Tablehopper Tasting: Sicilian Wines, June 3, 2009

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Photo by Mathew Sumner.

Original socialite event listing:


I have been enjoying drinking wine with (and learning from) my friend Alex Fox for too long to keep him to myself; he’s the former wine director of Myth and most recently a somm at Gary Danko. So voila, the ~FIRST TABLEHOPPER WINE TASTING~! Well, it’s more of a wine class, actually. We’ll be learning the ins and outs of wine, focusing on how to taste, and basic wine and food pairing tips. We won’t be tasting just any wines, but Sicilian wines, which are not only delicious, but a great deal right now. You’ll also learn about the mysterious region and its ancient grapes.

We will be exploring food and wine pairing with some Sicilian-inspired bites from James Stolich of CookWithJames. James is a former marketing and advertising professional who has been delighting diners through his CookWithJames Underground Supper Club dinners (they’re a blast). He focuses on regional Italian fare based on local ingredients from local farmers, and has been doing it since 2002. He’s now doing cooking full-time through CookWithJames and offers an array of private chef and catering services including private dinners, cooking classes, and catering events.

Please don’t expect a full meal, but there will definitely be some savory bites for you to enjoy throughout the evening.

We’re hosting the event at one of my favorite venues, The Cheese School of San Francisco in North Beach. Owner Sara Vivenzio will be providing us with some scrumptious Southern Italian cheeses to taste.

Now, the wines: thanks to Domaine Select Wine Estates, we have some beauties we’ll be pouring. DSWE’s Jeffrey Meisel will be there to help pour wines and share a story or two.

During the reception we’ll start with two kinds of bubbles (hello, this is a tablehopper tasting!) from Murgo on the volcanic soils of Mount Etna: the Brut 2005 100% Nerello Mascalese (metodo classico) and Brut Rose 2005 100% Nerello Mascalese (metodo classico).

Good thing you’ll be sitting when we taste these wines from COS in Vittoria, because they’re quite exquisite—bring on the terroir. We’ll be tasting their Ramí 2007; Cerasuolo di Vittoria DOCG 2006; Cerasuolo di Vittoria “Pithos” DOCG 2006 (which is made in amphora!); and the “Scyri” Nero d’Avola 2001. Just so you can taste another style of Nero d’Avola, we’ll also be pouring a 2006 from Mirabile of Menfi.

Next, it wouldn’t be a Sicilian tasting without a passito—in this case, it’s a Passito di Pantelleria-Kammeo from Guicciardini Strozzi. To close the evening, we’ll be tasting one of my favorite after-dinner amaros, Averna of Caltanissetta, and Limoni di Sicilia, a liquore di limoni.

Can you handle it? It’ll be a special evening for sure. Seats are limited, so act quickly. And please take a cab, because we’ll be tasting ten (count ‘em, ten) liquid lovelies.

A presto!

tablehopper wine tasting
Wed. June 3rd, 2009

The Cheese School of San Francisco
2155 Powell St.
Cross: Francisco St.
San Francisco, CA 94133

6:30pm reception
7pm-9pm wine and food tasting

$79 (includes ticket processing fees)