Over the years I have enjoyed many wonderful bottles of wine and terrific dinners with them. While both can hold their own in the kitchen, especially Cosmo, their older brother Giorgio is the Maestro della Cucina. Unfortunately Giorgio lives in Treviso, Italy so I only get to enjoy his cooking when I visit him in Italy, or when he visits his brothers and sister here in NJ. After a six-year hiatus, he is back. So naturally I invited him to my house to cook a meal for us. You must understand, Giorgio has no formal training as a chef. What he does have however, is an understanding and passion for extracting the essence of the food he prepares in the same manner in which a great winemaker crafts his wines. The results are always magnificent as they were tonight.
|Me, Giorlamo, Cosmo & Giorgio|
Salmon is one of my least favorite fishes…unless Giorgio makes it. I first had his preparation of Salmon al Forno at my home more than 10 years ago. It was simply amazing then and ditto tonight. He starts with a large (2 lbs+) piece of salmon which he places skin side down in a shallow baking pan. He completely covers the top of the fish with a mixture of plain bread crumbs to which he has added minced fresh garlic, parsley, capers, white wine, olive oil, salt and pepper. Into the oven at 375º until the topping is brown and crisp. The finished fish is moist and bursting with flavor.
I followed this wine with a bottle of 2003 Soldera Case Basse Brunello di Montalcino Riserva which I decanted for two hours prior to drinking. Soldera is my favorite Brunello producer by a long shot. His wines are the epitome of old world elegance. They soar from the glass. This was spectacular juice, exhibiting a huge earthy bouquet with a gorgeous translucent red hue. On the palate it had fantastic pure fruit, impeccable balance and complexity and finished with a sensuous elegance. Completely round and delicious. A wine with soul! Unfortunately his wines carry a high tariff. $329 at Italian Wine Merchants.
With our dessert of Italian pastries (not pictured) and espresso we sipped a botlle of 1999 Sine Qua Non Mr K Semillon Vin de Paille. In my opinion this is one of the greatest dessert wines ever made. The wine possessed a gorgeous deep yellow hue, was lush, rich and complex on the palate with a lingering killer finish. Nectar of the gods. Very difficult to find.
A wonderful night indeed. Grazie Giorgio!