This past Tuesday we attended our first wine tasting class at Mario Batali’s Otto Enoteca. This was a special class for Valentine’s Day called The Ultimate: Chocolate, Cheese, and Wine. My three favorite food groups! The class was led by Sommelier Dan Pucci whose passion and excitement for wine was evident from the moment the tasting began. The class consisted of six unique Italian wines, five cheeses, pastries, and chocolate covered gelato bonbons.
Ca’ De Noci Rosso ‘Tre Dame’ 2011 from Emilia Romanga-this sparkling red was surprisingly dry and refreshing. I was expecting it to be similar in style to Rosa Regale but there was zero sweetness.
Kastelaz Elena Walch Gewurztraminer 2012 from Trentino-Alto Adige-this white was deep gold in color with a very pronounced bouquet. Floral and cinnamon aromas were quite strong with honeyed pear and apple flavors on the palate.
While we sipped these wines we enjoyed our Italian cheese plate including Provolone Piccante,Torta de Peghara, Bleu di Moncenisio, Montasio, and Parmigiano Reggiano. Our favorites were the Torta which was quite strong and stinky and the Bleu.
Two different styles of Aleatico were substituted on our menu. I preferred the Tenute Rubino Aleatico 2009. This was a sweet wine more in the style of a dessert wine. It was dark ruby in the glass and had the aroma of dates. This was very smooth with a lot of fruit flavor.
Our treats for this course were courtesy of Otto’s pastry chef. Chocolate salami was chocolate rolled to look like an Italian salami and was filled with almonds, hazelnuts, and dried fruit.
My personal favorite was a baguette covered in a sauce of dark chocolate mixed with olive oil with a sprinkling of sea salt on top. So simple but absolutely delicious!
Ottomarzo Dettori Pascale 2010 from Sardegna- Tenute Dettori is the only commercial producer of wine containing Pascale grapes. This wine is also the first wine I have ever tasted that is aged in cement. This wine was very good. It was dark red in the glass and well balanced with good fruit and a smoky quality that I attributed to the time spent in cement.
Our last taste was of Cynar Amaro Carciofo. This is a bitter liqueur that is made from artichokes. These digestives really aren’t my thing as they are quite strong. We were instructed to add several pinches of sea salt to the glass and it completely changed the flavor. It became more sweet and mellow.
This course was paired with chocolate turnovers and the most incredible chocolate covered gelato bonbons in four different flavors.
Overall I loved this tasting class. Not only did it consist of all of my favorite treats but we sampled wines that were completely new to us and different in flavor and style from what we normally drink. I love that I never stop learning about wine and it’s so enjoyable creating new experiences. Wine classes are offered at Otto every Saturday afternoon and Tuesday evening. For more information please visit their website: www.ottopizzeria.com/