Saturday has always been my favourite day of the week because it means lots of wine and not having to get up early the next day. As I drove to the evening’s event, I knew this Saturday was definitely more special than others for obvious reasons – a wine dinner at my favourite restaurant in Delhi – Diva. When they told me the dinner was featuring wines from Feudo di San Gregorio, knowing the reputation of their wines, I was even more eager to get there, writes Isheeta Gupta. Left: Ritu Dalmia in her kitchen
Feudo di San Gregorio is located a little south of Naples and Mt. Vesuvius in the wine region of Campania. Founded only in 1986, this winery has been at the forefront of winemaking in the region for many years and still continues to be one of the best wineries in the region.
The dinner began with a chilled glass of Prosecco as an aperitif to cool off and get in the right mood for what was to follow.
I was seated with a jovial Canadian couple with as much (or more) love for food than I have. The moment we discovered that we were ‘fellow foodies’, we proceeded to have a conversation about food that lasted through dinner, exchanging notes on where to buy the best meat and fish, the best places in town for dimsums and of course, cheese. We were all too pleased when the bite size teasers or amuse bouche – a pizza fritta with Gorgonzola and honey – arrived and proceeded to have two each.
Soon enough Antonio Capaldo, the President of the winery gave a short speech about the winery and their wines and finally came to join us as we were served the Sannio Falanghina DOC. I love that he told us little stories about the wines instead of giving a long and boring speech. In Sannio, at the end of the Roman era, the method of vine cultivation was Falangs (“poles”) from which the name Falanghina originated. Falanghina is an ancient grape variety and the Sannio Falanghina was dry, crisp and fresh with aromas and flavours of citrus fruit, tropical fruits, flowers and a hint of minerality making it a perfect match for the starter – bacon wrapped scallops pan seared with parsley lemon oil. Pictured: Antonio Capaldo with a guest
The scallops just melted in my mouth. I jokingly told Antonio that judging from the taste and the reputation of his wines, they couldn’t be cheap. To which he replied that they were amongst the most expensive in the region! Still well worth the price I’d say.
For the primi piatti, I chose Linguine tossed in seafood, tomato and olive oil. I love the way Ritu cooks her seafood dishes so I knew it would be fabulous. We were served another white, the Greco di Tufo DOCG (Greco made in Tufo). The Greco di Tufo wine is aromatic and has an intensely fruity bouquet. It is dry, well balanced and mineral in flavour, and well suited to fish dishes.
Next we had our final course before dessert – a veal fillet crusted with black olives with pan roasted vegatables in red wine sauce along with two wines, Rubrato Campania Aglianico IGT (a delicious mouth-puckering red with flavours of black cherries and blackcurrant) followed by the famous Taurasi DOCG. The Taurasi was exquisite, with layers of blackberry, smoke, tobacco and sweet spices such as cinnamon and vanilla. I didn’t want to let go off my glass!