What better place to host an Italian wine tasting dinner than at Tomasso, our Italian restaurant located at Turtle Point Clubhouse. The Winebow Wine Dinner this past month, on Thursday, April 26, was not only an opportunity to try the outstanding food and wine, but also for a chance to speak with the person who is an expertise in the field of fine wine. As soon as you walked up the stairs of the clubhouse you were greeted with a glass of wine and just through the doors to the veranda you were captivated by the view of the golf course. During the reception, everyone talked amongst each other and of course sampled all of the delicious cheeses and meats they had out on display.
After everyone was seated, there was a warm introduction made by Clint Harris, Winebow Estates Area Manager, for guest speaker, Giuseppe LoCascio, Italian Portfolio Manager of Leonardo LoCascio Selections at Winebow. When Giuseppe spoke about his background and how he got into the industry he said, “wine in Italy is part of the meal, even when you’re young you are given a little bit of wine, and so for me that was a revelation.” He left the guests with the anticipatory remark that “some of the wineries we will be presenting tonight are working from the third generation with consistent quality that is committed to making fine wine.”
The last statement he made was undeniable, because all the wines were exceptional and paired well with the carefully thought out courses made by Chef de Cuisine of Tomasso, Nicholas Hunter. The dinner began with a brief history and description of the wine paired with the first course, which was the Falesco “Est! Est! Est!”, Lazio, 2010. This crisp wine with soft flavor of pear and melon paired well with the sweetness of the simple light spring salad that consisted of mixed baby greens, charred spring onion, spun baby radish, strawberries, warm fingerling potatoes, and candied fig vinegar. The second course was a soup with melted cherry tomatoes, local asparagus, fennel cream, Granny Smith apple, micro basil, and Georgia caviar was creamy and was counterbalanced with the vibrant acidity in the Argiolas, Vermentino “Costamolino”, Sardegna, 2010. The third course was a seared local wreck fish, Ambrose Farms spinach, grilled artichoke, house pancetta, Forbidden risotto, and preserved lemon vinaigrette was paired with Falesco, “Vitiano” Rosato, Umbria, 2010, which is a perfect wine for the summer and delicious with this dish. The fourth course was a New Zealand lamb chop served with spring vegetable caponata, lemon quince gremolata, heirloom tomato, and spinach ravioli, and garden chives paired with the ripe fruit flavors of black cherry and blackberry with the aroma of vanilla and black pepper in the Morgante, Nero D’Avola, Sicilia, 2008. Lastly, but certainly not the least on my favorites from this menu, is the dessert. The ricotta pound cake with macerated spring berries, Sweet Bay basil, and raspberry balsamic paired with Zardetto, “Z”, Vento, NV really brought out the citrus flavors in its Meyer lemon curd.
Giuseppe said, “There are two very important things we look into when we select a winery in Italy. Number one, it has to be family own, family run winery. Number two, they have to express the best value in their category, the price to quality ratio in every single price point. The most important portfolio is family because working with families put things in a long term perspective.” There is no wonder that Winebow is one of the leading importers of premium Italian wines under the Leonardo LoCascio Selections label. I can honestly say that this one of the most memorable and enjoyable events I’ve attended. Please come try Tomasso on your next visit to Kiawah Island Golf Resort if not for the wine, then for their delectable food.