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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

March 26/10: Dinner at Pallucci, featuring guest speaker Alessandro Dialuce and Amethyst Wines

The Time and Date: Friday March 26, 2010  6PM to midnight
The Event: Dinner at Pallucci, featuring guest speaker Alessandro
Dialuce (Dialuce Exquisite Imports) and some of his wines via Amethyst
Wine Agency (
The Venue: Pallucci (Mt. Pleasant and Davisville)
The Target Audience: consumers who like Italian foods and wines.
The Availability/Catalogue: Laura Higgins (Amethyst) worked with Chef
Neil Siomra to create a "family-style" affordable dinner, paired with
her wines matching. The two dozen people all ate at one long table.
The Quote/Background: "We did put a lot of thought and planning into
the dinner but there was a gap between our planning and everyone's
execution. Thus, why we limited the dinner to about 20 of our friends
before opening it up to a wider audience. I do hope that everyone
walked away with a positive impression and at least a glimpse of the
potential of this style of bringing together culture, food, wine and
friendship. The last thing that I want in a night out is that it is a
boring purely analytical night of pairing the elements of the wine and
food." –Laura Higgins interview.
The Wines: There were five wines available for sampling…
**** Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Gracciano Vino Nobile de Montepulciano 2006 Tuscany, $37
***1/2 Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Sannino Lacryma Christi del Vesuvio Bianco 2008 Campania, $19
-Sannino Coda di Volpe Pompeiano Bianco IGT 2008 Campania, $17
-Marenco Aldo Pirun Dolcetto di Dogliani 2008 Piedmont, $17.95 Vintages
+161729 -- organic
-Gracciano Rosso di Montepulciano 2007 Tuscany, $23
*** Three Stars (85 – 87 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Rigoloccio Maremma Cabernet and Alicante 2006 IGT Tuscany, $30

The Food: we began with platters of portobellos in a creamy gorzonzola
sauce (Pompeiano; the Lacryma was an aperitif), followed by a sitdown
bowl of off-sweet tomato soup with fennel. Next came a wonderful
grilled calamari with a wild mushroom assortment and the Dolcetto, a
nice touch. There were three special pizzas, including a white (bianco)
and a mortadella. The main pasta of rigatoni, tomato, and mild sausage
came with the Rigoloccio, while another pasta of linguini, rapini, and
shrimp appeared (to be finished off with the two white wines). The meat
was a veal Milanese, sliced carrots and sauce, with the two
Montepulcianos. These were all good matches in the family-style way.
Dessert was, of course, house-made tiramisu. Espressos and cafes
completed the evening.
The Downside: the one table was too long, I could only talk to my
immediate neighbours. Given the nature of the family dining and the
communal table (plus the wine and food plated service), we could have
played musical chairs and moved around. Laura and Alessandro did
exchange table heads.
The Upside: there were short talks about Italian olive oil and pastas,
and sauces, and other food items. Laura also gave us a basket of garlic
that her mother had woven for each of us.
The Contact Person:
The Marketing Effectiveness (numerical grade): 90.

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