Food, Wine & Friends Page 160
LUCA CURRADO VISITS
Winemaker & Co-Owner of the VIETTI winery in
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
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
, Vietti Chianti Classico (in a straw-covered bottle) is extremely popular.
Look for our new single-vineyard wines, including So Sori, Costa Tanto and
Vietti Rhymes with Spaghetti!
Last year when Luca was in town, there was a trade tasting in
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...
After a quick sip of espresso, I dropped Team Vietti off at their Embarcadero
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
Luca Currado and Ellen Weisl
Luca, as one can see, enjoyed the Champagne.
We then ambled over to Columbus Avenue and walked up the
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.
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
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
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
And then, on to SFO...
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