I’ve always loved wine but it’s only since I started my blog that I have started to take it seriously. I am also undertaking my WSET wine course to help me really understand the complexities of wine and how to make better, more informed choices.
So when I get an opportunity like this one to attend a food and wine pairing dinner, I jump at the chance, especially when it’s with one of Italy’s most important wine producers, Zonin Wines.
Edinburgh was the first city in the world to host one of the Zonin’s Wine Hotels, The Wine House 1821, with only another two wine hotels namely in Moscow and San Paulo. Zonin1821 have 9 wine estates in Italy situated in 7 of Italy’s finest wine regions.
The evening was hosted by Michele Zonin sampling 5 of their finest wines as well as their own gin.
We started off the evening with a Zonin Imperiale Gin & Fever Tree Tonic in the cocktail bar in the basement. It’s a fantastic space to escape the hustle and bustle of Edinburgh but on this night it was buzzing with wine enthusiasts.
First Course – Cold smoked sea trout with fennel salad and pomegranate seeds. I’m not a fan of trout but these smoked slices were very delicate and when accompanied with the fennel or a pomegranate seed, the heavy fish taste I associate with trout was transformed. The trout was silky smooth, the pomegranate and fennel providing the bursts of sweetness and the bread stick the crunch. A well thought out dish.
Wine – Ca’ Bolani Sauvignon Blanc DOC 2016. Ca’ Bolani is the Zonin Estate that lies in the countryside near Aquileia. Made from the Sauvignon Blanc grapes which are the most widely planted wine grapes in the world. These grapes are grown in Northern Italy, so a warmer climate, more sunshine and warmth allowing the grapes to ripen and become sweeter, and higher in alcohol.
Sauvignon Blanc tastes range from lime, green apple, passion fruit and white peach. This wine you’ll pick up passion fruit for sure and maybe some apple. It’s a very light bodied wine and a perfect match for seafood.
Second Course – Slow cooked wild boar ragu, finished with chestnuts and juniper berries. The plates of food just got better and better. The ragu was deep and rich, the umami was strong in this one.
Wine – Castello di Albola Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2013. This wine comes from Radda in Chianti, Siena and made with Sangiovese and Canaiolo Nero grapes. Sangiovese are the most famous of Italian grapes, and due to their complex flavours they are perfectly suited for Chianti.
It’s a gorgeous garnet colour, and with it being made from the Sangiovese grape, the aromas are of strawberries, berries and floral whilst on the palate its raspberries and cherries and possibly roasted tomatoes.
I loved the pairing with the rich ragu. It pairs well with rich red roasted meats and lamb.
Third Course – Braised shin of beef in a rich red wine and dark chocolate sauce,
potato flan, leeks and sage. This was the dish that I think most of us wished we could eat again. The beef was sensational! Tender, juicy, fell apart and the dark chocolate sauce really enhanced the deep beef flavours. Give me more!
The dish was so big and bold that it was paired with two stunning wines.
Wine – Feudo Principi di Butera “Deliella” Nero d’Avola DOC 2012. This wine comes from Riesi in Sicily, and made from the Nero d’Avola grape which is one of the most important red wine grapes in Sicily and one of Italy’s most indigenous.
It’s bright ruby red, with plum, spices and cherries on the nose and its dry on the palate with tastes of earthy mushrooms picking up the herbs and leeks in the food and really complimenting the beef.
Wine – Famiglia Zonin Amarone DOCG 2013. Amarone Valpolicella is one of my all time favourite red wines and this one was no exception. Grown in Valpolicella, Veneto, using the Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara grapes.
A deep red colour, this wine is full bodied but smooth and velvety. You’ll smell berries, and chocolate and taste leather, cloves and sweet spices. Wonderful!
Fourth Course – Passion fruit and mango cheese cake. Sweet and tangy, and just what was needed after two very meaty rich courses. The cheese cake was light and creamy with more mango than passion fruit flavours coming through.
Wine – Castello del Poggio Moscato D’asti DOCG 2016. Grown in Asti, Piedmont from the Moscato Bianco grapes, this wine is semi-sweet although quite aromatic.
You’ll smell oranges and peaches and taste pear and apple. A really good match with the dessert although I do tend to lean towards a sweeter dessert wine.
What a fantastic evening. Zonin Wines and The Wine House 1821 will be hosting a few of these Wine Dinners and Wine Tasting Evenings over the next couple of months, so do keep an eye on their social media for updates.
They are well worth the money – the food is outstanding, the wines superbly paired, the venue stunning and you are guaranteed to be seated next to a wine enthusiast!
The Wine House 1821, 4 Picardy Place, Edinburgh EH1 3JT. Tel : 0131 557 1821 www.winehouse1821.co.uk
I was invited by The Wine House 1821 to this event. Food and drink were complimentary but the views are very much my own.