VIWF: The finale! DINE ITALIA!

Calling a bit of an audible here, since my festival wine has not yet arrived in my local BC Liquor Store and I need that to properly finish off my festival reports….so I’m going to do the finale first.

In cases where the wine would be tough to find in local markets, I have provided the importer and their contact info in the “Notes” sections of the wine reviews.

It’s tough to imagine a better way to end this festival every year than this event. This year we had company, as our dear friends Travis and Melissa joined in on the fun. The four of us were seated at the smallest table, which sat only six, and we were joined by Valentina Abbona, the lovely Director of Marketing for Marchesi di Barolo, and Jason, a local agent for her winery (and others). They were both delightful company for the afternoon.

Valentina, in particular, was passionate about her brand. It took us a while to find out that she was not just the Director of Marketing, but the SIXTH generation of this family winery! She travels almost 200 days a year to promote her brand. Her father is the winemaker. This is a huge family business in a little town in Barolo.

She is the kind of person who could convince a drowning man to buy water, if you know what I mean. What a pleasure it was to sit and chat with her during this amazing lunch.

Although, I was a little nervous rating her wine while she sat right next to me; hopefully it didn’t suck!! 🙂

Dine Italia group picture
Tracey, Valentina, Melissa, the author, Travis, and Jason.

As always, they started us off with a little bubbly as we waited for the main courses to begin.


Seared yellowfin tuna, cucumber – pepper vinaigrette, aged balsamic drizzle

Not a fan of tuna OR cucumber, but this was pretty tasty.

Masi Agricola NV Canevel Campfalco DOCG


2019-03-02 12.14.01
Pan seared diver scallop, Jerusalem artichoke puree, local Two Rivers heritage bacon, apple-fennel salad.

They substituted a beautiful caprese salad for my wife who can’t eat scallops. Both dishes were fantastic.

Two wines with this course. I felt the first one was a better pairing, but I was in the minority at my table I believe.

di lenardo Vineyards 2017 FriulanoUmani Ronchi 2017 Casal di Serra Verdicchio Classico Superiore


Pasta envelopes filled with smoked caciocavallo, sage brown butter, mushroom tea, crisp Parmiggiano Reggiano flakes.

Every year we come here they serve us a fantastic pasta dish, and this one might have topped them all. Incredible. Oh, caciocavallo is a smoked cheese….I had to look that up!

At this point we switched over to the reds, and two more pairing with this course. The Chianti paired beautifully with the food, the other one, not at all.

Vini Tonon 2012 Rosso del Camul

Rocca delle Macie 2015 Chianti Classico


2019-03-02 13.14.15
Roasted veal tenderloin, sherry – rosemary demi glaze, sun dried tomato – polenta cake, rapini.

Oh my. I have become quite the fan of veal. Another dish that was off-the-charts delicious.

Altesino 2013 Brunello di Montalcino

Carpineto 2013 Brunello di Montalcino



2019-03-02 13.52.56
Sous Vide double crusted lamb rack, fontina scallop potato, honey glazed heirloom carrots, 25yr balsamic reduction

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, lamb is not my thing, but this was freaking spectacular.  I guess I am becoming a lamb fan, too.

Let’s face it, I’m a fan of almost anything when cooked by world-class chefs. Makes all the difference in the world.

Three wines to pair with this one, one of which was Sordo Ravera Barolo, which we tasted and I reviewed here at our Barolo dinner earlier this week.

Tenuta Argentiera 2016 Villa Donoratico

Oh, and Valentina need not worry about my thoughts on her wine!

Marchesi di Barolo 2014 Barolo DOCG Cannubi


2019-03-02 14.21.07
Taleggio, Parmigiano Reggiano, Aged Asiago, Cranberry raisin crisps, fresh fruit, candied nuts, essence honey & Crisp almond puff pastry, caramelized apple – vanilla bean creme, gold leaf, dark chocolate spear, apple tuile.

Outside of the cranberry raisin monstrosities, this was another perfect dish. Superb.

Talk about a perfect pairing with this decadent beauty!

Donnafugata 2016 Ben Rye Passito di Pantelleria

Well that’s it! Another year, another fantastic experience. Big thanks to Julio and his entire team at La Terrazza for putting on a great lunch as always.

Next up: Hopefully my wine arrives in the near future so I can finish my reviews of everything we tasted, and bought, from the festival tasting room.



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Wine blogger, foodie, traveler.

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