The Perfect Dinner Tasting Recipe – Tier 2

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 things going

The most important part to set the stage.  You have to make it clear that this is a Champagne from France, not just a sparkling wine.  And if they ask more about it, you can specify that it is a Grand Cru, so coming from one of the 17 best villages of all the production.  Aperitive time in a dinner is an easy going, relaxing moment, but this doesn’t mean it’s not important.  The quality of the aperitive is like the prologue of a good dinner – it tells more than you think.  While this wine pairs with nearly anything except confectionary flavors and commercial/supermarket foods, please avoid appetizers like chips and guacamole, or other cheesy dips.  If you cannot find a good Parmigiano, you can still use a good salmon (not too smoky) or good goat cheese from a local producer.  Bake some cherry tomatoes with olive oil and herbs or whatever your local market can provide to make a nice bruschetta.  From time to time, give some information from the video about the wine.  Surprise them talking about the noblesse of Chardonnay in Champagne and Burgundy, the great balance between saltiness, fruit and acidity, and other fancy comments.

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:  Understated Complexity

Bardolino.  The real snobbish is the one that pretends not to be.  That is what this wine is about.  A simple, complex, easy drinking wine but intense.  Talk about the simplicity of the local farmers who don’t care about labels, marketing or trends, rather just defend their local traditions.  Use this wine a wine as an Intervallo of the symphony of your dinner.

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 Niche Wine

Yes, this wine is technically a more expensive one from the collection.  You can find some Etnas on the wine lists of NYC selling for hundreds.  Find a subtle way to mention this is a more expensive wine without sounding pretentious.  Tell them the vineyards are 100 years old, how incredible the environment is, just steps from the mountains and minutes from the sea.  Speak about the hard and generous volcanic soil and mention the fact that this is a wine that truly is about terroir and tasting a place - remind them, you are drinking 'Etna Rosso', not 'Nerello Mascalese'.  Pair this with some cod or tuna fish, or a medium soft pecorino.

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 how much you will know after a year of shipments...cheers!


How to Host the Perfect Italian Dinner Party

Bring Italy to you with our free guide to planning and hosting the perfect Italian dinner party!

Find recipes, wine paring recommendations and other tips for a memorable evening, all curated by our team of experts - download today here:


Leave a Comment