Guido brings Riccardo and Renzo to dinner at the Royal Cliff

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Mrs. Panga Vathanakul (3rd right) MD of the Royal Cliff Hotels Group together with GM Prem Calais (left) and RM Jan Lorensen (2nd left) thank Guido Vannucchi (2nd right) and Thomas Ruegsegger (right) of Italasia for the excellent wines and expressed the highest compliments to Executive Chef Peter Held (3rd left) for his magnificent creations.

The Royal Cliff’s deVine wine club introduced its members to the Antinori label, followed by Riccardo and Renzo Cotarella at the Italian Wine Dinner held in the Royal Grill Room and Wine Cellar. To lead the members through the evening was Guido Vannucchi a passionate Italian from Milan representing Antinori.

The “Italian affair” began with an Antinori bubbly in their Cuvee Royale Franciacorta DOCG NV as the reception wine. This was a very pleasant invitation to the following wines in the dinner, which came from Umbria and Lazio.

Guido Vannucchi, Marchesi Antinori Export Manager Asia Pacific waxing eloquent.
Guido Vannucchi, Marchesi Antinori Export Manager Asia Pacific waxing eloquent.

Antinori wines are well known in Italy and these days well known in the world wine circles. Marchesi Antinori Srl can trace its history back to 1385. They are one of the biggest wine companies in Italy, and their innovations played a large part in the “Super-Tuscan” revolution of the 1970s. Antinori is a member of the Primum Familiae Vini and the 10th oldest family owned company in the world.

Jan Lorensen Resident Manager of the Royal Cliff Grand Hotel, welcomes guests and deVine Wine Club Members to Italian affair.
Jan Lorensen Resident Manager of the Royal Cliff Grand Hotel, welcomes guests and deVine Wine Club Members to Italian affair.

The first course was a tuna carpaccio with Mesclun leaves, apple drops and salmon roe and introduced the Falasco label (a relative newcomer growing grapes since 1979 under the control of the Cotarella brothers). This Falesco winery is located in Umbria’s Montecchio municipality, near Orvieto in the southwestern area that borders the Lazio region. In Lazio, Falesco also maintains a cellar for the vinification of its DOC wine range.

The Falesco Vitiano Grechetto Umbtia IGT was a very refreshing white wine teamed with an easy on the palate first course.

The next course was very interesting, being a duck ravioli on a light tomato stew with Parmesan foam, taken with a Falesco Vitiano Rosso Umbria IGP 2015. Duck ravioli is not a common way of presenting duck, and was very enjoyable with the light red and hats off to Executive Chef Peter Held.

After a tamarind sorbet, the members continued with a very different course – a grilled Italian Spicy sausage on a truffle mash and red cabbage coulis. The wine with this was a Falesco Tellus Shiraz Lazio IGP 2015. This shiraz was able to overcome the spiciness, and was particularly smooth, and my pick of the wine of the night.

A beautiful lamb dish on saffron risotto.
A beautiful lamb dish on saffron risotto.

The deVine wine club produced another winner in the next course which was a very tender braised lamb shoulder on a saffron risotto with the Falesco Montiano Merlot Lazio IGP 2013. As indicated by Guido Vannucchi, this was a very smooth wine and being just a little bit older assisted in the smoothness.

The service was impeccable and a joy to behold.
The service was impeccable and a joy to behold.

The dinner closed with the classic Italian Tiramisu. The wine to go with it was on the sweet side, being a Muffato Della Sala Umbria IGT 12.5 percent. An interesting Italian 60 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 40 percent Grechetto, Traminer and Riesling. Very similar to a German Gewurtztraminer.

Coffee and Biscotti and it was time to wrap up another deVine successful evening.