Unsurprisingly, over the course of the last few years, Italy has established itself as a leading go to lifestyle thanks to its strong “made in Italy” brand. Thanks to its innovative impact in the creative fields of fashion, design, architecture and food, your whole day can feel Italian, from the moment you wake up with a creamy cappuccino to the moment you go to sleep tucking into your lovely silk sheets.
Out of all the fantastic treasures that Italy has to offer, I find there is one that lucidly stands out because of its ability to speak and relate to people: food and wine.
It’s not just the divine taste, the incredible quality of produce or the fact that is relies on being simple and delicious: it’s the fact that it embraces a way of living!
Over the 4 years that I have been in London I have noticed a tremendous change in the Italian food and wine scene. Before an Italian restaurant would serve Polenta with melted Taleggio cheese as a starter followed by fried calamari as a main all paired up with slightly above average Chianti. Not an entirely convincing pairing. Now, you are able to find incredibly fascinating artisanal wines from precious undiscovered wine areas and regional restaurants that only focus on a couple of local products or on a style of cooking. It’s just so exciting and such a privilege to be able to share these amazing produces with clients, friends, family.
Cleary having a unique gastronomic heritage makes everything easier. From the Dolomites to the Sicilian shores, Italy has a mind-blowing variety of premium food and wine artisans that can make you feel overwhelmed at times… I completely feel you.
I do however maintain my belief that good food and wine resembles style, appreciation for beauty and therefore should be enjoyed in a moment of celebration. As we know, entertainment is very hot at the moment so whether it is a private or corporate event, people seem to be looking for the extra-ordinary element that will make their dinner party or business meeting shine. Thanks to the fantastic versatility and its charming ability to be magically transversal, I thought I would share with you my work experience with some inspirational tips on how to chose the right Italian food and wine for the perfect occasion. Hope you enjoy!
A romantic happening
It is indeed all about complete sensorial stimulation. Don’t get too excited, let’s stick to food and wine please! A full bodied, rounded and dark Amarone red, from the Veneto region will swiftly warm your heart thanks to its high alcohol content which is due to its peculiar production method. In case the start is a bit awkward, it will also make time run smoothly, lightening up conversations over the course of the meal. What would I pair it with? It would have to be a selection of the finest dried meats due to their sensual and “carnal” feel. A gently spicy Capocollo di Martina Franca from Puglia or even better a special gem called Vinappeso, a Culatello style ham aged in Amarone wine is all you need. To finally bring out the sweet side of you, delight the other half with a chocolate bavarese topped strawberries glazed in Balsamic vinegar served with a seductive sweet red called Recioto, Amarone’s regal brother. A pairing that will make you instantly fall in love!
People say that nothing is more fun that a girls night out. Banter, laughter and a decent amount of gossip are typically the right ingredients for the perfect evening. We all know that diamonds are a woman’s best friend so why not choose food and wine that can pair with this precious jewel. Beginning with a good bottle of fizz is a must, so how about a glass of an elegant Franciacorta, the Italian answer to Champagne, served with a pasta with Granseola crab, lemon and parsley? The glamour of a refined sparkling wine combined with the freshness of some of Italy’s finest shellfish will immediately transport you to the country’s most beautiful seasides to get the party started. To follow, a sublimely creamy goat based cheese called Robiola di Roccaverano from the north west of Italy with a drizzle of white truffle honey on top. A bite of excellence desired by many but tried by few. The wine for the occasion will have to be Timorasso, a luscious and rich white wine from an indigenous grape from Piemonte, a wine that I personally consider one of Italy’s finest whites. A classy pairing for women that only lookout for the very best Italy has to offer.
Seal the deal
We all know how soft skills and confidence are fundamental elements for success in the business world. As a business professional, having the ability to smoothly entertain clients and colleagues around a table is key so choosing the appropriate food and wine for the event that enhances your attitude and approach will result into a winning factor. Go bold and kick off the event with a fascinating glass of a red wine from Etna. Its volcanic soil and favourable location delivers typically medium bodies wines with great personality combining sharpness and depth. Serve it with some gorgeous slices of raw tuna from Carloforte and you will be in for a great start. Finally, to close the deal and make your final statement, play a wildcard and go for an Aglianico, the “Barolo” of the south, a truly undiscovered blockbuster. Robust, earthy, deep with a fantastic structure and long finish. A wine that is almost eternal with outstanding ageing potential that reaches its highest point with a slow cooked Brasato beef cooked in red wine. Tender, juicy and consistent, this meal will make you limitless to the eyes of your partner!