Wine tastings are about as exciting to me now as the ice cream truck was to me as a child. Some of my favorite wine tasting events are held at Houston’s Italian Cultural & Community Center (ICCC) in the museum district. The ICCC promotes Italian culture and tourism, including language classes and Italian eno-gastronomic events. My husband and I are members and enjoy attending events at ICCC. On two such occasions, we attended their Come Wine with Us Italian wine tastings. Six wines paired with six paired bites…what’s NOT to love about this?
In September, we attended the Tommasi Family Estates wine tasting with Borgo Food Station bites. Pierangelo Tommasi came all the way from Veneto, Italy (yes, the region that produces Prosecco) to present the wines. Loved it – the presentation, the wines, and the expertly paired bites. Below are the pairings (and apologies for the cell phone quality photos, I felt like a huge Nikon would’ve been distracting to the other guests).
Prosecco Filodora was paired with housemade marinated wild salmon canape (not pictured). Prosecco is always a good idea with hors d’oeuvres.
Le Rosse Pinot Grigio was paired with supplie di riso (risotto croquettes). Crisp and delightful.
Rafael Valpolicello Classico Superiore was paired with chicken brochetter wrapped in pancetta garnished with a slice of aged goat cheese. This was a savory heaven!
Poggio al Tufo Rompicollo was paired with housemade tortello stuffed with slow cooked beef. If food and wine were a drug, this pairing would be it.
Arele was paired with penne rigate with a creamy spinach and gorgonzola sauce. I died. Spinach shouldn’t taste this good but it did!
And finally a healthy pour of Amarone Classico paired with strozzapreti, lamb and porcini mushroom ragout. At this point, the “bites” had become a full meal. Perfecto!
What’s a few more calories, anyway? We had small bites of dessert to complete the meal and wine pairing. Everything was just lovely. Stuffed, but lovely.
In November, we attended the Stefano Farina wine tasting and Greenhouse Catering bites. Knowing what we were in for, we came hungry, and were not disappointed at the amount and quality of the wine and food. Below are the pairings.
Silenzio Barbera d’Alba was paired with roasted leeks and fennel, anchovies, garlic, and extra virgin olive oil. Light but savory, and so delicious.
Gavi was paired with red Russian kale, margold tomatoes, and roasted hazelnuts. I happily gobbled up mine and my husbands kale. Great pairing with the Gavi, which reminded me of a sauvignon blanc.
La Brume Langhe Rosso was paired with rosemary pork tenderloin and polenta. Wonderful!
Barolo was paired with Agnolotti pasta stuffed with ground beef and sage. There’s something magical about meat and pasta (expertly paired with red wine). I was back in heaven again.
Dolcetto di Diano d’Alba was paired with risotto with broccoli and toma cheese from Piedmonte. I normally eat dairy free, but this was a cheat well worth it!
And finally, dessert was Moscato d’Asti paired with egg custard with fresh tarragon and biscotti. I died. Again, I died.
The Italian Cultural & Community Center hosts these wine pairing events about every other month. If you see me at a future event, come say “ciao!”