>Donata Venturini Hosts LAMBRUSCO DINNER at DeL POSTO

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MARIO BATALI slurps SPAGHETTI with Joe Bastianich as Mom Lidia looks on at Del Posto in Chelsea

Leonardo Locasio of Winebow with Marelisa Allegrini (Great AMARONE producer) with Sommelier DANIEL BELLINO ZWICKE at Wine Tasting downtown New York

Butcher at ALBANESE MEAT MARKET(Italian Butcher)

DONATA VENTURINI HOSTED WINE DINNER at DEL POSTO


Monday June 30, 2008. Donata Venturini of the Emilia Romagnan wine estate Baldini Venturini hosted a Lambrusco/ Emilia Romagnan wine dinner at Del Posto in the Meatpacking District of New York last night. The dinner was attended by members of the Wine Press, including Natasha Lardera, Pino Cavallo of Gazettino, Italian Wine Industry people like Leonardo Locasio the founder and proprietor of Winebow, Salvatore Evangelista of Supreme Wines, and Daniel Bellino Zwicke.

The feature of the evening was the wines of Baldini Venturini which were paired along with other wines to a phenomenal 7 course menu created by Del Posto’s Executive Chef Mark Ladner.

The evening started with a cocktail hour of Carpene Malvoltti Prosecco followed by the sit down dinner.

We began the meal with perfect Prosciutto di Parma paired with Venturini’s Malvasia,
Colli di Scandiano e di Canossa 2007. This wine was absolutely extraordinary. Immediately as I brought the wine to my nose I could smell a complex array of aromas led by what smelled like Over-Ripe Pears and Apples. It was phenomenal. In the mouth the wine tasted of a great Sauterne minus the sweetness. This wine is a absolute “Winner,” Unfortunately these wines are not yet available in the U.S. but is sure to be so soon as a few of the Wine Importers present were hot for these wines and practically fighting to see who will be Lucky enough to have them in their Portfolio.

The second course was Aragosta con Salsa Americana (Lobster Salad with Campari Sauce) paired with the Tocai Friuliano,Livio Feluga 2007 which paired nicely with the Lobster. The Tocai exhibited classic Tocai flavors of crisp Apple with hints of Figs and nuts. Very nice from one of Friuli’s top producers Livio Feluga, who in this Wine Guys eyes (nose and mouth) makes the most wonderful Pinot Grigio on the entire market.

Livio Feluga’s Pinot Grigio has a beautiful copper tint in color, with excellent fruit aromas, and wonderful Pear and Kiwi with a tad of savory ness that is absolutely delicious. This wine taste of ripe Pears and Kiwi with a twinge of savory-ness.
Feluga’s Pinot Grigio is perfection when it comes to representing this grape variety to it ultimate peak. I am not one to hardly ever drink Pinot Grigio, but I would never say “No” to the fine wine. It is a joy to drink.
Note: We did not drink Livio Feluga Pinot Grigio at the dinner, but with the mention of the Tocai that we had, I couldn’t pass up the chance to talk about this wonderful wine.

For our “Third Course” Chef Ladner sent us Gargenelli Al Ragu Bognese, which was absolute “Perfection Personified” on a plate. The Bolognese was so wonderful that this guy wish that the portion on the plate was double of what it actually was. Rich and so sublime. It was cruel and a tease to us to eat something so flavorsome, and just have a tiny taste. “Se la Vie.” Lambrusco Rosso, Reggiano, Venturini Baldini 2007 with its invigorating flavors of Sour Cherries and Plum was the perfect foil to the “
Perfect Bolognese.” The wine was refreshing and wonderful and a delight to drink.

Our fourth course, Salsiccia di Foe Gras was quite tasty. The Lambrusco Spumante, Rubino del Cerro, Venturini Baldini 2007 paired with the Foe Gras sausage was an excellent match.

Fifth Course was Beef Tenderloin that melted in the mouth, grass fed from Colorado. Superb, paired with Barolo Damilano.

For desert we were served two courses. The first Dolce was Citus Fantasia (Lime and Grapefruit Gelato) paired with two tasty desert wines; a delisious Marzemino, Colli di Scandiano e di Canossa, Venturini Baldini 2007 and Malvasia, Colli di Scandiano e di Canossa, Venturini Baldini 2007 which was delicate and elegant with lovely Pear and Apple flavors.

We were then served the second desert course of Biscotti Assortiti (Assorted Cookies), paired with 10 Year Tawny Port, Neiport NV.

The dinner, the food, wine, and company were a “Joy.” It was quite a wonderful evening.

Let us point out the fact that in the 1970 their was a “Tons” of awful cheap and cheese Lambrusco dumped on the U.S. which is not real Lambrusco but wine that was created to sell to those with uneducated and unsophisticated palates. There were two or three companies who ahd excellent ad and markdting campaigns geared toward that specific audience. The wine was compared to other awful cheap wines like Boone’s Farm. These people who made these so-called Lambrusco’s did a great job of marketing and selling Millions upon Million’s of bottles of the “Plunk.” They also did a great job of giving real true Lambrusco a Super Big Black Eye and oh-so bad reputation of which was never deserved , just as massed produced Soave and Valpolicella received an undeserved bad naneat the time.

True Lambrusco wonderful to drink. It is a nice refreshing unique alternative to drink now and then as something different. Luckily the Lambrusco Consorzio has done a fine job in recent years to kill this negative outlook of Lambrusco. The producers have done a great job making tasty true and traditional Lambrusco and New Yorkers and other Americans of good-taste and education have been taking to this Lovely wine. “Thank God, Lambrusco is finally getting the good due it deserves,” so has Valpolicella and Soave. These wines are good and pleasant to drink and it is nice to see more Americans discovering and accepting them. Even Loving them. Last year, more Lambrusco was sold then ever in the U.S. Have you tried some yet? Do so.

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