Early last week, we set our two large tables, lit all the candles, and opened our doors to twenty-four wine loving friends. The event at our home was a wine tasting dinner hosted by the Angelini family, who are wine merchants from Spello, a small Umbrian town about thirty minutes from our farmhouse. The idea of this get together originated last year when a friend of ours, Filippo Peppuci of Cantina Peppuci in Umbria contacted us and asked if we would be interested in hosting a group of friends at our home to taste some of Italy’s best wines. We were told that the Angelini family would take responsibility for preparing the meal, and all we had to do was to buy the perishable items the day before and invite up to thirty people. How could we say no to that?
The Angelini family have been wine merchants for the past seven generations, and now the two adult children, Luca, and Irene have trained to follow in their father’s footsteps. Roberto is the patriarch of the family and a wine connoisseur extraordinaire, while his wife Daniela is the head cook and is in charge of the menu. The Angelini’s own two wonderful wine shops in Spello, and during the winter months they travel across the United States hosting wine tasting dinners in private homes and restaurants. This year they had over thirty wine tasting events to plan and host before they head back to Spello.
It is very obvious that the Angelini family have become very expert at hosting these dinners, as explicit instructions were sent to us along with a detailed shopping list. A few weeks before our event, cases of wine and non-perishable food items arrived at our door. The evening ran like clockwork, and if it wasn’t for the fact that the two servers we hired got lost and showed up over an hour late, I’d have to say that the evening couldn’t have gone any smoother. The Angelini family arrived just before 3pm, and Daniela, Luca, and Irene got busy preparing the food while Roberto and my husband unpacked the wine and set it up on our bar. I did my best to stay out of the way as they obviously knew what they were doing, but having never had someone else prepare food for me in my own home, I must admit it was an odd, slightly uncomfortable situation for me.
Our guests arrived at 6pm and were greeted by Roberto with a glass of Umbrian prosecco, a bubbly champagne-like wine that is made from sagarantino grapes and for this reason has just a blush of rose color. We all then sat down at the tables, and the meal began with lightly toasted bruschetta topped with a very fresh tasting extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of sea salt. These bruschettas were served with a light, flavorful white wine from the Tili cantina outside of Assisi. More bruschetta were served topped with truffle paste, arugula sauce, and sun-dried tomato paste and along with these tasty treats, the evening’s selection of red wines began. We moved on to a selection of cured meats which paired beautifully with the wines we were served. I have listed the wines below, but I honestly cannot remember the details of each until we moved on to the 2011 Sassacai that was served with our pasta course. The pasta was strangozzi; the traditional pasta of Umbria topped with a carbonara like sauce made with fried zucchini rather than pancetta. The Sassacaia from the Tenuta San Guido Winery is well known as one of Italy’s finest wines and from the exclamations of delight around me, I can honestly say it was thoroughly enjoyed by all.
The main course was sliced filet mignon served with oven roasted fingerling potatoes and roasted pepper strips and is was accompanied with yet another amazing red wine. A cheese course followed with a selection of different types of pecorino cheese and a drizzle of 25-year-old balsamic vinegar. The meal culminated with tasty chocolate cantucci (biscotti), served with a sweet wine, and then to bring the wine tasting to a completion, grappa was offered to those interested. Overall, it was a lovely evening of wine shared with friends. The Angelini family introduced us to some amazing wines which we sampled with gusto, and Daniela cooked us a wonderful Italian meal that everyone enjoyed. It was a pleasure to meet this energetic and dynamic Umbrian wine family, and we look forward to visiting them in Spello soon after we return to Umbria in May. Do stop by Enoteca Properzi if you are ever in Spello and say hello to Roberto and the rest of the Angelini family and try some of their truly memorable wines.
The Wines Served….
Etrusco 2011 Tili (Pinot, Chardonnay)
L’ Altro Igo 2008 Peppucci Selection Enoteca (Sagrantino,cabernet)
Sassicaia 2011 Super Tuscan
Sagrantino 25 anni 2010 Caprai (Sagrantino)
Giusto di Notri 2012 Tua Rita
Amarone Hatteso 2008 Garbole
Redigaffi 2012 Tua Rita 98 Points by Suckling
Sacreterre 2004 Tili (Sagrantino)
Kurni 2011 Oasi degli Angeli (Montepulciano d’ Abruzzo)
Piazza Matteotti 8/10 06038 Spello (PG)
Tel: +39 0742301521
Resort : http//www.palazzodeicanonici.com