Los Angeles’ original Little Italy is downtown, right next to El Pueblo and Olvera Street, the traditional Hispanic center of the city, and in fact, the birthplace of Los Angeles.
The annual Taste of Italy event is held at the Pico House, with a lovely cobblestone courtyard and the heritage of Italian delis, food and wine all around.
Palmina wines go perfectly with Italian food at this kind of event!
The yellow pepper and roasted grape bruschetta went perfectly with the 2009 Arneis. A light straw color with burnished highlights of gold foretells of 2011 Arneis’ vibrant character. An alluring floral nose of acacia and chamomile that mingle with hints of apple and sandalwood waft from the glass with a swirl. Medium bodied, Arneis envelopes the palate with just tree-picked pear flavor and texture, then refreshes with apricot and clementine and a long and lingering spice component of fennel and tea. This is a persistent wine, rich in body, layered in texture and with an exotic mélange of stone fruits, minerality and spice that finishes with a reminder of perfectly baked Madeleines.
Arneis is a delightful aperitif, but also a wine with enough body and personality to hold its own with a wide range of strongly flavored food – prosciutto, pesto and grilled seafood.
The pickled red onions and sardine bruschetta paired well with the 2010 Dolcetto. “Dolcetto” translates to “little sweet one”- not because it is a sweet wine (it is perfectly dry) – because it is a friendly and easygoing grape to work with and so pleasurable in the glass.
Even Dolcetto’s hue speaks to its easy going nature, with a deep and bright ruby color inviting a sip. The nose is spicy and very berry, with a hint of spice mingling with blackberry aromas that waft from the glass. On the palate, there is a perception of hard-candy sweetness that mingles with a beautifully balanced acidity and soft tannin structure. Concentrated black raspberry and plum preserve flavors are interlaced with a subtle earthy minerality that leaves a lasting impression of raspberry, a hint of “red vine” licorice and toasted almonds at last sip. Dolcetto is the perfect picnic wine, a delightful interlude between white and heavier red wines at a multi-course dinner and the ultimate complement to pizza, which is our featured recipe! Enjoy in its youth and serve either at cellar temperature or even slightly chilled.
And the best pairing of the day was mama’s meatballs, washed down with Palmina 2009 Barbera. A deep ruby color with amethyst highlights shines in the glass, and the first swirl leads to aromas of blackberries, black currant and toast with jam. These dark berry notes are mirrored on the palate, and joined by interesting nuances of blood orange, a hint of dried cherry and spicy components – Chinese Five Spice, white pepper and a suggestion of violets. Young mission figs, black cherries and a bit of black strap molasses are balanced by firm and bright acidity. The wine is mouth-filling and yet refreshing, with a crisp acidity and a pleasing finish replete with soft mocha-like tannins. This Barbera is delightful on its own, but craves a meal! The balance of fruit and natural acidity make this wine an extension of the plate, enabling you to feel satisfied and happy during and at the end of a meal.
All in all, it was a beautiful and delicious day.