BY CAROLYN ONOFREY
International Culinary Center, SoHo
Casa Vinicola Zonin hosted an inspiring dinner at the International Culinary Center in SoHo highlighting wine from a selection of their wineries with the acclaimed Circo restaurant, bringing a true taste of Italy to New York City.
Marco Maccioni represented Circo at the event, the Maccioni family’s tribute to the woman behind it all – Mrs. Egidiana Maccioni. He told stories of growing up with a father in the restaurant business, doing fine Italian when no one else was and of his mother who did her best to keep a traditional Italian household in the midst of it all. The food served, embodied just that – the home grown nature of the Circo restaurant and the woman who continues to call all the shots there. Zonin’s humble and versatile wines paired seamlessly with the down to earth fare.
A simple tuna salad rolled into a thinly sliced pork tenderloin was a surprisingly fresh start to the meal and was paired with an equally as refreshing, yet full bodied wine – Zonin’s Vermentino Calasole – IGT Maremma 2011 vintage. Chef Alfio Longo was a charming addition to the presentation as he showed how to prepare the dish as we all cleared our plates.
A presentation by the DelVerde Pasta Sommelier was next, his thick Italian accent making everything he said about the pasta making process that much more believable. Delverde’s paccheri pasta stood front and center in the next dish served, creating a bed of pasta for the braised duck, butternut squash, and mushroom delicately laid on top. The wine featured with this course was an amalgamation of grapes from two of Zonin’s estates – The Berengario Zonin, a cabernet sauvignon and merlot blend – the dry red paired well with the richness of the braised duck.
Zonin’s Chianti Classico, 2009 vintage stood up to the next dish of a slow cooked Italian style tripe with artichoke, mellowing the rich flavors of both ingredients.
While I’m sure we could have all stayed far into the night to listen to more of Mr. Maccioni’s childhood tales of smuggling white truffles and salumi through customs and into the United States, the night ended with a classic tiramisu and an interesting Rosato blend of Moscato Bianco and Pinot Noir grapes from Zonin’s Castello del Poggio winery.