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DRINK: 2016 IAR Petite Arvine
EAT: Green Garlic Cacio e Pepe wth Asparagus, Morels and Parmesan
PLAY: “Buona Sera” – Louis Prima
Institut Agricole Regional (IAR) is an agricultural school way up high in the Vallee d’Aosta region of northern Italy, for students to do research on wine & food products as well as rescuing and identifying ancient vines throughout the country. The IAR has a winery and vineyards on site and they produce very small amounts of wine every vintage. The grape here is called Petite Arvine, a very old Roman variety fermented and aged in stainless steel. A unique wine with hints of oxidation, lemon curd and minerality, and a ray of sunshine with brightness, fresh fruit and a unique complexity.
I’m fortunate to consult with chef Brian Bowen of Albatross in Danville, where he creates a Middle Eastern inspired menu of incredible cuisine featuring exotic ingredients and spices. This classic pasta dish literally means cheese and pepper, with long noodles, and in this version adds asparagus tips, fresh morel mushrooms and parmesan cheese. The wine has slight elements of spring herbs that work so well with the asparagus, yet it also has a weighty texture that matches the mushrooms and the acidity to temper the cheese.
Louis Prima was a larger than life New Orleans born Sicilian singer known as “The King of Swing” and was famous for his raucous and out of control fun songs and stage performance. His most famous songs like “The Old Black Magic”, “I Ain’t Got Nobody” and “Just a Gigolo” were performed with his partner Keely Smith and were huge hits after World War 2. Prima was probably best remembered as the voice of “King Louie” in Disney’s Jungle Book.
- Chris Blanchard, MS