If that’s not our personal mantra then I think it should be. The Italians are known for many things; fast cars, great food, better lovers but most importantly exceptional vino. Whether a robust red, a crisp white or refreshing rosé they really know how to do it all. On Tuesday night I was lucky enough to to be wine and dined, pun intended, by none other than Rosso Restaurant and Eurowines.
Seated on the candle lit balcony of the restaurant we were greeted by Neil Collins of Eurowines and Giuseppe, Rosso’s very own wine connoisseur. Awaiting us on the table were antipasto fit for a true Italian, being of Italian descent I felt right at home. Fresh bread, olives, a little oil and balsamic vinegar.
The tasting began with a brief introduction of Eurowines and its history before getting us to experience six distinctly different wines; one blush, two whites and three reds. Oh yes, I was in heaven.
Before Rosso Restaurants rolls out its new wines for the upcoming season, Neil and Giuseppe taught us how to obtain the true taste of the wine along with the correct pairing of each.
With its origin of Puglia, Italy this rosé is mainly obtained from the Negroamaro grapes, it has a deep pink colouring with fruity notes of cherry and strawberry. It has a very crisp, refreshing but not to sweet character which would thoroughly be enjoyed on a warm day with a light pasta dish in a cream sauce or a rosé sauce, go figure.
Pecorino Terre di Chieti
From Abruzzo Italy, Pecorino Terre di Chieti is a gorgeous drinking wine. Aged for six months in stainless steel tanks Pecorino has a canary yellow colour and shimmers of light green. This fruity wine will feel like a tropical paradise in your mouth; Peaches, mango, grapefruit and even slight notes of cucumber will disburse in your mouth with one sip of this full bodied, well structured and very balanced white wine. Great with a selection of cheeses.
Gavi dei Gavi GIGI
Now for the serious stuff, Gavi dei Gavi GIGI is a beautiful wine, originating in Piedmont, Italy. It is not for the occasional wine drinker but for a connoisseur of the sorts. La Scolca, the producer of this wine is sure to carefully and skilfully craft each batch with the utmost respect for nature and is harvested in the same fashion. With strict and rigorous selection conducted, cluster by cluster, in vineyards over sixty years old, you get a unique grape, which makes for a unique wine. Gavi dei Gavi offers a refreshing mineral taste and is best paired with white foods such as a white fish or a succulent pork tenderloin.
‘Ripassa’ Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore
Ripassa Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore from Veneto, Italy, my favourite of the evening is a full bodied deep ruby-red coloured vino, with an intense persistent bouquet of flavours from dark cherries and plum notes. Ripassa has a velvety smooth and harmonic finish. This wine would be best enjoyed with a hearty autumn meal of rump roast, or steak and potatoes.
Valdisanti Rosso di Tuscana
The Holy Grail of the evening had to be this 2008 bottle of Valdisanti Rosso di Tuscana. The scent alone could knock you into a heavenly divine wine coma. This youthful, rich dark fruit and cassis aroma with notes of French oak spices could definitely hold its own up against a bottle of a French Bordeaux. Valdisanti has a high make up of French grapes but is born in Italy; a perfect combination if you ask me, which makes for an excellent balance of fruit intensity and grape tannins. Again this wine is best enjoyed with a steak cooked to perfection, married with some leafy vegetables.
Barolo Chinato I can guarantee is unlike anything you have ever tried. It is the type of wine that probably doesn’t make it out of the cellar often but when it does you know its going to be a night to remember. I would consider this the party-time red wine. After the antipasto, after the main course, after the dessert and after the cheese this beauty gets to make its debut. An extremely unique digestive, this Barolo Chinato is brick red in colour with a slight orange hue, it offers a mixture of aged Barolo, sarsaparilla, and spices of liquorice, marjoram, rhubarb, and coriander, giving off notes of bitter orange peel, absinthe, cinnamon, clove and bay-leaf. With 17% vol. of alcohol the finish is soft, semi-sweet and leaves you with a warm feeling urging for just another sip. Paired nicely with some dark chocolate, good friends and a candle lit ambiance this sweet ‘after dessert’ wine is the perfect ending to a perfect evening.