deVine Wine Club has a Di..Vino Affair


The Royal Cliff’s deVine Wine Club went Italian at its recent wine dinner, introducing Federico Rainero, the export manager at the San Patrignano winery, Falesco and Castello di Cicognola.

The pre-dinner Italian Antipasti, from the kitchens of Executive Chef Walter Thenisch were washed down by the reception wine, a 2012 Spumante Brut IGT, NV San Patrignano, and then the members and guests moved into the main building to the Royal Grill Room and Wine Cellar.

Royal Cliff MD Panga Vathanakul greets Federico Rainero, export manager at the San Patrignano winery.

After the official welcome given by GM Antonello Passa (also Italian but from Sardinia, said Federico Rainero with a mischievous grin) who introduced Federico to the diners.

Federico appraised the diners of the rather unique situation in the Patrignano winery which uses its facilities as a ‘half way’ house employing addicted young people, giving them a second chance in life. This project is also run by private enterprise, and not a government agency.

Federico Rainero appraises diners of the rather unique situation in the Patrignano winery.

The first course (of five) featured Alaskan King crab legs with frosted red currants, quail egg and Yuzu lime foam. This dish being taken with a very light and clean white, Aulente IGT Bianco Rubicone 2014, San Patrignano.

The second course itself was superb, a steamed codfish medallion topped with a honey mirror and fresh black truffle on sautéed baby greens and mint risotto. The second white to go with the fish was a Vie IGT Bianca Rubicone 2012, San Patrignano, which had more body than the first wine, and was voted the more popular by the members I spoke with.

GM Antonello Passa makes his welcome address.

The third and main course was another well received by the deVine club members, being an offering of slow braised Wagyu beef with veal marrow and grilled porcini mushrooms, baby broccolini home made potato dumplings, on Barolo reduction. I have often been disappointed by Wagyu, but this one was one that people were still talking about on their ways home. Fabulous, Chef Walter.

Executive Chef Walter Thenisch and his staff receive applause for their professional service and presentation.

The wine with this was a Vitiano IGP 2011, Falesco. Very pleasant with good body and finish, and not overloaded with tannins. I enjoyed this wine.

After a rosella sherbet and some Italian cheeses we were introduced to a Marciliano IGP 2009, Falesco. This wine is a Robert Parker 91 and shows the enormous potential of the wine territory of Montecchio and excellence of the estate Umbrian Marciliano named after the same farm where it is produced, acquired by Falesco in 1999.

From there it was into the dessert course with a Moscato D’Asti DOCG 2014, Bosc D’La Rei, a little sweet for some, but I enjoyed it.

It was another memorable wine dinner which once again showed the complete mastery of his kitchen by Walter Thenisch.

Finally, if you are wondering at the significance of Di..Vino Affair, I am told by my local Italian contact that it is a play on words for Divine and Wine. That of course goes well with the deVine wine club.

I look forward to the next one!

(L to R) GM Antonello Passa, NEEDS NAME, Federico Rainero, Panga Vathanakul, Dr Iain Corness and Peter Malhotra pose for the paparazzi.