Here’s a party format built around the theme of wines served at a wine tasting that featured wines from Sicily.
We bought the wines featured at the wine tasting – and invited some friends to bring a dish to pair with one of the wines.
Sicily is Italy’s hottest and driest region. It is almost as far south as Tunisia. They have intense heat — don’t get rain after February … and have lots of wind … and cooling sea breezes.
Wonder how these extreme weather conditions affect the taste of the wine?
Sicilian white wine — make from the Cataratto grape (grown exclusively in Sciliy) is characterized as full bodied with spice.
Scilian red wine — based on the Nero d’Avola grape is used extensively in blends (such as Cabernet, Merlot and Syrah).
Wine 1 — We started with a Prosecco — Italian Sparking White Wine – and some appetizers — to welcome everyone.
Wine 2 — 2009 Rina Ianca — Grape: Grillo, Viognier Blend $17US — was paired with an eggplant dish.
Wine 3 — 2009 Purato Nero — Grape: Nero d’Avola $12US — was paired with a spinach quiche. Nero is the popular Sicilian grape.
Wine 4 — 2008 Cerasuolo di Vittoria — Grape: Nero d’Avola/Frappato $17US was paired with a sausage ragu over pasta. This is Nero blended with Frappato.
Wine 5 — 2009 Nivuro — Grape: Nero D’Avola/Cabernet $20US was paired with a Chicken Marsala. This is Nero paired with Cabernet Sauvignon.
We announced each wine separately, and let the chef of the paired dish describe his/her creation. Then we tasted the wine and food together. (Note: Don’t serve all the wine and food at one time — rather take the time to taste each one wine with its paired dish separately.)
The progression of the wines was very interesting — because you can really focus on the taste of each wine as you progressed through the sequence. (By using the sequence of wines from the wine tasting, we are drawing from the expertise of the winemaker who put the tasting together.)
Dessert was a wonderful cheesecake …
This party format really works. People are happy to bring their own favorite dishes and get compliments; as the host, you provide the wines and organize the flow of wines and food pairings; and, everyone enjoys themselves.
With just a little organization, you can have wine party where you explore wines of different regions. So don’t just stick with your favorites or “same old” choices — try some new wines!