Those of you interested in fine dining will be delighted to hear that local Italian chef Davide Grigolato has set up a Supper Club in the Parish Rooms in Tavistock, and we’ll be teaming up with him to provide advice and suggestions for wines to accompany his authentic dishes.
There are three events in the July calendar, and although all are sold out already (having been advertised on Facebook) I have no doubt there will be more to follow!
Choosing the perfect wine will complete the overall experience, and this post is to give you an idea of what’s involved. The wine suggestions below are to accompany his first menu, which is seafood based with a Sicilian theme.
The pleasure of pairing food and wine well is that each will enhance the other, further increasing your enjoyment of both. One key thing is to remember, is that this is about pleasure, so if you really want to drink a bottle of your favourite wine - even if it doesn't fit in with what us wine buffs are saying - go for it anyway! And if you want to talk in depth, call in and see us (last unit on the right behind Tesco) - talking about wine is what we do (well, when we're not drinking it!).
Some will be looking for one wine to suit the whole meal, others will be looking for one for the starters and another for the main course (notice that you have the option of having a second main course if you can’t decide which to go for - the great news is that they are both utterly delicious!). Heck, some of you may be overcome by the occasion and bring a dessert wine as well!
Anyway, enough chit chat - let’s look at the starters first.
Scallops are quite delicate in flavour, whilst salmon tartare is a little stronger. Davide has balanced the flavours by serving these classic seafoods with nduja in the case of the scallops, and zingy spices with the salmon. That's several delicate but distinct flavours, so there are a number of options - but you need a decision! I’m going to recommend you go with a good quality sparkling wine...
Sparkling wine is a classic pairing with seafood, and I’d recommend you choose something made in the same way as Champagne. Champagne would work of course, but this is about the style more than the name on the bottle. Wine made using the Traditional Method (I can’t say 'Champagne Method' unless it’s made in Champagne or I will cause an international incident) is fermented twice, resulting in a little more body, a substantial stream of very fine bubbles and a much more persistent mousse than single fermented sparklers. This means a more substantial mouthful of wine that will refresh your mouth after all those delicious flavours. Our house Champagne (Baron de Beaupre £24.25) would do the job very well, but there are other options. Sunnycliff Estate (£11.25) is from South East Australia and is made using the same grapes and methods as Champagne. Its flavours are subtly different because the growing environment is a little different - though not as much as you might think, as this part of Australia is quite cool and well-suited to growing wine. If it’s a really special occasion and you’re in the mood to splash out we are pleased to be able to offer a variety of really top quality champagnes at all price tiers - including those that will make you gulp before you even open the bottle!
Sparkling wine is also my first suggestion for something to drink for the whole meal (as if you needed an excuse!) - after all seafood is the primary component of all the courses. Rather than go into enormous detail with lots of different wines, I'm going to outline the qualities of some other wines you might like to consider below and you can have a think! Just to spur you on, we'll offer you 15% off any wine you order from us and we'll deliver it to the venue for you, and the same 15% off any further orders you place in the week following (any wines, not just the ones we recommend) if you order online and use the code 'Seafood'. But enough of the sales pitch, here are some further recommendations!
For those of you intent on staying Italian (Bravo!) there are some terrific options:
- Organic Rina Russo Frappato, Santa Tresa £11.25. Whilst the tradition of 'white wine with fish' is actually pretty sensible (most fish is delicate and would be overwhelmed by many red wines) red wine lovers needn't feel left out. Frappato is a very light red that Sicilians drink with more substantial fish such as tuna or Monkfish - the herbs spices and flavours in tonight's dinner mean this will work nicely. It's fresh, appealing and should be served lightly chilled. The first aroma I always detect is that of wild strawberries (the little ones that grow in English gardens amongst other plants) though I always feel slightly cheated that a wine all the way from Sicily smells like my garden!
- Miopasso Grillo Appassimento £9.50. Grillo is a traditional seafood wine, but here it has a twist! The growers have dried a proportion of the grapes to create intense, dried fruit flavours, before blending this portion back in with the rest of the wine. The result is complex - the dry racy Grillo is there, but underlying it are softer, dried fruit and nut nuances - perfect foils to the garlic and other underlying flavours in the food.
- Il Follo Prosecco Spumante, Valdobbiadene £13.50. I know, I know. I said to go for a double fermented sparkler and Prosecco isn't. What it is, however, is a chance to correct your thoughts about Prosecco. It's not all cheap and cheerful and this delicious peach and apple example is all the evidence you'll need. If you've never had a top quality Prosecco, it's time you did - the great news is that the rose is equally good, incorporating refreshing red fruit notes.
Finally, and at risk of alienating Davide, I'm going to suggest some other great examples from other parts of the world!
Pouilly Fuisse, Vieilles Vignes, Domaine Gonon, Burgundy, France £19.75
Wonderfully complex, subtle and inviting. This is Chardonnay at its best, displaying ripe melon and tropical fruits, yet with a delicate biscuity finish from carefully applied oak ageing. Supple and creamy in the mouth, you will want to enjoy this on its own as well as with your food.
Villa Wolf Pinot Noir Rose.£11.75, Pinot Noir is light in body and drinks well lightly chilled, rather like Frappato, so this rose is a winner all round. It's German and grown right at the edge of where the grapes will ripen. The result is really fresh with bright flavours and a delicious acidity to cope with the oils in the fish and dressings - the colour is even Salmon Pink!
As I have mentioned there are plenty of other options, and we'd love to see you at the shop where we can talk you through them. We are open normal business hours, and someone will always be pleased to talk with you and help you understand our range of wines. Enjoy your dinner - you are in for a treat!
If you haven’t been lucky enough to get tickets this time around keep an eye on Facebbook and follow ‘Italian Jack’ and ‘SWBottleshop’.