Wine & Food

Snooth User: Eric Guido

Study of the Veneto: L'arco, Masi, Pieropan and Nicolas

Posted by Eric Guido, May 30, 2009.

I hosted a study of the Veneto for a group of wine lovers this week. It came off without a hitch and I’m extremely happy with almost all of the wines. My idea was to use only ingredients that someone living in the Veneto would be able to find and so I let myself borrow some ingredients from Emilia-Romagna and Lombardy but the dishes are all items you could expect to find in the region. The pairings worked out wonderfully as well. I've excluded notes on a good but not "Amazing" prosecco that was used an as aperitif so that I could get right to the fun stuff.

Risotto ai funghi di bosco
[b]Pieropan Suave Classico 2002[/b]]

Wine Notes: A golden yellow color and the appearance of a heavy viscosity in the glass.* The first thought that comes to mind on the nose is Vin Santo with baked apples, caramel and vanilla.* Amazing how this light white could appear so heavy and then smell like my favorite dessert wine.* The palate is where you realize what you're really drinking with a brisk acidity and flavors of Melon, Apple and flint fill your mouth.* The finish is quite short but the impression this wine left went on for hours.

Pairing Notes: The Sauve was nothing like I expected but still worked flawlessly with the Risotto of wild mushroom. About a half cup of the wine was used in the recipe as well. The wines freshness made quick work of the risotto's rich and creamy body. The bold refreshing flavors of the wine also worked as a great counter balance to the earthy, butter goodness of the mushrooms.

Fegato di Vitello alla Veneziana con
Radicchio Rosso Di Treviso Al Forno
[b]Masi, Campofiorin, Rosso Del Veronese 2005[/b]]

Pairing and Wine Notes: Unfortunately, I was unable to give this wine much time. However, the few sips I did take came across as slightly modern in style and a bit cloying. I’m hoping that this was just the cause of my inability to give it as much attention as I would have liked. I can assure you that the guests enjoyed it quite a bit. The Liver and onions on top of a Parmigiano Polenta was a gorgeously rich and balanced dish. The guests enjoyed mixing and matching bites from the ingredients on the plate. The Treviso was a perfect Italian accompaniment, fresh yet bitter and full of flavor. The sauce was also made with a healthy dose of the Campofiorin.

Formaggio e frutta
Parmigiano Reggiano con Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena
Ciliegia di Marostica
[b]Nicolis, Amarone Della Valpolicella Classic, Ambrosan 2001[/b]

Wine Notes: A deep dark purplish black hue with a glistening sheen.* The nose is rich with Amaretto, cherry liquor, plums, pecan and confectioners sugar.* In the mouth, full and velvety, intense cherry fruit, cinnamon, clove and savory herbs and with a long slightly bitter finish of* chocolate and tobacco

Pairing Notes: What can I say. Amarone and Blue Cheese. Fresh sweet Cherries and Parmigiano cheese drizzled with a 12 year aged Balsamic. The plate may have been insanely simple but also a perfect way to enjoy the Amarone. Let's face it, the food was an afterthought and a palate cleanser between sips of wine. I was ready to declare the Amarone as the wine of the night when we moved on to a bottle that was thrown in at the last minute. **Important to note that another member of this tasting whose palate I respect a great deal, did in fact feel that the Nicolas was the high light of the evening.

[b]Last minute addition (Wine of the Night)[/b]
[b]L'Arco Pario 2003[/b]]

Medium ruby red giving the impression of a light easy going wine but followed on the nose predominantly by sweet Cherries with holiday baking spices.* As you dig deeper you find layers of* roasted chestnut, sage, forest floor and a hint of bell pepper.* One of the most inviting young wines I've ever experienced on the nose.** On the palate, Pomagrante and cherry fruit, mushrooms sauté in butter with vanilla and clove following close behind.* An impression of residual sugar but this may be the result of the Amarone style of drying and fermentation. On the mid-palate an unmistakable taste of violette candies and a very long, rich finish.* All of this carried by smooth acidity, wonderful balance and an elegant freshness to the entire package.* WOW.


Reply by Eric Guido, May 31, 2009.

I just thought i'd add this post from another board because I realized that I didn't touch on the food prep...

"I have got to mention that the Calves Liver was amazing. I've noticed in the boards that I posted this that few people have said anything about it and it's probably partially my fault because I didn't go into a lot of detail about the food. Let me just say that I'm not a big Liver fan but this was different.

The Calves Liver was soaked in a bath of milk and White wine (Giacosa 2007 Arnies to be exact) for six hours. It was then drained and allowed to dry on a rack for an hour. Then coated with a thin layer of flour and quickly seared on each side. All the while the onions were caramelizing. Once the sear was done the liver and the onions were placed together in a shallow poach of wine (the Campo), veal stock and a fresh bay leaf for about 10 minutes. It was then pulled from the poach and the liquid was reduced into a sauce, mounted with butter and served over the polenta. It was melt in your mouth tender. Meaty and so savory. I may not be a big fan of liver but I can assure you that I'll make this for myself again in the future."

Reply by Eric Guido, Jun 1, 2009.

Another member of our board posted his thoughts here:

Wow, I get the feeling I'm talking to myself. No love for the Veneto out there I guess.

Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Jun 2, 2009.

A great dinner Eric. Plenty of love for the Veneto and liver!

Seriously your food and the pics are almost as compelling as the wines.

Want to get together and try a few more wines from the Veneto sometime. I have a few I can share.

Reply by Eric Guido, Jun 2, 2009.

Thanks Greg, I get the feeling you've been pretty busy these days with all your post Peidmont trip posts (which have been really cool, by the way).

I would be very interested in hitting some wines from the Veneto with you. I would have invited you to this tasting but it was really last minute.

Reply by Pymonte, Jun 15, 2009.

Very cool indeed. Love the preparation of the Calves' Liver, as well. Cooking organ meats is nothing short of an art form.

Reply by zufrieden, Jan 23, 2010.

As a footnote to your tasting from last summer, I just tried the most recent (2008) Soave Classico by that most exalted Veneto producer Lenildo Pieropan. Most satisfying. Soave is a very under-appreciated and somewhat under-performing DOC. But this certainly need not be the case.

The 2007 Ca' Rugate is also very worthy of honorable mention.


Reply by Eric Guido, Jan 23, 2010.

That's great to hear, I just grabbed a bottle of the 2008 with the intention of tasting it before possibly buying a case. It's exciting to hear that others are enjoying it. I'll let you know how my bottle performs as well. Thanks

Reply by zufrieden, Jan 23, 2010.

I'm confident you won't be disappointed, Eric. I also picked up a rare (for British Columbia) bottle of Calvarino by Pieropan (2006) and hope to give it a whirl so as well. Stay tuned!

Reply by zufrieden, Feb 13, 2010.

Eric, I tried a bottle of the Pieropan Calvarini 2006. I'm figuring you have a stash of this somewhere, but if not you should search out this wonderful little wine.

Reply by Eric Guido, Feb 13, 2010.

Pieropan's wines are great, it's amazing what someone can do when they really care about the finished product. I don't have enough pieropan in my cellar. The fact is that many of their Suave's can age for many years. I'll look for the 2006 Calvarini. Thanks for the suggestion.

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