Celebrate Autumn in Abruzzo at Francesca’s Bryn Mawr Wine Dinner

fall1Abruzzo is an underappreciated mountainous wine region in central Italy.  With borders of the Adriatic Sea to the east, Lazio to the west, and Marche and Molise to the north and south, Abruzzo is blessed with sea breezes and storm protection due to the Apennine Hills to the west.  A Mediterranean climate, ancient clay soils, and varying elevations produce vibrant white wines and full-bodied red wines from the Trebbiano d’Abruzzo and Montepulciano d’Abruzzo grapes respectively.

La Valentina winery started near the hills of Pescara in central Italy in 1990.  The company owns several vineyards throughout Abruzzo and uses these grapes to make several different wines which will be featured at Francesca’s Bryn Mawr Wine Dinner.

The event will be held at the restaurant, located at 1039 W. Bryn Mawr in Chicago, on Thursday, October 20 at 7pm.  Cost is $59/per person plus tax & gratuity and reservations can be made by calling 773.506.9261.

The Trebbiano d’Abruzzo grape produces dry fruit-forward wines with crisp acidity.  Pecorino is another white grape grown in Abruzzo which produces mineral-driven wines with floral and tropical notes.

Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, the main grape of Abruzzo, is responsible for dense red wines with flavors of violet, strawberry, licorice, and graphite coupled with substantive tannins.  These wines are typically made in two styles, one for earlier drinking and the other for medium-term aging.  All of these wines will be enjoyed at the upcoming wine dinner.

I’ve written about these Francesca’s wine dinners before as I think they offer fantastic value for the quality of the food and wines and I also particularly enjoy them as they are very casual in nature yet still educational.  Please see the full menu and wines below:

First Course:

Arancini Allo Zafferano

Saffron and As Ago Arancini, Citrus Aiol

Frittelle Di Melanzane Con Prosciutto

Crispy Fried Eggplant, Prosciutto Di Parma

Wine:  Trebbiano D’Abruzzo DOC 2015

Second Course

Tonno Crudo

Ahi Tuna Crudo, Micro Basil, Orange, Fresno Chilies, Chicories, Maldon

Wine:  Pecorino Colline Pescaresi IGT 2015

Third Course

Spaghetti Alla Chitarra Con Polpette d’Agnello

Chitarra Pasta, Goat Cheese, Studded Lamb Meatballs, Arrabbiata Sauce, Crispy Soppressata

Wine:  “Spelt” Montelpuciano D’Abruzzo Doc Riserva 2011

Fourth Course

Costine Di Manzo Con Verdure Autunnali

Espresso Braised Short Ribs, Roasted Autumn Root Vegetables, Parsnip-Cippolini Onion Potiglia, Binomio Reduction

Wine:  Binomio Montepulciano D’Abruzzo DOC Riserva 2011

Fifth Course

Mousse Al Cioccolato

Chocolate Mousse, Sour Cherry Agrodolce, Cocoa Nibs, Pizzelle Crumble

Wine:  Meletti Cioccolato Liqueur

Hope to see you there!

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