Tuscan tasting

If you’re in the market for a mid-week treat, and if a top-notch five-course dinner with gorgeous matching wines presented by an internationally renowned wine-maker sounds like your bag, then you are indeed in for a treat this week. 

On Wednesday evening in Ely CHQ (that’s the one in the IFSC, Dublin 1), The Corkscrew wine merchants are hosting a very special wine dinner with visiting wine-maker Paolo de Marchi from Isole e Olena winery, one of Chianti Classico’s leading lights. A fourth-generation wine-maker and exceptionally charming man, Paolo was one of several wine-makers who helped to put Tuscany back on the map in the 1970s and ’80s by producing wine according to their own rules rather than according to the rules laid down by the local Chianti appellation regulations.

The wine at the picture-pretty estate of Isole e Olena

The wine at the picture-pretty estate of Isole e Olena

Following the lead of the makers of ground-breaking Super-Tuscan wines such as Sassicaia and Tignanello (both of which made the bold step of introducing Bordeaux grapes to their blends), Paolo made an international name for himself and his Tuscan estate. But unlike those two genre-defining wines, which looked beyond Tuscany for inspiration, Paolo’s most esteemed wine, Cepparello, is a celebration of the local Sangiovese grape (100%) as well as the soil and climate of the local terroir. He doesn’t restrict himself to local grapes however, with Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay coming centre-stage in other Isole e Olena wines. 

Paola di Marche and his son Luca who now works with him at the Tuscan estate in the heart of Chianti Classico

Paola di Marche and his son Luca who now works with him at the Tuscan estate in the heart of Chianti Classico

On Wednesday evening, you’ll have to eat and drink your way through five courses to get to the climactic tasting of the Cepparello, which will be paired with Italian and Irish cheeses. But that won’t be any great hardship, with pairings such as baked bone marrow, herb crust and salsa verde served with with Isole e Olena’s award-winning Chianti Classico 2010; or haunch of venison with braised chicory, celeriac remoulade and chocolate, served with their Collezione de Marchi Syrah 2006. 

The dinner kicks off at 8pm and costs €95 per head, which is more than your average mid-week meal for sure. But considering that, in a wine shop, you would pay on average about half of that for a bottle of any one of the six wines being served, it’s a pretty good deal. Click here to go The Corkscrew’s website and grab one of the last few tickets going.

 

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