Anyone would know that I miss Italy, dearly. And if there was something about Italy that I miss the most, it would be their wines. The quality of the wines, and how affordable it was! You could close your eyes and pick a bottle off the supermarket shelves for less than 10eur, and it would likely be a good bottle of wine. I went for a wine tour in Tuscany and it was incredible learning more about their wine region, and tasting the various wines from the vineyard. There I learnt how the climate of each region affected the flavour of wine, and the labelling for wine (DOCG, DOC…etc).
And I was so stoked a couple of weeks ago when I had the opportunity to have a taste of quality Italian wines from the Zonin family in an intimate wine-tasting session, with a food pairing by District 10.
A brief background on Italian wine terms – DOCG, DOC and IGT are labels indicating that these particular wines have adhered to stringent laws in terms of their quality and authenticity. Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) is the highest quality of wine, which means that the wine producers had gone through the strictest regulations to make that wine, in terms of the geographic and production methods. Only very selected Italian wines are accorded this prestigious status. This is followed by Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC), which is also subject to strict regulations, though it consists of a wider range of wines; and Indicazione Geografica Tipica (IGT) to acknowledge wines that are of good quality but do not fall into the DOC/DOCG categories.
To kickstart the session, we were welcomed with a glass of bubbly Zonin Prosecco. Dry, and pleasantly fruity, this was great get us in the mood for the night and went well with the canapés served.
Ten carefully selected wines from the Zonin vineyard with a specially curated menu for the event – I couldn’t wait to get started!
The first course was Prosciutto de Parma, which was a refreshing appetizer paired with two white wines – Tenuta Ca’Bolani 2013 (DOC) from Friuli and Principi di Butera Insolia 2014 (DOC) from Silicia. The Ca’Bolani was fruity and crisp, and was great to start with as it was light and went well with the appetiser. The Insolia was one of my favourite wines we had that night, and in fact, one of the most interesting white wines I’ve ever tried! As the region of Siciliy is hotter than the rest of Italy (as I happily discovered during my trip to the city), the grapes ripen to produce a more concentrated wine. The result was a beautifully smooth, silky and full-bodied wine, which is quite unlike typical crisp whites. I find it a challenge to get good white wines as they are often rather sharp, but I think I’ve found the perfect solution to that in the Insolia :)
Primi Piatti: Pappardelle with duck ragout
More background on Italian dining (I hope I’m not boring you, but I just can’t help getting excited when it comes to Italian culture! And I actually wrote a 3000 word paper on Italian cuisine, so allow me to share a little here) – Italians meals are split into several courses, and with some parallels with the major food groups, it generally goes as such: Antipasti (appetiser), Primi (pasta/carbohydrates), Secondi (meat/fish), Contorni (vegetables/salad) and Dolci (dessert).
So with our first course of pasta, we had two red wines to complement it: Castello d’Albola Chianti Classico 2012 (DOCG) and Castello d’Albola Chianti Classico (DOCG) 2010 Riserva. I was so excited to try out the DOCG wines! Both wines sound similar, and yet there are significant differences. The former was light, with red cherry notes, and to achieve its astounding quality, had to be aged in Slavonian oak casks for at least 12 months. Riserva denotes a selection of the better wines from a particular season. The 2010 Vinage was very successful, yielding wine that was deliciously velvety with a tinge of spiciness that went perfectly with the Papardelle. Definitely my favourite wine that night!
The Grilled Black Angus OP Ribs had to be the highlight of the meal. District 10 at Suntec City specialises in dry-aged meat, featuring rare, flavoursome bone-in cuts with a high content of natural and healthy marbling, and we were the lucky recipients of their premium meats! The steak was beautifully done (just look at that deep red), and seasoned with a sprinkle of rosemary sea salt and rosemary glaze, it was simply delectable. It was complemented by the Feudo Principi di Butera Symposio 2012 (IGT) and Tenuta Ca’Bolani Alturio Refosco 2009. The former was a fruity, energetic red, while the latter comprised dark black fruits and had a velvety, supple finish.
We ended our meal with a tangy Wild Berries Tart adorned with edible golden flakes, paired with none other than Zonin’s Moscato from Puglia (IGT). What a fantastic way to end the meal!
These were all the wines we tried that night! ^^ I had so much fun writing this post, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!