Sean, our affable Maitre d' for the evening, hands us each a glass of Brut Zardetto Cuvee. An elegant, soft sparkling wine, with a nose and flavors of peach, pear, apricot. The bubbly sets the mood for what is to follow. As we take our seats we are served a trio of appetizers: Eggplant with ricotta, rolled salmon with marscapone and a fried risotto.
Savoring the food, talking, laughing, sipping, relaxing.....unaware that the plates have been cleared, a new wine is poured,
We are an hour into the gourmet experience, and everyone is happy, satisfied and relaxing, as the pasta course is served: This is a spaghetti (home made of course) with an incredible sauce I wouldn't try to describe, with mushrooms and beef. The wine that so perfectly brings out the flavors is a 2009 Blina Barbers d'asti. Well balanced, and fruity, it is a perfect match with the dish. Of course by now, we all think everything is a perfect match!
MORE food? More wine? But of course! The main courses are about to be served!
A small veal fillet, wrapped in bacon, served over risotto that is blended with red wine and goat cheese.
How to best describe? YUMMM! And the 2008 La Massa Toscana, a Sangiovese...is yet another perfect fit. Bold yet elegant, with dark fruit and minerality....that brings out the flavors of the wine and the food, and a lingering finish blending all the flavors together.
With the evening approaching it's last chapter, we are served the final, well almost final, course: Osso Buco on polenta. And to pair with this course, Piero has chosen a 2007 Dominico Clerico Arte, a Nebiolo that is deep ruby red. Well structured, with layers of dark berries and minerals and a hint of spice. Savoring the last bites, sipping the last drops from the glass. All that remains now is dessert.
Apologies by the photographer! So wrapped up in the food,
only took a mental picture
The 2009 Sol Solis Moscato d'Asti, a wonderful floral bouquet whose honey dominant flavor dances on your tongue....and brings out the flavors of the dessert assortment of a mini tiramisu, warm dark chocolate cake with a liquid fudge filling, and a small scoop of berry sorbet. All masterfully tied together, so that no one flavor fights or dominates another.
to choose the wines ourselves!
Sitting back, totally sated, the magical evening almost at an end, we have one more treat in store for us. Not to eat or drink or even touch, but to see: One of the world's rarest bottles of wine that resides in Piero's Cellar:
One of Four bottles known to exist in the world! An 1891 Biondi Santi Brunello di Montalcino! Re-corked and "topped off" several years ago, this 120 year old bottle is still vibrant and fills a proud spot in Piero's wine cellar. What an honor to be able to see a liquid work of art like this.
that is the original 1891 cork attached to the bottle
and yes, it IS on the wine list for purchase
Grudgingly, the evening must come to a close. Walking back from the wine room, through the almost empty restaurant (the hour is now quite late), we bid "arriverderci" to Piero, Sean, and Paul (the sommelier). No thanks is adequate for the incredible experience we just had. Something so special and unique that words just do not do justice.
And of course, a most special "thank you" to Paul for arranging the evening. If it were not for his 25 year association and friendship with Piero, we would never have the opportunity of such a special and one of a kind experience.