Food, Wine & Friends Page 260
I had been able to assist Rick and Paula Freschet's daughter
Danielle get an "internship" in Italy's Piemonte region a couple of
years ago. She distinguished herself during that harvest and was able to
get herself hired to work the following harvest in Australia.
These days she's been working in a Napa Valley facility and will soon be heading
to Germany for the 2014 vintage.
Her family has some Italian roots, so we prepared a meal with an Italian accent.
We began with a bottle of The Vaira Family's GD Vajra Signora
della Neve Brut Rose sparkling wine...
...and Rick took care of pouring the wine.
And so we had a toast to our Piemontese friends!
After a few minutes of chit-chat, we moved to the dinner table and rolled up our
I had baked some bread for the occasion.
And we had some Salame Toscano and Prosciutto from San Daniele in Friuli.
Also some Artichokes, Mushrooms and Beets...
And for something particularly Piemontese, we had a platter of
roasted peppers topped with a Bagna Cauda sauce (Anchovies, Garlic, Olive
Oil and More Garlic)...
Danielle helped bring some dishes from the kitchen...
We opened a bottle of Almondo 2012 Arneis...Vigne Sparse.
This is a nice, simple dry white...hints of apples on the nose and palate.
Perfectly nice with the various little antipasti.
Next we assembled a few little salad greens and a few poached prawns.
We then opened Almondo's other Arneis, "Bricco delle Ciligie."
This wine sees about 20% new oak and some months on the spent yeast.
While it was a tad fuller in body, the oak, happily, is not prominent in this
We opened and decanted a 2004 Barolo, Luciano Sandrone's "Le Vigne"
Rick poured this for his folks, Tish and Guido.
Chewie was waiting for the main course...
We had a mushroom risotto...dried porcini with Portabella and Cremini mushrooms.
The 2004 Sandrone Barolo "Le Vigne" was exceptional!
The nose was starting to open nicely, showing a bit of the tarry and earthy
sorts of notes typical of Nebbiolo with some bottle aging.
But the 2004 vintage is quite a good one and there was still a fair bit of
tannin on the palate.
The Risotto tamed the Barolo to a degree and the bottle was finished in no time
Yes, "no time"!!!
We then decanted a couple of 1997 Vintage reds for the main course.
But first, to refresh the palate, we had a Granita of Sandrone
2012 Dolcetto d'Alba.
The Kaffir Lime Leave gave a nice perfume to this.
I'd added a spoon full (or two) of Torani's Raspberry Syrup to the ice cream
freezer when making this "ice," and you could really taste the
Some braised French Green Beans, Grilled Polenta and Oven-Roasted Cauliflower.
Grilled Lamb "T-Bones"
"I'm called 'Guido" because I drive the entire family crazy!"
"I'll say," added Tish!
"Oh my, the Grandparents are wild tonight!"
The Sassicaia 1997 has seemingly reached its plateau. We found a wine
which had developed handsomely, showing dark cherries and a mildly earthy
tone. It was medium-full-bodied on the palate.
The 1997 Peter Michael bottling was also nicely showy...notes of blackcurrant
and some earthy, woodsy tones are at the forefront, then there was a suggestion
Both wines were quite complex and had layers of aromas and flavors. The
lamb worked beautifully with the two reds.
Georgiana was quite busy.
For dessert we had some homemade vanilla ice cream and fresh berries...
I found those Meringue cookies at The Cakery on Burlingame Avenue and they were
perfect in this setting.
Vajra's exceptional Moscato d'Asti was perfect in this setting...a warm night
and some cool berries and ice cream!
Chewie was thrilled to have been part of the proceedings.
And with that, we called it a night!
Thanks to everyone for participating in this lovely little marathon!!!
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