In what was one of the most elegant and well put together wine evenings the city of Bangalore has seen, Marilisa Allegrini of Italy’s famous Allegrini family introduced a handpicked range of Allegrini wines to the city’s wine cognoscenti, writes Ruma Singh. The summer evening, all the more memorable for its lovely serene setting at the Manwaring home on the outskirts of the city, was an exclusive one, co-hosted by Olive Beach’s Chef de Cuisine Manu Chandra.
He had meticulously paired the wines led by Allegrini’s iconic Amarone della Valpolicella, in a very special four course gourmet meal.
As they arrived, guests were greeted with glasses of Corte Giara Soave DOC Pagus 2008, an elegant wine with a delicate bouquet of fruit, accompanied by a range of hors d’oeuvres including smoked salmon and salami served at the Manwarings’ wraparound verandah overlooking the sprawling gardens. Soon, the focus moved indoors to long candlelit tables where the dinner began.
As the amuse bouche was followed by the salad course — Marilisa introduced the next wine, the Allegrini Solosole Vermentino Poggio al Tesoro IGT Toscana 2008, which was paired with the salad of asparagus, salt roasted beets and citrus with pickled mushrooms and chive-marinated baby potatoes in mustard dressed organic field greens.The well-balanced lush wine, perfectly representative of Bolgheri’s perfect terroir, is named ‘Only Sun’ as its maturation is aided by sunlight alone. The second course, a risotto of sausage, Amarone and herbs/ pumpkin gnocchi with brown butter, sage, capers, toasted walnuts and goat’s cheese was served with the Allegrini Palazzo Della Torre IGT 2006, its smooth ripe fruit notes and long finish supporting both dishes well.
The main course, braised lamb shoulder served on the bone over sautéed mushrooms, creamy polenta and arugula and a baked wild mushroom strudel with salad of cannellini and haricot beans, arugula and orzo in a lemon dressing was served with the star of the evening, the Allegrini Amarone della Valpolicela Classico DOC 2005 with its superb balance and structure and aromas of sweet fruits such as currants, blueberries and cherries. The powerful wine received wide approval from the guests present, even as the splendid dessert finale of the Torta di Nocciole e Cioccolato, or a chocolate and hazelnut cake, with vanilla bean sauce and crisp almond tuille did the rounds.
Marilisa spoke of the Allegrini passion for winemaking of the highest standards which has seen the brand hold its position among the top winemaking families of Italy. The upholding of traditional standards is accompanied by a clear understanding for the market and Marilisa’s role as flag bearer and roving ambassador for the Allegrini brand goes a long way in establishing this.
A special evening of good company and excellent food offset by an exceptional selection of wines presented by one of Italy’s top winemakers, made this certainly an evening to remember for Bangalore’s wine lovers.