Category Archives: Regaleali

Dinner by the Fireplace

Friends that live a few blocks away invited us over for dinner. They had talked about having at least part of our meal in their garden, but an outdoor heater they had ordered had not arrived.  The temperature was in the 40’s and so the plans were changed.

IMG_3740It was a chilly night so I was very happy to have dinner by the fireplace.

IMG_3733We started with a rabbit pate and cornichons from a local cheese shop.

IMG_3732There were also fresh figs wrapped in prosciutto.


We drank Veuve Clicquot Brut NV made from 56% Pinot Noir, 16% Pinot Meunier and 28% Chardonnay. This is an easy drinking Champagne, toasty with black fruit aromas and flavors.

IMG_3742For the main course there were slow cooked lamb shanks with white beans and gremolata, a recipe from Michele’s book, The Italian Slow Cooker.  Served with sauteed broccoli.

IMG_3743Rosso del Conte 1981 Tasca d’ Almerita Nero d’Avola 90% and 10% Perricone.  Production area Palermo, Sicily. The soil is fine clay slightly calcareous. It is at 650 meters with a south-west exposure. The training system is bush and espalier, with short spur pruning. There are 4,000 vines per hectare and the harvest is in October. Traditional red wine fermentation in stainless steel and maceration for 25 days. The wine is aged  in large chestnut casks and then 6 months in bottle before release. This is a very impressive wine with hints of cherries dried red fruit. herbs and a touch spice and tobacco.

25 years ago, Michele interviewed the late Marchesa Anna Tasca Lanza, whose family owns Regaleali, for an article in a wine magazine about Anna’s cooking school.  At that time, we visited the winery along with this evening’s hosts.  They had saved the Rosso del Conte so that we could have it together and drinking it  brought back many fond memories.


After the lamb, we had a salad of crisp greens with pears and walnuts.

IMG_3752And a cheese selection, including a perfect Vacherin

IMG_3751A goat cheese, and a blue.

IMG_3745Chateauneuf du Pape “Vignobles de la Lerriere” 2006 Beauchene made from 65% Grenache, 30% Syrah and 5% Mourvedre. The terroir is a mix of galets and sandy soil. The wine is aged for 12 months in used French oak barriques. This is a medium bodied soft round wine with ripe red fruit flavors hints of raspberries and red cherries and a touch of spice. The wine has a nice aftertaste and a long finish. It was a pleasure to drink

IMG_3753Dessert wasn’t really necessary, but Michele had brought some freshly made Biscotti Regina, Sicilian sesame cookies, so that we could finish the meal on a sweet note.

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Filed under Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Regaleali, Rosso Del Conte, Uncategorized, Veuve Clicquot

Celebrating the Year of the Horse



Every year, we get together with friends and celebrate Chinese New Year.  Since this is the year of the horse, we decided on a theme — wine vintages from past years of the horse. I was told that I was born in the year of the water horse but I could not find a wine from that year.

Jelly Fish and Cold Cuts

Jelly Fish and Cold Cuts

We chose the Oriental Gardens Restaurant in Manhattan’s Chinatown for the dinner. The service was excellent and so was the food. Our waiter was the best that I have ever had in a Chinese restaurant and could have qualified as a sommelier at a top restaurant.

The Wines

2002 Year of the Water Horses


Chablis Domaine Billaud- Simone Cru “Les Preuses” 2002  100% Chardonnay. The exposure is south; southeast and the vines are 65 years old. Harvesting is by hand. Vinification is in stainless steel. Aging is for 8 to 10 years depending on the vintage. This is an elegant complex wine, with aromas of honey, toast and lemon with good minerality, a long finish and a very pleasing aftertaste. It was a great way to start the celebration.

1990 Year of the Metal Horse


Regaleali Rosso Sicilia IGT 1990 made from 100% Nero d’Avola. Fermentation is in stainless steel for an average of 10 days. The wine is aged in stainless steel 50% and 50% in oak casks of 30HL and 60HL for 6 months. This was a real surprise. The wine was 24 years old and is the type of wine that one would think is to be drunk young. It was in vey good condition with no signs of oxidation and enough fruit to make it very enjoyable.

1966   Year of the Fire Horse


Chateau Montrose 1966 – Cabernet Sauvignon 65%, Merlot 30% and Cabernet Franc 5%.  Back then, the average age of the vines was 29 years. The wine was aged for 22 to 24 months in barrel. Robert Parker in his book Bordeaux (1985) writes that the anticipated maturity of the wine is between 1986 and 2010. The wine is classic St-Estephe and was drinking like a younger wine.


Chianti Classico Fattoria Di Santa Christina 1966 Fattoria dei Marchesi Lodovico and Piero Antinori. I am not surprised anymore when I drink older Chianti Classico. This wine was made with white grapes, Trebbiano and Malvasia, and they most likely used the governo method (drying 10% of the grapes).   This was the wine of the evening for me.

1978 Year of the Earth Horse

Barolo “Vigneto Rocchette” 1978 Giovanni Accomasso & Figli. I do not believe that I have had any wine from this producer. The location of the winery is La Morra but as far as I know it is not imported into the USA.


 Barbaresco Bricco Asili 1978 100% Nebbiolo Ceretto.  We had this wine at another New Year celebration a few days later and it was showing so well I just had to include it.


Barolo 1978 Cogno- Marcarini  100% Nebbiolo–  This wine was made when Elvio Cogno was the winemaker. Cogno produced some of the best classic traditional wines that it has been my pleasure to drink. This one was no exception and it was the wine of the evening for a number of people. 1978 was a very good vintage for Barolo. Wasserman gave Cogno’s Barolo 4 stars, his highest rating.


Filed under Antinori, Barbaresco, Barolo, Bordeaux, Chablis, Chianti Classico, Italian Red Wine, Italian Wine, Regaleali, Uncategorized