Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Giuseppe Quintarelli Wine Dinner at Empire State South

Ok, let’s see, the top five wines in all the world:

You have to put a Romanée-Conti in there.  And at least one First Growth from Bordeaux (I’m going to go with Haut-Brion), maybe even two (I’ll also toss in Chateau Latour).  And because I’m a Burgundy man, I’ll want to add Comte de Vogüé Musigny in the mix, too.  So who gets that highly contested fifth slot?  Something from the hill of Hermitage?  An opulent Montrachet?  Or maybe Sauternes’ precious d’Yquem?  It isn’t an easy call, but I’ll go ahead and make it:

#5:  Giuseppe Quintarelli Amarone della Valpolicella

There is a decent chance you haven’t heard of this wine.  Amarone itself isn’t anywhere close as old as the other wines on the list (in fact, it wasn’t really properly named until the late 1960’s), and Giuseppe himself is still alive, so how storied could this wine really be?

A couple of times recently I’ve been asked whether I think that the world’s very expensive wines are really worth it.  Whether you can actually tell a big difference in the glass.  And what I often come back to is a matter of wine’s ability to show dynamic dimensions.  The few times I have been lucky enough to sit down Quintarelli’s top wines I have been astounded at its capability in this respect. Perhaps no other wine out there will show you as many looks, as many faces, as many twists and turns and unraveling expressions as that deep, inky thing.

This is a very special opportunity to explore a sampling of Giuseppe’s line-up, culminating in a pour of his masterpiece, the Amarone.  Giuseppe is now well into his eighties, and since the mid-2000s his talented daughter, Silvana, has been crafting the wines, so these reds are some of the last great wines of Italy’s Veneto, produced by the hands of the master himself.  I can’t wait to try them all.

-Steven Grubbs

Giuseppe Quintarelli:  one of the world’s greatest winemakers.
December 14th, 2011. 7 p.m.
Empire State South
$150 per person plus tax and gratuity

Marinated P.E.I. mussels, chili, preserved citrus, mizuna, pickled cippolini
Bianco Secco, Giuseppe Quintarelli, 2010

Gnocchi Romano alla carbonara:  mangalitsa guanciale, local egg yolk
Rosso “Ca del Merlo”, Giuseppe Quintarelli, 2000

Venison loin, sweet potato puree, Brussels, maitake, preserved cherries
Valpolicella, Giuseppe Quintarelli, 1999
Valpolicella, Giuseppe Quintarelli, 2000

Piave cheese with accompaniments
Amarone della Valpolicella, Giuseppe Quintarelli, 1998

Cenci with ricotta, warm honey, and cinnamon

Call ESS at 404-541-1105 for reservations. 

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