The Italian Wine and Food Institute hosted its 33rd. annual Gala Italia at the JW Marriott Essex House in New York City on March 26, 2018 shining a spotlight on some of the best in food and wine that Italy has to offer and as usual, the evening was defined by some noteworthy oenological finds. Selections from some of Italy’s premier vineyards were featured at the Gala Italia reception and dinner to honor the individuals and the wineries that have contributed to global knowledge of Italian food and wine.
Among those vineyards honored for their support of Italian food and wine were Marchesi Antinori, Bertani, Castello di Querceto, Fontanafredda Lungarotti, Planeta, Rocca delle Macie, Sella e Mosca and Villa Marcello.
The vineyards showcased some of their best selections during the cocktail reception. Villa Marcello presented a refreshing 2015 Prosecco with floral aromas and lemon and green apple notes. Planeta provided an aromatic La Segreta Il Bianco, 2016 with soft orange and peach notes. Rocca della Macie poured a Moonlite, 2016 with balanced citrus and mineral notes and fresh acidity.
The dinner was all about the reds but a balanced and bright Marchesi Antinori, Tenuta Guado al Tasso, Vermentino, 2016 with ripe green apple and papaya notes had enough acidity and complexity to complement a penne rigate with duck ragu, crispy pancetta and shaved Brussel sprouts.
A Planeta, Santa Cecilia, Noto D.O.C., 2010 comprised of 100 percent Nero d Avola with orange peel, preserved fruit and sweet spice notes and soft tannins enhanced the subtle earthy elements of this dish.
A carnivore’s delight a slow cooked and a roasted lamb with baby carrots, celery root and lamb jus was then presented with a Col d Orcia, Brunello di Montalcino,D.O.C.G., 2013 consisting of Sangiovese Grosso. The fragrant violet aromas and blackberry, blueberry and rich spice notes of this vintage balanced the subtle pungency of the lamb shoulder. Meanwhile a Lungarotti, Torgiano Rosso Vigna Monticchio, Rubesco Riserva, D.O.C.G., 2009 derived from Sangiovese and Canaiolo had both herbaceous aromas and juicy cherry and espresso and chocolate notes. It served as a notable complement to this robust entree.
Finally a pistachio crumb and caramel topped pear and almond marzipan tart a la mode provided a fruity and delicately sweet ending to a lively celebration of Italian wine and gastronomy in New York City.