Pasta ClassI love that Brand Ambassador Nicole Poggi and her US counterpart Elyse Imamura use food to teach people about wine.  In order to promote their wonderful winery, Poderi dal Nespoli from (the Romagna part of) Emilia-Romagna, Elyse and Nicole invited people to taste the wine in a unique setting: a pasta-making class in the teaching kitchen of Drago Centro’s private dining room.

It all comes together here, since the cuisine of Emilia-Romagna centers around one thing: Pasta

Pasta ancoraIn Italy, food and wine are inseparable.  Inviting people to taste the wines of Poderi dal Nespoli while they learn to make some traditional pasta dishes is not only an fun marketing concept, but an important one.  It is difficult to understand regionally traditional Italian wines without understanding the same region’s foods.  Jeff & Elyse

The Nespolino Bianco (Trebbiano and Chardonnay) makes a lot more sense when it’s paired with fresh-made ricotta, fava beans and fennel.  Aromatic, punctuated by that teeth-chattering acidity, and full of white peaches and racy green plums.  Beautiful wine that could not be based on anything but Trebbiano with that mineral, stone-fruit-riddled nose.

Likewise, the winery’s traditional Sangiovese di Romagna, Il Nespoli, is earthy-rusty, meaty black plums: everything Sangiovese from this region should be.  There is nothing that would work better with such a rich, well-balanced Sangiovese di Romagna than a traditional Ragu alla Bolognese.  

Il Nespoli

In addition to leading the hands-on tutorial on pasta-making, Chef Ian Gresnik also prepared a traditional lunch to go with the wines- the highlight of which was his delicate tagliatelle pasta and meaty Bolognese.

Thank you, Poderi dal Nespoli, for reminding us that Italian wine is more than just fermented grape juice- there is an entire culture of regional traditions in those bottles.