We started with crostini topped with prosciutto, fig mostarda and a drizzle of a special, aged balsamic vinegar. The mostarda is something we picked up in Rome. It has a jam like consistency and goes great with cold cuts or cheese. It is sweet from the figs and slightly hot from mustard.
With the first two courses we drank the Lacryma Christ del Vesuvio Bianco 2015 from CantinMatrone made from 80% Caprettone and 15% Falanghina and 5% Greco. The Caprettone is distributed over three vineyards located at 30, 120 and 200 meters. Falanghina and Greco are at 30 meters. The Falanghina and Greco are fermented together with a pressing and fermentation without the pomace. The Caprettone is vinified alone with a 24-hour maceration period with the pomace. Then a soft pressing and fermentation takes place without temperature control. This helps to obtain a wine with slightly more intense color and a bouquet of aromas that are more related to the varietal and less to the fruity or floral notes due to fermentation. The wine has hints of citrus, almond and a touch of sage with good acidity.
When we were buying the clams I noticed some large fresh soft shell crabs, another one of my favorites. Michele said that she would fry them in a tempura batter. They turned out plump, juicy and crisp.
With the soft shell crab we drank Fiano di Avellino DOCG 2012 Donnachiara 100% Fiano. The soil is chalky clay and the training system is Guyot. There are 4,400 vines per hectare and the 4 hectare vineyard is located at 600 meters. Harvesting takes place during the second week of October. . The aging potential of the wine is 15/20 years. This is a wine with good structure and body. There were floral notes, aromas and flavors of citrus fruits, good acidity and a hint of smoke.
I finished the lunch with a glass of Grappa Riserva from Distilleria Mazzetti in Piemonte. It is aged for 5 years in barrels made from 6 different woods: oak, chestnut, ash, cherry, mulberry and juniper. I bought this grappa from the distilleria and opened it for my birthday!