I was doubly excited to attend the United Wines of Veneto Master Class last week. One, I love the wines from that area (a Soave Master Class some time ago was another recent highlight). Two, I'd never visited the venue, Eataly Chicago, where the seminar was being held. 8 consortiums, 8 wines, with 3 small bites to accompany - sounded pretty good.
First off, Eataly. This is a huge place, but totally unlike I had imagined. Kind of antiseptic, really, and holy cow, expensive. That being said, it's a good location for this sort of thing, the service was quite good, and the food made in-house was really tasty.
The wines were served in 3 flights: sparklers, still white wines, and then reds. The 3 sparkling wines were served with a "Fruco con Crudo di Salmone" (salmon tartare), so I missed out on that pairing as I can't abide seafood. The wines were quite good though, lots of citrus, tropical notes, and endless small bubbles. The 3 white wines were served with "Risotto al Raddichio," one of the best risottos I've ever had, no small feat when making enough for a crowd that large. More tropical, stone fruit, floral, and citrus goodness. The 2 reds were paired with a "Polpettine Veneziane," an unusual meatball that had a strange texture due to the inclusion of mashed potatoes. A lemon zest component kept things interesting, though. The reds had so many fruit components it was hard to take notes, one note after another rolling over the palate - outstanding.
Beyond the tasty wine and food pairings, this tasting also added 9 new varietals to my Wine Century Club Doppel list - new grapes are always a good thing.
This tasting was provided for review purposes - all opinions are my own.
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