The Perfect Dinner Tasting Recipe – Tier 1

In Wine Club Tasting Notes by Alessandro PepeLeave a Comment


(We know...we might sound like we are repeating ourselves)

What is so different about this wine club and others?  Ok, you have videos and descriptions of the wines and yes, it’s selected by the famous Roscioli, known all over the world.  Yes, these videos put you more in touch with the winemakers and their stories and land, and most of the wine presented comes from small growers and is not easy to find, and each box features a wide selection of flavors from all regions, climates, and soils....  If wine tasting is about training and opening your palate to different flavors, what we propose here is not just a simple selection of ‘Cabs and Chards’ (Lesson 1 – please if you must call a wine from a grape variety, please use the whole name).  And surely after a few shipments and watching the videos carefully, you will soon get to the soul of winemaking, and impress your friends with all your knowledge (because this is mainly what wine tasting is about).

But this wine club is more than that.  It was designed not just to have 6 exciting wines delivered to your doorstep, but more out of the idea of sharing an experience with your friends and loved ones by giving you all the tools to host a Rimessa Roscioli tasting at home.  Just in case you don't know how, here we offer some clues of how to do this…



6 Wine Club wines
8-12 friends or family
Large social table
12-24+ wine glasses (quality ones)

Invite some friends over - maybe for your birthday, a special occasion, or just an excuse to get everyone together (6 bottles could mean a bottle drank per person, so more people if you're driving).  The day before, watch the videos and study the notes and you can be the perfect amphitrion for your guests.  Remember to speak with the right tone of voice.  You are not a teacher, you are not pretending, maybe you’re showing off a bit, but it shouldn’t come off that way.  Give information from time to time like you were chatting with a nonchalance about wine.

Step 1: Some Effervescence to get the evening going

SoloUva.  You will immediately grab the attention of your guests by serving a sparkling wine from Italy that is NOT Prosecco, but rather a wine made in the same style of Champagne, coming from the Italian alpine region of Franciacorta.  This is still a wine that most people have never heard of so a perfect opportunity to wow your group and gain their trust that this is going to be a great evening.  You can speak about the differences of Prosecco and Champagne (or Franciacorta) - the Charmat vs champenoise method (and even the SoloUva method to sound really fancy), the different grapes used, and the importance of place, terroir and soil.   Pair this with some nice, fresh appetizers that you make coming from your local market and let everyone get bubbly and excited while sipping on this wine.

Step 2:  To the Table

Catalanesca.  Ok now it’s time to cheat a bit.  Perhaps pretend you visited the winery and that you had the unique privilege to see the archaeological site of that Roman Villa which is off-limits to the public (actually they didn't even want us to take the video of this site).  Speak about the soil, the volcano, and the gunflint minerality that the volcano gives to this wine, and if someone complains that the wine is too acidic, you can kindly answer - maybe it is your palate that is too sweet (just to provoke and make them think a bit).  Bring your friends into the soul of the volcano.  Introduce them to the ancient rituals of Dionysus.  You are actually recreating the spirit of the ancient symposiums.  Tell them about the Bacchus parties in the center of Italy from 2,000 years ago.  You'll find they enjoy this wine more with food, so match it with a bite of a local goat cheese, something medium fresh, not a hard cheese, or even scallops or some fried anchovies.

Step 3:  Tasting local flavors

Just because a wine is organic, or biodynamic, or natural doesn't make it 'good'.  Nor does having a 95 point score guarantee you anything other than usually a higher price tag.  Wine can be about tasting local flavors.  Use this wine to provoke your friends - this is not even the most expensive wine by any means, yet it is often a crowd favorite for its intensity and balance.  Price and points have nothing to do with quality and this wine will demonstrate that.  You'll for sure want to mention that this wine is biodynamic, mostly for the purpose of letting your friends know that this wine does not have added sulfites meaning 'no hangover' to contend with tomorrow.   If you can find a quality, aged tuna fish, you'll have the perfect pairing and if not, any peppery meats will work.

Step 4:  The Contucci Saga

You have a lot of anecdotes to tell about this wine, so just let them speak for you.  Any meat dish is perfect for this.  Tell them about the rough and passionate cellar man, Adamo, who is in contrast with the Count Alamanno Contucci and the amazing frescoes of its castle.  Ask them to share their impressions.  A good snobbish wine lover is one that doesn't sound like it.  Someone that is able to give information but who is also interested in others comments.  Promote the idea of discussions about the wines, and foods.  Everyone learns more about their own palate by giving impressions and listening to others.

Step 5:  The Underdog

Cesanese.  Cey-san-ay-say.  Correct pronunciation is important to sounding credible and being snobby.  Lazio has a long way to go before it will ever have a reputation of Piedmont or Tuscany, but this underdog of a wine is going to put Rome on their map for wine.  Speak about how great this wine is with complexity and smoothness on the palate.  Tell them about the family winemaking tradition of 3 generations, the 65 year old vineyards and passion that Alberto has for his land and winemaking.  If you are making Amatriciana pasta, be sure to try to find guanciale, or if not perhaps try to serve a pasta al pomodoro.  If you get this simple yet difficult pasta right, you'll surely impress them.  Note - really good tomatoes are a must otherwise don't bother.

Step 6:  The Epiphany

For ages human beings have been struggling trying to find a compromise between pleasure and culture, thinking that pleasure by itself will give you addiction and nausea, and culture without pleasure would just be heavy and boring.  For a strange reason, for the first time in history, humanity decided in the last 40-50 years that we can just live with pleasure but without culture. But this is a vain claim.  Sooner or later our natural sense of aesthetics will arrive with a bill, showing our lives as they are, souls lost in a closed shopping mall of fake divertisements. But this is the time of redemption and that is what Barolo is about.  This wine is still a baby and needs the help of protein and fats, so find a good piece of Parmigiano, put on some classical music, ask your friends for 1 minute of a Dionysis meditation and let them go, far away in time and space, in a moment where people know how to link pleasure and culture.

And we guarantee…

If your group was your family, there is no more arguing.  Your friends – they think you’re a hero.  Your boss – you just got promoted.  It’s a simple concept, but no one does it.  Take the opportunity to create a unique evening that is more than just drinking with your friends, and share your love affair with Rome, the Rimessa and wines.  And just imagine after a year how much you will know...cheers!


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