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Monthly Archives: April 2010

  • Planeta add spice

    Saikat Nag and Diego PlanetaTop Indian chefs visit Sicily On Monday May 3rd, leading Sicilian producers Planeta hosted a fascinating meeting of palates, as representatives of four of London’s leading Indian restaurants visited the winery’s latest venture, cookery school and top hotel La Foresteria. The Planeta family had noticed that their wines are extremely well-suited to Indian and other Asian cuisines, and with this the germ of an idea began. With the help of UK importers Enotria, Planeta invited leading Indian chefs and restaurant managers from four of London’s top Indian restaurants. Cooking for the group were: Sanjay Dwivedi, Chef patron of Zaika in Kensington (and currently appearing on Iron Chef UK on Channel 4.) Alfred Prasad, Executive Chef at Tamarind Restaurant Saikat Nag, Executive Chef, The Bombay Brasserie

    These three noteworthy chefs were joined by Rajesh Suri, Director and CEO of the Tamarind group, Santanu Mazumbar - Restaurant Manager at the renowned Quilon Restaurant, Arun Harnal, the well-known Manager of the Bombay Brasserie, and Luigi Gaudino, Sommelier at Zaika. Angelo Pumilia, resident chef at La Foresteria, had the demanding task of coordinate all the cuisine, from supplying the ingredients to the collaboration in the kitchen. And the welcome dinner was 100% Sicilian in a memorable exchange of food cultures.

    The aim of the Indian chefs was to use the fantastic local produce available in Sicily to produce a wide range of flavours and styles in the course of several meals. Alessio Planeta, winemaker, matched the foods to their range of subtle and diverse wines.

    Amit Roy, journalist with the Telegraph of India and Eastern Eye, was present and here is an excerpt of his report:

    "For the gala banquet, Alfred Prasad, chef at the Tamarind, offered grilled scallops on spiced tomato chutney, accompanied by Chardonnay ’08, and for dessert, cardamom rice pudding with mango coulis, served with a sweet wine, Passito ’08.

    For the main courses, Lamb Roghani was preceded by Murg Khatta Pyaz and Masala Red Snapper — all three items were made by Nag, who worked through the night.

    The lamb was accompanied by two red wines, Santa Cecilia ’06 and Syrah ’05, the chicken by Cerasuolu ’08, and the Red Snapper by a white, Cometa ’08.

    The Telegraph did notice that the waiters cleared away plates mostly wiped clean. Nag and Prasad were also warmly applauded when they took a bow before their guests."

    You can read the whole of Amit Roy's piece here.

    La Foresteria, opened in November 2009, is a luxuriously appointed cookery school and hotel in the midst of Planeta’s celebrated vineyards near Menfi in South West Sicily.

    Francesca Planeta says: “Indian food is a great match with the style of our wines, especially our red wines which have spicy notes and character. We have many local ingredients in Sicily that are part of important Indian dishes, so we liked the idea to offer an exchange of cultures, inviting them to our island and new resort La Foresteria, which has food and wine at its heart. This is the first of many occasions where international chef will come to cook with us, bringing their popular dishes and learning about Sicilian food and wine culture to take back home.”

    Enotria Sales Director Eric Berneau says “This is a very exciting challenge on two levels; taking some of the best chefs from this hugely influential category to discover true Mediterranean food and wine culture; and secondly for everyone to recognise that top-flight Indian food represents a tremendous opportunity for building wine sales when properly matched to the right wines.”

    Find out more about the Planeta cookery school here.

  • Jermann

    Silvio Jermann is one of Italy's greatest white wine makers. Using unique blends of indigenous grapes, he fashions highly prized wines with floral aromas and tremendous elegance. Jermann's Vintage Tunina won a Tre Bicchieri award in 2010.

  • Biferno, my new best friend

    Out of the host of new wines which we have welcomed into our range this year, there is one unsung character which really deserves a special mention. Biferno, from Camillo de Lelis, is a most unlikely star. When Sergio first plonked it in a line up of the usual Barolo, Barbera, and other stars, my first thought was 'where did this get dredged up from?! Biferno's label looks like something out of the 70's. Possibly the 1670's. But that, as you discover when you taste it, is actually part of the appeal. If there's such a thing as a retro wine style, Biferno is it. But it doesn't hark back in a negative way - no oxidation, VA or rusty tannin. It is as smooth as you like, with 6 years bottle maturation having taken any rough edges off. But it just feels like a wine from a time when people just made the wine that they wanted to make, that they knew how to make, without tipping the wink to every fashion or critics points. And interestingly, at every tasting where it's been shown, dear old Biferno has won the most hearts.

    Biferno, my new best friend.

  • Due Uve Rose Merlot Molinara 2009

  • Coevo by Cecchi

  • Skillogalee makes the Top 20

    Matthew Jukes, a man who knows more than most about Australian wine, has chosen our very own Skillogalee as one of his top 20 South Australia wineries in a recent Decanter. Here's his verdict on Dave Palmer's winery: "In my mind, the most improved winery in Australia... the entire portfolio, from an epic Riesling, a cracking Gewurztraminer, brilliant Shiraz, a Trevarrick single-contour which is jaw-droppingly serious and a liqueur Muscat too, this is a first-class company whose only issue, as I see it, is the inability of fans to spell and pronounce its name." Skillogalee weren't the only Enotria Aussies to win Matthew's approval. He also singled out Parker Estate from Coonawarra - 'one of the most serious Cabernet Sauvignon producers in Australia', and the mighty Peter Lehmann Wines. You can read the whole article here.

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