Category Archives: SD 26

Wine and White Truffles at SD26 in NYC

This is the holiday season but it is also the season for white truffles. As the weather turns colder one can dream of Barbera, Barbaresco, Barolo and il tartufo bianco of Alba on pasta, risotto and eggs. Sometimes the dream becomes a reality.  On Tuesday afternoon, a friend called and asked if I was free Thursday night.  When I said yes,  he invited me to join him and two friends for the white truffle gala dinner at SD26 in NYC.  Of course I accepted!

Beni di Batasiolo, a wine producer from Piedmont whose wines I know and like would supply the wines.  It promised to be a very memorable evening.

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Tony May Presenting Our Truffle

The main dining room was filled to capacity.  Tony May and his daughter Marisa May, the restaurant owners, graciously welcomed the guests.

The hors d’oeuvres were served at the table and included robiola cheese and mushrooms on toast, crostini with cured lard and anchovy (a favorite), and tartra Piemontese with crispy sage and paddlefish caviar on olive oil potato purèeIMG_4361

The wine was the Gavi del Comune di Gavi “Granee” DOCG 2012 100% Cortese. The vineyards are at 100/200 meters and there are 3,500 vines per hectare. They use the Guyot system modified into small arches. There is soft pressing with static decanting, and the alcoholic fermentation is under strict temperature control. The wine is bottled after malolactic fermentation. The wine has aromas of white flowers with hints of white peaches, citrus and good acidity which made it go very well with all the hors d’oeuvres.

Our Truffle

Our Truffle

Each table of diners received a very large white truffle placed on the table with a truffle cutter. The truffle was ours to grate on the next three courses.  Tony May spoke about the truffles and showed us how to grate it.  Every one covered their dishes with the truffle, but it was so big that there was some left over and each of us took some home. Michele made pasta with the truffle the next evening.

Beef Crudo

Beef Crudo

The first course was Fassone beef crudo with fresh porcini and olio extra virgine novello served with the Dolcetto d’Alba 2011 “Bricco di Vergne,” 100% Dolcetto. The vineyard is located between the towns of La Morra and Barolo, on very steep slopes facing southwest at 480 meters. The soil has layers of sand and sandstone, which lightens the structure of the mainly marly soil. Grapes are harvested by hand around the last week in September. Traditional red wine fermentation takes place with maceration on the skins between 8 to 10 days. This is an elegant, well balanced fruity wine with a lot of red fruit and a hint of cherries that worked very well with this dish.

Truffles and an Egg

Truffles and an Egg

The menu said Sunchokes and Potato Gratin with young Fontina and chives, but what arrived was toast with melted Fontina topped with a poached egg.  The warmth of the egg brought out the aroma of the truffles we shaved on top.  It was wonderful–I just love truffles and eggs.

 We had this with the Barbera D’Alba “Sovrana” 2011, 100% Barbera. The vineyards are in Barolo and La Morra at 400/450 meters, facing south and southwest in the area that is usually reserved for Nebbiolo.IMG_4363

It is calcareous soil rich in potassium and the vines are 55 years old. The excellent position and the age of the vines along with the soil makes it a Barbera with unique qualities that can age. The harvest took place on Oct 2nd. Alcoholic fermentation with maceration on the skins is in stainless steel tanks for 10/12 days. In the spring the wine is transferred into oak barrels (second passage) where it matures for 12/15 months. After careful sampling the wine is assembled into the final product. The wine remains in bottle for 8/10 months before release.  This is a Barbera with good structure, tannin, fruit and acidity and it will age.

Tony demonstrating the proper use of the Truffle grater with Marisa May

Tony demonstrating the proper use of the Truffle grater with Marisa May

The next course was the Toma Piemontese filled ravioli del plin, with toasted hazelnuts and sage, a classic  Piemontese dish.  This was a perfect combination with the Barbaresco DOCG 20010 made from 100% Nebbiolo. The area of production is the semi-circle of hills surrounding the three ancient villages of Barbaresco, Nieve and Treiso and part of San Rocco Seno d’Elvio, a tiny village overlooking the Tanaro River. Harvesting takes place from Oct 10 to 20.  Alcoholic fermentation takes place along with long maceration on the skins in stainless steel. The wine is aged for one year in traditional Slavonian oak barrels and one year in bottle. This is a very traditional Barbaresco and it was perfect with this dish.IMG_4364

Last but not least there was pan-seared saddle of venison, barbera wine infused pear, and foie gras. Two Barolo’s were served with this dish.  The Barolo DOCG “Vigneto Boscareto” 2003 made from 100% Nebbiolo in its subvarities: Michet, Lampia and Rosè from the village of Serralunga. The soil is marl composed of limestone and clay, intermingled with sand. The terrain is hilly and the vineyard faces south/southwest at 300 to 400 meters. There are 3,700 vines per hectare and the average age of the vines is 25 years. The training system is classic guyot modified with arch canes. Harvesting of the grapes takes place the last week in October. There is traditional red wine fermentation with maceration on the skins for 10 to 15 days. After fermentation the wine is aged in traditional oak casks for at least two years and one year in bottle before release. 2003 was a very hot vintage but this wine was showing well. There were hints of ripe fruit, plums, spice, figs and tea.IMG_4366

