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LUCA CURRADO VISITS
Winemaker & Co-Owner of the VIETTI winery in Italy's Piemonte

He arrived right on time at SFO and we immediately drove to the Kokkari Restaurant in San Francisco...
Here we planned a "steak dinner" with an older bottle of Napa Cabernet.

But first, we began with a flute of Roederer Estate....

Then, with some appetizers, I brought out a bottle of VIETTI PINOT GRIGIO d'ALBA!



 


The Vietti winery is located in the heart of the Barolo region and we produce a remarkable array of wines.
Pinot Grigio, relatively unknown in Piemonte, is a perfect wine for bathing one’s feet.  We package ours with a snail on the front label, since this is such a slow-selling white wine.  That’s because in Piemonte, people consider Dolcetto to be their “vino Bianco.”
In America , Vietti Chianti Classico (in a straw-covered bottle) is extremely popular.
Look for our new single-vineyard wines, including So Sori, Costa Tanto and Cittá Bricco.

Vietti Rhymes with Spaghetti!


Last year when Luca was in town, there was a trade tasting in San Francisco.
A local eno-scribe posted her tasting notes of the Vietti wines, including a mention of Vietti's white wine, Arneis.  She missed one minor detail, however, citing the wine incorrectly as Pinot Grigio.
So, finally, now there is Vietti Pinot Grigio!

Kokkari's Grilled Octopus was excellent...

We brought a 1981 Caymus Special Selection Cabernet and the crew at Kokkari did a fine job in decanting this for us.

Kokkari, by the way, serves a rib-eye steak that's superior to most steakhouse offerings.


The Caymus was exceptional!  The wine still had good color and plenty of fruit.  It was nicely developed and quite complex.  The oak and fruit had integrated beautifully and this was certainly at its peak.

Accompanying Luca was eno-ambassador, Aldo Zaninotto, who, despite having just had a 22 ounce steak,  had a hankering for dessert...



Aldo Zaninotto.

After a quick sip of espresso, I dropped Team Vietti off at their Embarcadero area hotel...



********************************************************

We next saw Luca on Saturday night and motored to the North Beach area.

First stop was The Bubble Lounge for a sip of Champagne.

This is a busy place...a place to see and be seen.

We ordered a flute of Alfred Gratien Brut Champagne which was excellent.

Luca Currado and Ellen Weisl

 


Luca, as one can see, enjoyed the Champagne.

We then ambled over to Columbus Avenue and walked up the hill...

We had reserved a table at The House.

We began with a glass of DeSante's excellent Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc and some appetizers.


Tuna Tartare with Nori Chips.


Shrimp Dumplings.

 

The main plates were also quite good.

The grilled shrimp and rice plate featured shaved bonito, called hanakatsuo move or seem to be "dancing" when they're in contact with heat.  Ellen was quite freaked out, initially, by the appearance of signs of "life" in her dinner!

Luca ordered a steak to pair with the Dolcetto from Deb and Andy Cutter at the Duxoup Wine Works in Sonoma.


The wine was quite good, showing nice fruit and a touch of oak.  Perhaps there was a bit more oak than one finds in most Piemontese Dolcetto wines, but it had plenty of fruit and was beautifully balanced.

Desserts were quite good...


We enjoyed a glass of Sauternes from Château Haut-Mayne with the apple and ice cream dessert,

After dinner, we strolled down Columbus, through North Beach to our car...


We drove along the Embarcadero, heading for a south of Market wine bar.

This is a little place featuring "natural" wines.
It's dimly lit at night and the place had dozens of candles flickering inside.
We ordered a glass of Morgon and the fellow poured a tiny amount, asking us to, essentially, have a sniff and "approve" his pouring a glass.
The wine was nice and ripe...though it was poured at ambient room temperature which must have been 75 degrees.

As it was well past our bed time, we departed and brought Luca back to his hotel in The City...


San Francisco is a most colorful city, as you can see here.

The next morning, we met Luca in The City for a little drive down the Peninsula to SFO...

We stopped for an ocean view near the Cliff House...

Luca saw a few "landmarks" in The City...

We stopped for a coffee...

And then we drove down to Millbrasia for a spuntino of Dim Sum...


And then, on to SFO...


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