I had the pleasure of attending a delicious luncheon recently at one of my favorite spots Il Gattopardo NYC! It’s an amazing Italian restaurant featuring delicious Italian cuisine, homemade pasta, and regional favorites. This intimate tasting was great because we tasted wines from Abruzzo DOC as well as the sweet side of Bordeaux!

It’s always nice to see how wines from different Italian regions can be so versatile with different foods, flavors, and more. I also love how Sweet Bordeaux aka Sauternes can be so delicious with both savory and sweet foods and this lunch was all about pairings; I was in heaven. I had the pleasure of visiting Bordeaux a few years back to taste the sweet wines from this region and it was such a fantastic trip! I learned so much about Sauterne production and the grapes, and what makes these wines so incredible, and it was great getting to relive that again.

What is so interesting about Abruzzo is that it unites all different aspects of Italy from mountains, to gentle rolling hills, to food and wine tourism. It’s one of those regions that is becoming a top destination for gastronomy and wine! I almost had the opportunity to visit Abruzzo before Covid but then it hit USA and the trip was canceled but I am hoping to make it to Abruzzo in 2022 or 2023 because it’s a destination I have always wanted to visit, given I am just so in love with the diversity of the wines.

Our first course was Spaghetti alla Chimaera con Ragu di Maiale paired with a 2019 Masciarelli Tuente Agricole, Trebbiano d’Abruzzo Riserva. I absolutely loved this wine, it was so crisp and refreshing with amazing citrus notes and minerality that paired so nicely with this pasta dish which was so flavorful, savory, and delicious. Second we enjoyed an outstanding potato and sausage dish thats very common in Italy. It’s called Palate Marinate and it was paired with a biodynamic Abruzzo Cerasuolo 2020 and a 2019 Francisco Cirelli, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. The rosé was stunning and paired so beautifully with the seasoned sausage and creamy potatoes. I also loved the herbs and spices they used in this dish, it really paired nicely with the Montepulciano and tied in those Italian vibes. I felt like I was transported to Italy through these food and wine pairings!

Up third was a beautiful seafood dish called Bordetto alla Vastese that paired nicely with a Montepulciano d’Abruzzo “Rubesto” 2017 and another Montepulciano Riserva 2015. The 2017 was a warmer vintage but still gorgeous in the glass with long, lingering fruit notes that went with this medium light dish. I loved the 2015 with this, because it had a bit more character and was an awesome vintage for this area and really went nicely with the seafood and rich broth.

For the grand finale we tasted through three Bordeaux’s one from Cadillac, one from Loupiac, and the other from Côtes de Bordeaux! One of my favorite areas is Loupiac because of it’s crushed oyster shell minerality on the nose and palate, and also these ones go great with Asian cuisine. I also love Cadillac for it’s structure and elegance, while Côtes de Bordeaux sauternes are vibrant and great for cocktails! Paired was a custard dessert called Lattacciolo, which was a great duo because of it’s creaminess with the bright acidity and sweetness in the wines.

If you’re seeking some amazing wines for maybe a romantic evening inside this winter, check out some wines from Abruzzo and then explore the sweeter side to Bordeaux! You’re in for a treat and an instant transport to Europe!

Always remember, eat what you like and drink what you love. Please pair responsibly.