On April 24, 2012 Casa Vinicola Zonin hosted the third Italian Culinary Experience at the Miami Culinary Institute in Miami, FL which featured Toscana Divino restaurant and was described by the audience as “nothing but smiles”.
The 2-hour event was led by the executive chef of Toscana Divino; Julian Baker. This event featured the taste of the Tuscan region paired with Zonin wines from Castello D’ Albola and Rocca di Montemassi.
Casa Vinicola Zonin invited food and wine bloggers as well as media representatives to enjoy a delightful afternoon with a 5-course lunch. The guests were welcomed with an aperitivo of crostini with lardo & porcini accompanied by of course, a glass of Zonin Prosecco.
Soon after our guests were done with their aperitivo, they started to find a seat before it became a Full House event. Our Zonin representatives who later introduced the amazing chef Julian Baker welcomed our guests and discussed the menu and the wine that was about to be enjoyed. The guests were charmed by the menu which continued with the appetizer: Pappa at Pomodoro made with fresh ripe tomatoes and Tuscan bread, organic poached eggs, salame finocchiona and diced eggplants. The first course was the Tortelli filled with ricotta cheese and spinach, brown butter and sage. The second course, definitely the audience’s favorite, was a delicious plate of Chianti braised veal cheeks, herb citrus and hazelnut “gremolata”, sautéed chard, toasted sesame seeds, and tomato ginger mostarda. Most people in our audience described the veal cheeks as one that “melts in your mouth” and “doesn’t need a knife to cut through it”.
To experience and enjoy a true Tuscan taste, the food was paired with wines from the region. The antipasto was paired with the Rocca di Montemassi le Focaie, 100% Sangiovese and known for balancing sweet cherry flavors with an herbal character. The tortelli was served with the Castello D’ Albola Le Ellere which is 100% Sangiovese with a fresh Morello cherry nose. This wine is flavorful, well-balanced and easy drinking. For the main dish (the loved veal cheeks), the wine served was the Castello d’ Albola Chianti Classico Riserva which won 91 points in Wine Spectator for 2006 Vintage.
To end this delightful experience, the chef offered dessert: Crespilli al Castagnaccio. These sweet ricotta cheese crepes were made with honey and chesnuts, vin santo, pine nuts and rosemary. To accompany dessert, Castello d’ Albola Vin Santo was served. Vin Santo del Chianti Classico is a fruity, cheerful wine that boasts a luminous golden color. It is lighter and more approachable than your typical Vin Santo.