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Seen & savoured: Italia uncorked

epicure 10 November 2010
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Fine wines and hearty offerings combined to give guests a memorable evening at epicure’s and Top Wines’ An Italian Affair dinner.

A mathematics teacher, an aesthetic surgeon, and a bar owner. Guests at An Italian Affair—an event organised by epicure and Top Wines, and held at Gattopardo restaurant on 26 August—came from all walks of life. The event was sold out, attracting more than 50 foodies keen to experience a four-course dinner matched with highly-rated vintages from Italian wineries.

The wines represent a tour around some of the wine-producing regions of Italy. The dinner opened with an aperitif—an Elena Walch Gewürztraminer Kastelaz 2008 from Alto Adige. Another white, the Tedeschi Capitel Tenda Soave Classico 2008 from Valpolicella, was paired with a Yellow Pumpkin Flan with Gorgonzola and Walnut Cream.

Moving on, there was a Cantina Zaccagnini Tralcetto Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2008 from Abruzzo, accompanying a Homemade Squid Ink Pasta with Tuna Bottarga and Zucchini—a pairing which Flora Loh, managing director of Top Wines, said was her favourite. “We have done this matching a few times, and we found it to be a good complement each time,” she adds. “The Tralcetto Montepulciano d’Abruzzo is elegant with a balanced body, which does not overpower the squid ink pasta.”

A Pianirossi 2006 from Tuscany and Tedeschi Capitel San Rocco Valpolicella Superiore Ripasso 2007 from Valpolicella were the other reds that followed. Capping off the meal was a Cantina Marabino Moscato Della Torre 2008 from Val di Noto in Sicily, to temper a sweet Rum Baba Sponge Cake with Fresh Cinnamon Cream.

There wasn’t any rush from the kitchen, as chef Lino Sauro ensured that the dinner was well paced, allowing the guests to unwind and exchange hearty conversations: overheard were exchanges about the latest gourmet hotspots in town and revelations of travel plans. One of the liveliest tables belonged to Young Yi, a banker in his 40s, who attended the event with five friends.  He enjoyed the dinner, and highlighted that the Tedeschi Capitel Tenda Soave Classico 2008 with the Pumpkin Flan was his favourite pairing. “The fruity, citrusy flavour of the wine complemented the richness of the pumpkin,” he says. But he felt the reds would have benefitted from decanting, to allow them “to breathe a little”. The Soave Classico also found another fan in Kitty Downer, 36, a yoga teacher, who liked its easy-to-drink, balanced flavours.

Freddie Tan, 60, a bank executive, revealed that he particularly loved the dessert wine of Cantina Marabino Moscato Della Torre 2008. “It has this sweet, pear-like accent that goes well with the rum baba,” he remarks. “The prices of the wines are affordable, too. Maybe I’ll get a bottle myself.”

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