Here at The Adelaidian we are big Mercato fans. It’s a gastronomical wonderland of all the best calorie-laden treats Italy has to offer with the famous Italian hospitality to boot, so we always jump at the chance to head on down for their frequent special events.
Recently we were invited to attend a pasta and wine tasting (what a pairing), and suffice to say we wore our stretchy pants. The wines were from the Emilia-Romagna region (mid-north, just up from Tuscany), which is famous for its wine regions, prosciutto and Ferrari factory. Six wines were to be tasted from producers Tenuta Pandolfa and Noelia Ricci. The wines were striking with quirky youthful labels that invoked a feeling that these wines are for now, for fun and for friends. Spanning in price point from a very affordable $19.95 to an equally reasonable $58, these wines are to be enjoyed often and liberally.
One Chardonnay and five Sangioveses made up the tasting. Italy is not exactly renowned for Chardonnay; it is usually the domain of the French; in keeping with the Italian reluctance of oak with white grapes, this wine is definitely not what you would expect. Named Pandolfa ‘Battista’ Bianco, it is clean, crisp, with notes of lime and un-ripe pear, best drunk with a platter of antipasto including some regional Parmiggiano Reggiano.
Sangiovese is one of our favourite varietals, being fruit-driven, aromatic and utterly quaffable. This is wine that brings to mind rolling hills covered with vines, sunshine, friends and a mountain of homemade pasta. It is also to be drunk in slight excess. Our favourite for the night was the 2013 Noelia Ricci ‘Godenza’ Sangiovese. It was earthy and aromatic, with notes of dark fruit and dried flowers. It was perfect to drink by itself, but best paired with our pasta dish of the night. We were treated to an excessive amount of traditional tagliatelle al bolognese rage (it was so big, we didn’t even manage to finish is which has never happened before!). The good quality pasta was the highlight of this dish, it gripped the rich sauce and was both soft and chewy.
If you want to be transported to Italy for a night, learn about Italian wine or just stuff your face full of Italy’s best everything, follow Mercato on social media for updates of events coming up. Don’t forget to wear stretchy pants and come with an empty stomach.