Today is Wine Night Wednesday at our favorite Detroit restaurant, Angelina Italian Bistro. We will not be attending tonight, womp womp, but it's on for next time, which is on the 25th. Anyone interested in going to future dates, let me know!
I thought this would be a good time for me to summarize what we have learned at these wonderful wine nights, put on by Angelina's own winegal.
The first series was all about the Ports. We learned that a true Port can only come from Portugal. Other port-type wines that are produced in other regions of the world are not true Ports, but are similarly fortified. We also learned that there is nothing like an aged Port. Apparently aged Port is a true luxury. I need to buy a couple of bottles now, and in 15 years, be in for a real treat.
The Ports we tried were Terra d'Oro Zinfandel Port, which comes from California, so we automatically know it's not a true Port! See how easy that is? And Warre's Otima 10 year Tawny Porto, which is a true Port.
If I recall correctly, we both preferred the true Port. It was paired with delicious chocolate truffles prepared by Angelina's extremely talented pastry chef, Raed.
We also got a special sample of some type of grapefruit wine. I never knew grapefruit wine existed, so that was pretty cool. It tasted like grapefruit. (Duh). It peaked my curiosity and I'd like to try it again sometime.
At the second wine night series, we had a tasting of Chardonnay. We tried Aquinas Chardonnay 2009, Peirano Estate Chardonnay 2007 and Les Charmes Macon-Lugny 2008 Chardonnay.
We learned that French wines smell funky! The Les Charmes had a really strong smell, which wasn't all that pleasant. But surprisingly it tasted pretty good. It was Alessandro's favorite. I liked the Peirano Estate. We also learned that pairing the Chardonnays with different types of food really changed the flavor and the bite of the wine quite a bit.
With our Chardonnay, we had a bread, olive, cheese and arugula plate, parmesan risotto topped with sauteed swordfish and diver scallop, and grilled shrimp over a citrus salad, and for dessert, Raed's special flan.
And before we leave the topic of Chardonnays, all the wine lovers out there should see the move, Bottle Shock. Put it on the Netflix!
Next, we had a Malbec tasting. We had Condors Summit 2009, Gascon 2009 and 2007 Trivento Malbec Reserve. They range in price in that order with the latter being the most expensive. We learned that Malbec is a type of grape. (If that was common knowledge, I didn't know it). We also learned that with Malbecs, unlike with other types of wine, price does seem to matter. So this might be one type of wine where you would go for the $10 bottle instead of the $5.
For food, we had cheese (specifically, Campo de Montelban, Montasio and Irish Blue Cashel) and Royale Mousse Pate (which is geese!), finished with balsamic reduction and a red pepper and onion chutney. We were at this tasting with a couple friend of ours, and we women could only stomach the pate if it was coupled with the chutney; otherwise, it was kind of funky.
We also had tenderloin served atop a balsamic potato cake finished with Malbec reduction and fried leeks. That piece of meat was seriously delicious!
For dessert, we had sweet potato pie, a cream puff stuffed with chocolate cayenne ice cream (yum!) and Michigan dried cherry and almond brittle.
We all were extremely satisfied after that tasting! And to top it off, our friends bought us a bottle of the Reserve Malbec as a "thank you" for introducing them to Angelina Wine Nights! How nice is that?!
Finally, our latest tasting was Rieslings. We had Angoves Clare Valley Riesling 2006, Marcus Moliter 2006 Riesling, Whole Cluster - Chateau Grand Traverse 2009 and Nachtgold Eiswein....that's right ICE WINE! We were super excited about that. What a treat! For those who do not know, ice wine is a special type of dessert wine that is made from grapes that are frozen while on the vine. This does something technical (and too advanced for me to remember) to the grape, resulting in a sweeter wine.
We learned that Rieslings are a good wine to pair with all sorts of food, especially as a preamble.
We enjoyed our Rieslings with a bib salad with blue cheese and avocados, veal marsala and spinach raviolli, and for dessert, a berry tart, some interesting cheeses and a candied pecan.
The next wine series that Angelina is going to put on will be tastings based on regions. Visit their website to see the dates; I hope to see some of you there!
Oh yeah, did I mention the tastings are only $20! Seriously cannot be beat.