.99)

Aromas of honey, white flowers, hazelnut and notes of rosemary and thyme. Enjoyable palate with slight buttery notes mingling with citrus fruit. Very good and an excellent pair with the alfredo. 92.

Fontanafredda 2015 Briccotondo Barbera ($18.49)

Intense aromas of dark cherries and plum with a touch of spice. Dark fruit, cardamon and some black pepper on the palate. Very nice and a good pairing with the alfredo sauce but next time I'd try it with a red sauce, maybe even a bolognese. 89.


The main event of the evening. Served with a mix of grilled carrots.

The wine:

Azelia 2004 Barolo ($89.99)

Red roses, cherries, hints of tar, leather and tobacco on the nose. Complex palate with some ripe red fruit and dark fruit, cherries, tea, tobacco and a hint of spice on the finish. Just hitting it's stride, would probably improve for another decade. A brilliant pairing with the meat. 93.


A light dessert plate of cheese (including this one), nuts, and a toasted coconut and blueberry panna cotta.

This was supposed to pair with a Moscato d'Asti that I picked up, but frankly everyone was wined out by this point so we skipped it. Finished the Barolo (which, to nobody's surprise, didn't go with anything on the plate, especially the lovely Pecorino with honey mentioned above).

There you have it! A pretty damn good evening of food and wine if I do say so myself (and I think I just did).

Our next theme night? In keeping with the WineFest host country, our friends are hosting a night of CANADA! Probably 9 different kinds of poutine :)

That comes up in a couple weeks. In the meantime, I'll have lots more great wine to tell you about as I try to catch up on stuff we've been drinking between events.


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