A wine maker dinner at our favorite Italian restaurant?! Of course we had to be there. We were fortunate to have our friends Yolanda and Dave join us too.
Chef Francesco Basile designed a special pairing menu for the event and Dan Alexander was on hand from Robert Hall to educate guests on the wine. The menu was absolutely delicious and complemented the wines very well.
Here were the courses and pairings:
First Course - Smoked Salmon
Sockeye smoked salmon with Sicilian jumbo capers, avocado, citrus herb creme fraiche, and E.V.O.O. Paired with a 2013 Sauvignon Blanc.
The Sauvignon Blanc had light grapefruit flavors and just a touch of cream. It complimented the lightly salted flavors of the first course very nicely.
Second Course - Rabbit Crepes
Braised Sonoma rabbit with mascarpone cheese. Paired with a 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon.
The Cabernet had a mixture of fruit and pepper on the nose that gave way to bright berries and currant on the palate. It was the first time any of us had eaten rabbit, but we all found it to be quite amazing.
Third Course - Lamb Loin
Pan roasted New Zealand lamb loin with a Zinfandel herb reduction. Paired with a 2012 Zinfandel.
The Zinfandel contains 8 percent Petit Sirah, which gives it a little more tannin. The Zinfandel was still fairly light and fruity without the characteristic jammy or pepper flavors that are typical of Zinfandel. It was a decent pairing, though we would have preferred something with a little darker complexion for the outstanding lamb.
Dessert - Roasted Peach
Roasted peach with amaretto goat cheese mouse and Belgian chocolate. Paired with a 2010 Port.
This a traditional-style Port, blending five Portuguese grapes: Touriga, Souzão, Alvarelhão, Tinta Cão, and Tinta Roriz. It was unmistakably a dessert wine, but didn’t have the over-sugared syrupy quality that makes many Port-style wines less than pleasant. The smooth, dark fruit flavors paired wonderfully with the refreshing peach dessert.
It was an incredibly fun night, with big smiles and purple teeth all around! Chef Basile's culinary talents were really on display with this menu. He's an incredible chef and you really need to visit this restaurant if you're in San Diego.
We hope Antica Trattoria will continue to host fun events like this in the future!