An evening to remember… Bin 36 Owner, Enoch Shully, Brian Duncan, Founder at Down To Earth Wine Concepts LLC, and the Direttore Commerciale of Priduttori Vini Manduria- Giovanni, created an outstanding wine paired dinner that highlighted the wines from Puglia, Italy with the artistry of Chef Shane! The results were magical.
**I love Wine Folly’s wine region maps. The bottom right, green corner is Puglia…known for its wines made from the grapes Negroamaro, Primitivo, Malvasia Nera, Uva di Troia, and Chardonnay. Our 4 course meal featured several of these varietals…all were perfectly paired with tantalizing dishes. Check out the menu below.
Brian Duncan greeted us with a glass of 2014 Malvasia/Chardonnay/Verdeca, Alceo Salento Bianco. We sipped this refreshing white with some antipasti – lovely charcuterie and cheeses before being seated for our first course. Grilled calamari with cherry tomatoes, Calabrian chili, lemon, and fresh herbs…zesty, a hint of spice,and quite light. The Salento Bianco was carried through to this course, and it brought out the flavors beautifully.
Our second course featured red and green kale, smoked onions- everyone at my table’s favorite component- sweet 100 tomatoes with a poppy vinaigrette. The smokiness of the onions made this dish! I reveled in the 2015 Negroamaro Alceo Salento Rosato!! Being a huge rosé wine lover, this was perfect. The Rosato attains a brilliant, almost coppery orange hue, even though the maceration period is only about 5-7 hrs, then the skins are separated quickly from the must. I was in heaven!
Next on the menu was cider braised lamb neck with Geechie Bay grits, wild mushrooms, and “first of fall” apples. I am a lamb lover and have never thought to pair it with apples… but it worked. We sipped on the 2013 Alceo Primitivo Di Manduria and the 2014 Alceo Salento Negroamaro. Both delicious, both extremely smooth, both hearty enough to stand up to the mushrooms and lamb… I can see why these are the top reds from Puglia.
Finally, dessert-ahhhh! A scrumptious chocolate Pave- flourless, chocolate cake, fudgsicle, caramelized cherry, cocoa nib soil…a chocolate lover’s Nirvana! The powerhouse, full bodied wines we delighted in made the end of the meal We indulged in the 2014 Neama Salento Negroamaro and the 2013 Lirica Primitivo Di Manduria…similar wines as our third course, but they are considered the “higher end” wines, more elevated, the “cream of the crop” so to speak! That they were indeed.
Listening to Giovanni describe all of these wines made me wish I could hop on a plane to Puglia and meander through the vineyards, soaking in the sights, smells, and of course, tastes. Next time you are wanting to break away from your “go to” wines, try a few of these varietals from Puglia. Cheers!