There is a little-known trade secret that the best shortcut to picking great wines is to find an importer you trust. In a sense they have already done the dirty work for us. Turn around your favorite bottle of non-domestic wine and the chances are good that a very good importer has stuck their name on the back. The chances are also good that this importer represents a specific point of view, and that he or she has picked these wines based upon a particular ethic. For Neal Rosenthal, it is all about terroir-driven wines. The late, great Joe Dressner was committed to natural fermentation. For Robert Chadderdon, it is a matter of selling wine only when it's drinking well, and not before.
And for Seattle's Small Vineyards Imports it's a matter of working only with producers who are small enough that we can establish a personal connection with them (the winemaker's face often appears on the back of the bottle, in fact). These growers represent the smallest 10% of their respective regions, and they are always family-owned, family-run estates. We are hosting Jody Allen of Small Vineyards on October 26th, and we'll be pairing a sample of their Italian portfolio with our own version of Italian cuisine. Hopefully you can come and sample, too. -SG
'If you think about it, it's a lot easier to make a great meal for 5 people than for 500, and winemaking is no different." http://www.enjoysmall.com/
October 26, 2011, 7:00 p.m.
$95/person plus tax and gratuity
Prosecco, Trevisiol, Veneto, NV, upon seating
Souse Porchetta with crisp Tuscan kale, pickled okra, Calabrian pepper gribiche
Rose of Sangiovese Grosso, Parazetta, 'Sara', Tuscany, 2009
Skatewing with melted fennel, sauteed escarole, preserved lemon and Castelvetrano olives
Vernaccia di San Gimignano, Le Rote, Tuscany, 2010
Veal and pork meatball cannelloni with preserved tomato, ESS mozzarella, pinenuts, mushrooms, and marjoram
Chianti Classico Riserva, Poderi Ciona, Tuscany, 2006
Roast Beef Spinalis with crisp bone marrow, dressed cippolini, and fingerling potato
Rosso Conero Riserva, Marchetti, Le Marche, 2007
Poached pear, honey-pine nut tart, pear sorbet, pomegranate.
Moscato d'Asti, Tre Donne, 'La Perlina', Piedmont, 2010