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Una Serata Piemontese - A Piedmont Wine Dinner at Ciao Bello

On September 29, acclaimed restaurateur Tony Vallone and Houston Chronicle wine writer Dale Robertson hosted "Una Serata Piemontese", an evening featuring the wine and food of Piedmont at Ciao Bello on San Felipe. Well over a hundred guests filled the patio dining room to taste the northwestern Italian inspired menu along with the paired Piemonte wines while listening to two of Houston's taste gurus talk about one of their favorite wine regions and the culinary culture that comes from it.

The dinner:
  • Antipasti - Bagna Cauda, Ripiene di Ventresca, Grissini 
  • Bollito Misto  di Mare - Melange of seafood with a salsa verde
  • Tortellini Piemontese - Proscuitto & Mortadella, Grana Padano and sage.
  • Nebbiolo Stained Risotto - topped with Tallegio Fonduta
  • Controfilleto di Vitello - a center-cut veal sirloin with roasted autumn vegetables in a Barolo ristretto wine 
  • Bonet Amaretto - Chocolate and espresso Budino with Dolcetto poached pear and biscotti
The wine:
  • 2013 Bruno Giacosa Roero Arneis- a dry, medium-bodied white wine with lemon citrus aromas, minerality and a slight nuttiness in the finish. Clean, refreshing, an excellent starter wine and fantastic with both the first and second course.
  • 2013 Poderi di Luigi Einaudi Dogliani Dolcetto- a dry, medium-bodied red with moderate tannins and medium acidity, richly textured with concentrated black fruit aromas and flavors. Smooth and easy drinking, delicious with the pasta. The town of Dogliani is known for producing big, longer-lived Dolcetto wines.
  • 2011 Castello di Neive Barbaresco- a dry, full-bodied red wine with fine tannins, fresh acidity with fruity aromas of cherry with leather and a bit of herbs and a long spicy finish. Fruitier and more approachable than I expected; my favorite wine of the evening. 
  • 2009 Fontafredda Barolo- a dry, full-bodied wine with a floral rose nose, tobacco and baking spice with fine tannins and a long savory finish. 
The price was $110 per person. Excellent wine, fantastic food and two charming hosts, una magnifica serata Piemontese!

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