Monday, September 10, 2012

Zonin Creates a Magical Italian Culinary Experience

Italy in a glass of wine - Zonin
Casa Vinicola Zonin paired up with the Ritz Carlton at Miami Dade's Culinary Institute and created an Italian Culinary Experience.  It was a lot of fun, and a lot of great Prosecco and wine.  All courses were not gluten-free - Celiac's were not the intended audience, it was more about the decadent wine pairings and Ritz showing off their chefs capabilities to the audience. 

Check out this layout, Miami-Dade offered their awesome venue, the kitchen was the main stage, and all attendees had our own sinks and a great view. 

The sinks were necessary, check out the menu, with 5 Zonin creations to taste, the wine glass was constantly being rinsed for a new sensation.

We started with Zonin Prosecco. The first course wasn't gluten free friendly, but, the Prosecco was and certainly was worth while.  It was chilled and delicious.

Onto the second course.  A salad with artichoke, burrata and cuttlefish.  I'm not a fish eater, so my guest luckily had 2.  I enjoyed the artichoke and cheese, paired with Fiano - my favorite white white of the day.

I was a huge fan of the Fiano (so much so that I asked for a 2nd Fiano, shh, don't tell)...

Next up, was the pasta, not gluten free friendly, so the wine had to do.  Rosato it was.  I prefer whites, like the Fiano and reds, like the ones to come.  I started being a Moscato/Riesling lover, thankfully my pallet has opened significantly, now, I'll take a Cabernet Sauvignon over a Riesling any day... A few years ago I never would have believed.  Bottom line, Rosato is more of a sweet wine, and if you're starting out and trying to open up your pallet, I'd recommend it.  If you're passed that, then the Fiano or the red's below are for you.

Next up, I switched around the order, assorted cheese for me first.  Made the wine confusing as I switched the pairings around.  I eat dairy before meat, and if I consume meat, I make every effort to wait 3 hours before eating dairy.  I really wanted the cheese, and wanted the meat, so why not have both?!  Exactly.  So the cheese first, and I held off on the meat.
The Primitivo red wine was next.  Zonin's site describing the Primitivo says its great with meats and aged cheeses.  I do have to say, it was great with the cheeses (although my guess is Zonin had it right the first time, and it would have been better with the meat.)  Someone has to mess up the order!
Last up for me was the lamb with a terrific fig sauce.  

The lamb was terrific, and the figs are always a terrific addition to every meal.  Figs on chicken, check, on pizza, check, on meat, check.  Figs just go with everything!

And for the wine. Zonin says Primitivo di Manduria's "great softness and richness of its structure make it perfect for particularly tasty and succulent dishes as well as for very spicy or piquant courses, typical of the southern cuisine."

It was a terrific lunch, lots of amazing wine, and great food to accompany it.  A fun interactive lunch and a great taste of Italy.  A big thank you to Zonin for the terrific experience and a big THUMBS UP!!

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