Combining Italian wines, food, and music, Querciabella Wine Dinner at the cozy environment of Gustoso Restaurant in ParkRoyal Penang Resort offers an indulgent experience to suit all tastes.
Querciabella in Italian means beautiful oak, and that in turn creates a beautiful selection of red and white wines.
The Querciabella winery is owned by Sebastiano Cossia Castiglioni. All of the grape varieties in the winery thrive in the rich, organic and biodynamic soil that has become a vital ingredient in Querciabella’s award-winning wines.
The line up for the evening includes three reds and one white – Querciabella Chianti Classico DOCG 2015, Querciabella Turpino IGT 2011, Querciabella Camartina IGT 2012, and Querciabella Batar IGT 2015. Guests present at the dinnert had the opportunity to discover more of the wines from Querciabella Asia Export Director, Florent Mougin.
The meal prepared by Head Chef Gianmario Bassu starts with Antipasti and a wooden long board is brought out with a selection of cured meats, grilled vegetables, bruschetta, including caprese salad made of mozzarella cheese slices and tomato slices.
The wine chosen for the pairing is the Querciabella Chianti Classico DOCG 2015, a full-bodied red wine made from Sangiovese grapes harvested from across inland Tuscany. With balanced crispiness and inviting acidity, the pairing of the red with the antipasti was good enough to please.
This was followed up by the Parmigiana Di Melanzane, a baked vegetarian Italian dish with layers of eggplant layered with basil tomato sauce and sprinkled with mozzarella. The gooey-cheesy eggplant dish really did deliver on flavour and along with sips of the Querciabella Turpino IGT 2011, it quickly disappeared from the plate.
The slightly higher alcohol content Turpino 2011 is created with a silky blend of Cabernet Franc, Syrah and Merlot, with a percentage of grapes from the Ruffoli hills in Greve, and the Maremma vineyard.
For the main course, the chef presented two choices – Fraccosta Di Manzo Alla Griglia (Grilled rib eye steak with stewed vegetables and mushrooms sauce), and the Branzino Al Forno Con Spinaci (Baked seabass with butter spinach). I had the grilled rib eye steak, cooked tender, and with a nice char on the sides, the dish comes with an addition of roasted potatoes.
The rib eye steak was paired with a glass of Querciabella Camartina IGT 2012. Made from Cabernet Sauvignon 70% and Sangiovese 30%, the Camartina is very delicate and elegant, which makes it ever so inviting to drink even on its own.
The main course was followed by the Italian Cheese Platter of parmigiano, pecorino, provolone and creamy gorgonzola. The crowd fell in love with the gorgonzola cheese for its strong, and salty flavor.
The cheeses were paired with a glass of white – not any white but the iconic Querciabella Batar IGT 2015. Made from Chardonnay (50%) and Pinot Blanc (50%), it is a white with vibrant minerality on the finish.
Finally for dessert, diners were treated to servings of Pannacotta Alle Mandorle E Cioccolato (almond pannacotta with dark chocolate), and the Cannoli Siciliani (classic Sicilian cannoli filled with ricotta cheese, candied fruits, and chocolate chips).
A great evening discovering some nice Italian wines. Sipping on the palate-tantalizing Querciabella, it was definitely a moment to savor as conversation flowed seamlessly and everyone shared a laughter over the great Italian wines.