Barolo “ Corda della Briccolina” 1996 100% Nebbiolo from the three sub varieties. The vineyard is facing southwest which in this area it is called a vigneto di mezzogiorno. The soil is calcareous marl rich in limestone and calcium carbonate. Traditional red wine fermentation takes place followed by 15 days of maceration then a decanting process. The wine is aged for at least two years in barriques and one year in bottle before release. 1996 was an excellent vintage for Barolo. This wine has aromas and flavors of red berries with hints of cedar, spice, licorice and a touch of vanilla.IMG_4367

For dessert there was a “Domori” Dark Chocolate Tortino and white truffle gelato. Moscato D’Asti “Bosc D’la Rei” 2012, made from100% Moscato Bianco accompanied the dessert. The grapes are grown in soil that is marly and calcareous and the terrain is hilly. The exposure is northwest, there are 3,500 plants per hectare and the vineyard is at 380 to 410 meters. Average age of the vines is 15 years. The training system is guyot modified into small arches. Harvesting is by hand the last week of September. A soft pressing of the grapes takes place and the juice is cooled to 0°C. and stored in refrigerated vats. Fermentation (partially fermented with abundant residual sugar) begins a month before bottling. It is a very slow process and the alcohol reaches 5.5% by volume. This is an elegant aromatic dessert wine with hints of overripe fruit.

The Executive Chef at SD26 is Matteo Bergamini

The event and dinner exceeded my every expectation!

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Filed under Barbaresco, Barbera, Barolo, Beni di Batasiolo, Dolcetto, Gavi, Italian Red Wine, Italian Restaurants, Italian White Wine, Italian Wine, SD 26, SD26, Tony May, Truffles

Holiday Adventures in NYC

 

Michele and I always look forward to Christmas dinner with Tom Maresca and Diane Darrow. For a number of years, Tom and Diane come to our house Thanksgiving dinner, and they have us over for Christmas. They are excellent and adventurous cooks and Diane often chooses recipes from books she has written about in her blog http://dianescookbooks.wordpress.com

Tom www.ubriaco.wordpress.com has a great wine collection and will try to find the perfect wine match for each course.

 

The first wine was Champagne Pommery Brut NV. Made from 35% Chardonnay 35% Pinot Nor and 30% Pinot Meunier. It was very easy to drink and worked very well with the little pastry shells filled with foie gras, egg salad, prosciutto, caviar etc.

 

The first course was an individual ramekin filled with an egg baked in cream with white truffle paste, which they had brought back from Alba. The wine to match this dish was a Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru 2003 Labouré–Roi. As Tom poured the wine into the glass it had a golden orange color and even without tasting it we could see that it was oxidized.

 

Then we had an Alsatian onion quiche. The main course was  Pintadeau farci Jean Cocteau– stuffed guinea hen from a recipe in Raymond Oliver’s La Cuisine. With it drank Beaune Premier Cru Greves 2005 Moillard and a Chambolle Musigne 2003 from Drouhin followed. They were both showing very well but the Moillard was a bit softer.

 

Next there was a cheese course.  All the cheeses were great but the gorgonzola was really special, we drank a Chateau Brane Cantenac1989, Cabernet Sauvignon Carmeriére. Dessert was a not too sweet cranberry crostata made by Michele.  For those that were still able to drink there was grappa.

 

Monday and Tuesday we stayed home and tried not to eat too much.

 

Wednesday we went to Russ & Daughters to buy caviar and foie gras for New Years Eve. We also went to an Indian restaurant but did not have wine.

 

Thursday we went to SD26, which is becoming one of my favorite Italian restaurants for lunch and had another great meal.  Tony May recommended we have the burrata, which was brought in from Puglia.  It was superb.  Then I had chestnut fettuccine with wild boar salami & dried cranberries, a perfect dish for a winter day.  We drank the 1988 Chianti Rufina from Grato Grati

On Friday we met a friend from Miami and went to Legend, a Chinese restaurant that has very good food and excellent Martinis.  Love the spicy lamb with cumin.

New Years Eve we went to Japonica for Japanese food for lunch.

That night to celebrate the coming New Year we started with the Caviar and had a bottle of Champagne Bruno Paillard N.P.U. Brut 1995.  Made from 50% Chardonnay and 50% Pinot Noir I had mentioned to someone that I had had it at a tasting and liked it and I received it as a gift from him. With the foie gras we drank a dessert wine from Spain- Malaga 2007 N0 2 Victoria It is a naturally sweet wine made from the Muscate Alexandria grape and fermented in stainless steel Joege Ordoéz & CO.   This also was a gift from a friend.

 

On New Years Day we took a long walk and in the middle of Washington Square Park there was a man playing classical piano. It was a beautiful day and we stood and listened for a while.   His name is Colin Huggins and he was very good.

 

For dinner that night we had the rest of the foie gras, steak and potatoes fried in duck fat. The wine we drank was a 1984 Volnay 1er Cru “les Champans” Domaine Joseph Voillot.

This wine was everything that a red Burgundy should be and it was a great way to start off the New Year!

I would like to thank everyone that has followed my blog and Happy New Year to one and all.

 

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Filed under Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Chianti Rufina, French Red, French Wine, Grato Grati, Italian Red Wine, Italian Restaurants, Italian Wine, SD 26, Villa di Vetrice