Saturday, November 19, 2011

Enoteca 100 2011

I never used to love Italian food as much, until I started loving Italian wine. That love affair with vino drove me to explore and appreciate Italian cuisine, which in turn nudged me to explore even more of Italy's wine regions and varieties. No other place has helped open my eyes to all that more so than one of my favorite restaurants in the Bay Area - Donato Enoteca. Not only do they serve great food and wine all year around, they also feature some of my favorite winemaker dinners. And once a year, Donato Enoteca throw their annual Enoteca 100 Italian wine extravaganza. This year, it's on December 3. I documented this event in the past -- highly recommended for sheer joy of living!

Taste 100+ fine Italian Wines & Donato's Creations


Barolo, Barbaresco, Brunello, Franciacorta, Amarone,
Valle d'Aosta, Piemonte, Alto Adige, Veneto, Friuli, Toscana, Sicilia and Sardegna,
Festive Sparkling wines from all across Italy!


Prosciutto, Speck, Grana Padano, Asiago cheeses,
Wild Boar Bruschetta, House-made Sausage, Risotto Nero,
Porchetta (whole roasted pig),
Grilled Wild Prawns, Agnolotti del plin, Milk Braised Baccala.

Saturday, December 3, 1-4 p.m.
VIP Preview: 12-1 p.m.

Donato Enoteca
1041 Middlefield Road
Redwood City, CA 94063
Note: Caltrain Redwood City stop is across the street from the restaurant.

VIP Preview - $65
General Admission - $55
Early Bird General Admission - $45 (limited)
Note: as a reader of this blog, you may use "ironc" discount code to save $10 off the ticket price. Enjoy!

TICKETS: here.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Wine & Spirits Top 100 Wineries of 2011

Third year in a row I attended Wine & Spirits Top 100 Wineries of the Year event, and it always strikes me in one peculiar way -- if you want to know which profession all the pretty ladies go into, look no further - wine trade clearly. Not sure if this attracts me to the wine or distracts me from it... But W&S Top 100 has got to be the best looking assembly of well-dressed, super-friendly female professionals in the Bay Area!

Now, as far as wine, a lot of tasty treats await one here, accompanied by mouth-watering bites from the best eateries from around the Bay. This is where I confirm my perennial faves, and open my buds up to new ones. This time around, I really enjoyed Diamond Creek - one of the oldest and best regarded wineries in Napa (since 1968) focusing exclusively on Cabernet Sauvignon, with the delightfully sprightly founder-owner Boots Brounstein (see in the photo below). I had tried their cabs once or twice before, and I was impressed with almost an old-worldly class of these mountain cabs. Next to Diamond Creek, Ridge and BOND (covered abundantly on the pages of this blog) evidenced different but equally impressive profiles of the best of California winemaking.

Iron Chevsky with Boots Brounstein of Diamond Creek

However, it was the two reds - the 2006 Chapelle-Chambertin Grand Cru Burgundy from Louis Jadot and the 2001 Tondonia Rioja Reserva from Lopez de Heredia - that reminded me why old world touches deep, with elegance, aromatics, and sheer aristocratic class. The 1993 Tondonia Rioja Reserva Blanco too was an amazing white wine - full-flavored, in a slightly oxidative style, elegant, balanced, intellectual, at almost 20 years old - utterly infatuating. Prices on Lopez de Heredia are still within reach. The wines are legendary. Learn about them, taste them, get 'em!

Here is the montage of my favorites of the tasting.

A special mention goes to Movia's Ales Kristancic - an imposing chick-magnet and a man of vision from Slovenia. I've enjoyed his Ribolla on more than one occasion.

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