Saturday, October 29, 2011

Italian wine & food pairing

A couple of nights ago, I had the honor to attend an incredible event.  Agio Italian Bistro, in Palatine, IL and Altadonna Wines presented an intimate evening full of decadent food and fine wine.

Altadonna's celebrated winemaker, Niccolo Chioccioli, flew in from the winery in Italy to share his delicious insights on the food and wine pairings.  He was just delightful.  He is incredibly knowledgeable without a ounce of snobbery.  

Niccolo's father, Stefano started the family winemaking business.   According to Stefano “the role of a winemaker is to enhance the land where he works” by creating wines with “the maximum quality expression of the area.” The Altadonna line features six wines made from the principle grape varietals of Italy in their purity. From Pinot Grigio in the Tre Venezie to Nero d’Avola in Sicily, each wine reflects his expertise in working with the various and distinct regions of Italy.

He also said that, Anna Altadonna -- Stefano’s beloved wife -- was the inspiration for these wines. Her integrity is the same quality the family hopes to encapsulate in every bottle. 
With this perfect combination of passion, integrity and love they have created some incredible wines.  I am going to look into stocking these wines in my boutique.   

Here is the menu from the event:

Pinot Grigio: Goat cheese salad with a balsamic vinaigrette

Pinot Nero: Saffron and mushroom risotto  

Sangiovese: Meatballs and roasted peppers

Nero d'Avola: Grilled pork tenderloin with veal sauce

 I would not even attempt to recreate these dishes- the Chef at Agio is a magic man.  But-with a few tweaks- maybe this is the answer to my next food and wine seminar.  That is, if I can get my hands on this incredible wine.  I'll keep you posted.

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