Monday, July 18, 2011

Enoteca Turi - The Italian White Wine Evolution

Putney, London, England - Tuesday 12-July-2011

Another fine wine dinner at Enoteca Turi. This time not a region and not a producer; the theme was white wine and the coastline.

White Grape Harvest 2010
White grape harvest 2010 - Mary and Anthea hard at work

To quote the blurb:
Michael Palij MW, wine writer and lecturer will take you on a journey through the ages, beginning with traditional wines such as Verdicchio and Orvieto, the yet to be discovered Timorasso and Arneis, and moving on to the well-kept secret of the Chardonnay Selezione from Borgo del Tiglio, on a par with a Premier Cru Puligny Montrachet, and Ribolla Gialla, an unusual and intriguing, but amazingly complex wine from Jasco Gravner, the most controversial winemaker in Italy. The evening will end with a sublime dessert wine, Scaccomatto, a botrytised Albana di Romagna from Fattoria Zerbina.

Giuseppe will explore the cuisine of the Maritime Republic – the city states of Venice, Genoa, Pisa, Amalfi, Ancona - whose shipping activity and trade with the east in the 11th – 17th centuries, brought new ingredients and flavours to the Italian diet.

As always fascinating to learn about the influence of history on the cuisine and the changing fashions in viticulture on the wines. My favourite quote from Michael was "France has attitude, Italy has altitude".

He side stepped the debate around premature oxidation in Burgundy which we first heard discussed at a BBR tasting on The Fine Wines of The Montrachet. Instead he brought the wines to life with anecdotes about the producers, the grapes and the personalities of both.

My impressions of the wines and the notes I wrote are so scrappy as to not be worth sharing. What is worth saying is that "a meal without wine is like a day without sunshine". As I wrote previously in "A meal is more than just fuel for the body" a meal is about good food, good wine and good company - it not not (just) self indulgence, it is a life affirming occasion - and I'll drink to that.

Sardine in saor
Pannelle with pepper preserve and grilled squid
Potato croquettes with scamorza
Orvieto Terre Vineate DOC 2008 Il Palazzone
Cannoli di polenta con branda cujun
Polenta cannoli, crushed smoked haddock, roasted red and yellow peppers
Verdicchio di Matelica DOC 2008 Az. Ag. La Monacesca
Risotto al granchio con rucola e limone
Risotto of fresh crab with lemon and rocket
Timorasso DOC 2008 Walther Massa
Arneis Roero DOC 2007 Brovia

Zuppa di pesce del mediterraneo
Fish medley with clams, gurnard, John Dory, squid, scallop, lobster ravioli
Chardonnay Selezione Collio DOC 2006 Borgo del Tiglio
Bianco Ribolla IGT 2001 Jasco Gravner

Delizia di limoni d’Amalfi
Amalfi lemon sponge with lemon cream
Scaccomatto Albana di Romagna DOCG 2005 Fattorina Zerbina

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