This is a five (5) minute read
I have never turned around a post as quickly as this one. EVER. Last evening, (Tues., July 20th), we went to Savi Cucina and Wine Bar for their Antinori Wine Dinner. We were both overwhelmed on so many levels. First, this was our first wine dinner here in Charleston since March of 2020, thanks to Covid. Second, it was our first wine dinner at Savi since we joined their Wine Society last July. And lastly, the six courses were absolutely delicious, and the wines paired exquisitely. I do not know what more we could have asked out of this experience.
This is my people. We call ourselves the Bougie, Boozy, Brunch Bunch. Clearly, we gather for other meals as well, but we always have a great time when we can all get together.
About Marchesi Antinori
The Antinori family has owned and operated their winemaking business since 1385. Currently, the 26th generation of winemakers is at the helm of this now worldwide enterprise. They are the 10th oldest family-run winery in the world. The current CEO is the 24th generation great, granddaughter (great and grand are the other two generations equalling 26th) of Giovanni di Piero Antinori. In addition to the nine properties they own in Italy, they also own wineries around the world.
They are the creators of the “Super Tuscan” red blend. What makes it “Super?” It is a red blend from Tuscany that is primarily Sangiovese blended with non-indigenous grapes, particularly Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Syrah. The creation of super Tuscan wines resulted from the frustration winemakers had towards a slow bureaucracy in changing Italy’s wine law during the 1970s. The most famous Super Tuscan wine was called “Tignanello” and was created by Antinori in 1971. It was the first Super Tuscan wine, and today Tignanello is a blend of approximately 80% Sangiovese, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 5% Cabernet Franc.
The Antinori Wine Dinner
A Six-course Tasting Menu by Executive Chef Jeff Allen
July 20, 2021
Bolgheri Vermentino ‘Guado al Tasso’ 2019
Arugula, Citrus, Chili.Pistachio Dust
This dish is so simple and so perfect. The peppery arugula, the spicy chili, the nutty, creamy pistachio, and the citrus spritz melded perfectly with the sweet juicy watermelon, and the Vermentino only heightened those flavors. The wine retails for about $25.95 a bottle.
Chardonnay ‘Bramito Della Sala’ 2018
Local Shrimp, Grilled Focaccia, Brown Butter Aioli, Tarragon
The shrimp are perfectly cooked and ever so delicately tossed in the aioli. The grilled focaccia is crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. The lightly oaked chardonnay cleansed your palate so you could re-experience the bite again as if for the first time. This is a chardonnay for any and everyone. Especially for those that think they do not like Chardonnay. It retails for approximately $25.95
Chianti Classico ‘Tignanello Marchese’ 2017
Duck Confit Risotto
Gorgonzola Dolce, Red Wine Reduction
WOW, they better put this on the menu in the winter. I could eat it every day. I’d be as big as a house but yes, every day!! Once again, the gorgeous acidity cleansed the earthy and creamy, while the fruit flavors and aromas joined with the unctuous duck to sing the Hallelujah Chorus! Mama needs a cool cloth!
The wine is primarily made from the native Sangiovese grape and minimal Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc amounts. It retails for approximately $51.95
The image below on the left: Gary tastes the additional bottle of the Chianti Classico (poured by co-owner and sommelier Ty Raju). Alas, we all enjoy a second glass of this delicious wine. On the right: Gary does not eat lamb. His fourth course is an eggplant tapenade over celery root puree.
Super Tuscan ‘Guado al Tasso II Bruciato’ 2019
Braised Lamb Belly
Celery Root Puree, Local Mushrooms, Mint Gremolata
This food course was over the top. The lamb belly ate like a short rib and was absolutely amazing. Amazing, I say! I will not wax on how the dish made the wine sing and how the wine made the dish even better. But it did. In both directions.
The wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot. It retails for approximately $30.95
Toscana ‘Tignanello’ 2018
House-Made Ricotta, Fresh Mozzarella, Pomodoro
Tignanello was the first Sangiovese to age in barriques, the first contemporary red wine blended with untraditional varieties (specifically Cabernet Sauvignon), and one of the first red wines in the Chianti Classico region that didn’t use white grapes in its blend. Tignanello is a milestone. This wine comes from the Tignanello Estate from the best blocks of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc. It retails for approximately $159.95
The Bolognese is pork-based for a mild, meaty flavor. It is heavenly. We are all falling over ourselves at this point in the dinner as we sip and eat this last course before dessert. It is, once again, heavenly.
Muffato ‘Castello Della Sala’ 2009
Poached Summer Stone Fruit, Oat Granola
The wine with the last course is a twelve-year-old sweet dessert wine made from a blend of Gewürztraminer, Riesling, Sauvignon blanc, Sémillon, and Grechetto. Harvested in late autumn allowed for “noble rot” to gradually cover the crop allowing for a concentration of their sugars and adding to their aromatic complexity.
The stone fruit topping on the rice pudding and the apricot flavors in the wine was pure genius. The citrus notes and acidity cleansed the creamy pudding from your palate. Lastly, the granola crumb on the bottom provided a gooey, crunchy, sweetened, earthy refresh. Another sip of this perfectly sweet wine (Wine should always be sweeter than the dessert), and you are ready for another bite. Look at this gorgeous caramelized color of this wine. OMG! This wine retails for approximately $59.95 for a 500ml bottle.
Marchesi Antinori Rocked This Dinner
And So Did The Savi Team
Wow, the Savi team knocked it out of the park. If this is any indication, we will be sure to look out for future wine dinners. Thanks to Karen and Ty, Chef Jeff Allen, and the entire team for making this Tuesday night something exceptional.
I last posted about Savi about a year ago after our first dinner experience.