Saturday, November 17, 2012

Donato Enoteca 100 2012 - upcoming Italian wine tasting extravaganza

The annual Enoteca 100 tasting is upon us again. Do not miss. You can get $10 off with a coupon code mentioned in the COST section below.

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 Saturday, December 1. 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 1, 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 11, 2012

White truffle raviolo at Donato Enoteca with Barolo and Barbaresco

This time of year, top Italian restaurants are bringing in white truffles - a delicacy from Piedmonte (Northern Italy), which also happens to be the home of Barolo and Barbaresco wines. Last night at Donato Enoteca, it was absolutely phenomenal. I have vividly described the decadent experience at length a couple of years ago, and it continues to be special every single time. Man o man, that raviolo with runny egg yolk inside and white truffles on top - paired with Produttori del Barbaresco Moccagatta Riserva 2004 and Francesco Rinaldi Barolo Brunate 2004 (both wines beginning to approach their drinking window) - orgasmic!

Update on recent Bordeaux vintages 2008 and 2009

Here is my feeling about few recent vintages from some of the tastings I've attended in the past few months.

2008 Bordeaux - This is the third time I am writing about 2008 Bordeaux. The previous article was here, when I was quite enthusiastic about the vintage. 2008's are a good value compared to 2009 and 2010, but in my latest tasting, the wines appeared lighter than 2005's and 2009's (I haven't tasted 2010 yet) and I recommend you taste before you buy. At yesterday's tasting at Beltramo's, three big names from the Left Bank seemed a bit light and thin (but still nice), especially when tasted next to the 2005 Palmer (which tasted like classic 2005, firm, dense, balanced). Even though the prices are attractive compared to 2009's and 2010's, I wouldn't buy any of the 2008's below (nor would I turn them down if someone offered them as a gift either :)).

2005 Palmer Margaux, $349.99 - good wine, full of stuffing (reminds me of borscht), but not worth the $$ IMO
2008 Rauzan-Segla Margaux, $79.99 - slight mint and noticeable toast
2008 Leoville Barton St. Julien, $79.99 - a bit light but classically balanced with nothing sticking out
2008 Pontet-Canet Pauillac, $99.99 - a bit light, but nicely savory and fresh

2009 Bordeaux - many attractive wines. I've attended several tastings of the 2009's now. Most of the usual suspects that I've tried from the Grand Cru Classe hierarchy on the Left Bank are showing well. I liked Chateau Kirwan, Cantenac Brown, Leoville Barton, and Duhart-Milon, although given the prices well over $100/btl, the one that I thought was good value (well under $100) was Kirwan (also consider Margaux neighbors Chateaux d'Issan and Cantenac Brown). Additionally, there are many solid wines outside of the Grand Cru Classe classification, and at the Cru Bourgeois levels that punch above their weight in this prodigious vintage, but I wouldn't call them "great".

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