Monte del Fra Custoza 2011
A wedge of light cuts through the kitchen darkness as we open the refrigerator door to look inside: I declare my love for a still irresistible piece of wild caught salmon resting on a plate; she advises that she will be inconsolable without familiar Chinese comfort food.
I surrender the salmon and leave her to transform it and little else into a nostalgically ethnic dinner dish that, for her, summons cozy memories from earlier years in China.
Meanwhile, I should tell you about the wine:
Monte del Fra Custoza is a complex, carefully crafted blend of 40% Garganega, 20% Trebbiano Toscano, 10% Tocai Friulano, 20% Cortese, 10% Chardonnay-Riesling Italico-Malvasia, hailing from the southeast side of Lake Garda in Italy’s Veneto. Grown in glacial soil of limestone, clay, gravel and sand, after individually timed harvests, grapes are separated and soft-pressed in temperature controlled stainless steel.
Despite the empty refrigerator, we dine well. The wine is sensational alongside an elegant Chinese rice porridge with bits of wild caught salmon, diced carrots, celery, mustard greens and leek, flavored with a generous amount of finely sliced ginger, white pepper, sesame oil and a splash of soy sauce.
Delicately aromatic and flavorful, licks of apple, pear, peach and nectarine. Well-structured, great balance, lively acidity. Finishes with good length, remaining fragrant in the mouth. If pressed, I could write a one-word tasting note: Delicious. To experience one of the best values in Italian wine, entrust yourself immediately to a bottle of Monte del Fra Custoza 2011.
Food Pairing Suggestions:
Appetizers, refined first courses of pasta or rice, fish, shellfish, complex salads, delicate poultry dishes, eggs benedict, eggs & and shaved morels on buttered toast, poached eggs with mussels on buttered toast, quiche.