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Norabella Wine Dinner = Big Hit!

Thanks to Jeff at Norabella’s and Dominic from Bertani Wines and Sterling from Ruby Wines, our distributor and coordinator for the wine dinner. At $65 a head, I firmly maintain this is the best gourmet dining on the Cape made better by the price.

The food and wine were outstanding and paired very nicely. Dominic, in addition to talking us through wines from the northeast of Italy, brought an extra treat: A 31 year old bottle of Bertani Amarone for us all to taste and it was delicious! But I’m getting ahead of myself…

We started with a fun white wines fun blend of Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc, called Due Uve (Two Grapes). Very pleasant and fun wine to go with our first course of Ribolita, a comfort food soup of beans, pancetta and potatoes served with homemade croutons. The wine had good structure and a bit of a honeyed flavor to it – perfect for an aperitif! The Due Uve White retails for $18.99.

The second course was two jumbo shrimp, generously stuffed with crabmeat and served with the Velante Pinot Grigio. This is a serious food wine, excellent minerality and a great buy at $14.99 per bottle.

The third course consisted of sausage pepper and spinach risotto croquettes served with Bertani’s Due Uve Rosso, a blend of Pinot Noir and Corvino. Bertani, with their Due Uve blends is hoping to appeal to the American palate with something a bit brighter and fruitier than your basic Italian wine. An excellent effort and $18.99 per bottle.

The fourth course brought us right into the heart of fine cuisine. The Roasted Veal with spiced cabbage, fresh horseradish and smokey bacon was accompanied by the Bertani Amarone Villa Arvedi. At $59.99 per bottle, you expect something exceptional and this wine was definitely a fine example of Amarone. But it gets better…

Dominic brought along a 1980 vintage Amarone to share with all of us. What a pleasant surprise! The nose on this wine let you know you were about to taste something very special — and it was excellent. Elegance and complexity are the trademarks of an older, fine wine which has stood the test of time. Not sure what the price of this one is or if it’s even available but it was phenomenal.

Finally, desert brought us right back to Cape Cod in November: A delicate Pumpkin Bread Pudding paired with Bertani’s Recioto della Valpolicella. The Recioto is a sweet red. Dessert wine in the spirit of a Sauterne. A 500 mL bottle retails for $14.99 and it’s worth every penny.

Which leads me to a final note: Why don’t we dress up our dining with dessert wines? It’s such a nice way to finish a meal. Maybe worth your consideration as we come into the holiday season.

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