Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Dining at DiVino: A Puglian Experience

The other night I was fortunate enough to be invited to an event at DiVino Wine Studio and Enoteca. (You may remember DiVino from my previous post about its owner, Antonio). The evening was all about promoting wines from the Puglia region of Italy and connecting fellow foodies. Warmly hosted by Larissa Beznaczuk-Smyrnew, Eric Diotte and Shannon Harvey, this intimate dinner party provided a chance to get to know the wines of Puglia.

The "heel of the boot", Puglia produces more wine than any other region. Originally known mostly for bulk wine, this southern region is now making more new and interesting wines. Regional food specialties include olives, olive oil, seafood and many types of vegetables.

Upon arrival, we were greeted with a refreshing cocktail made from Triple Sec, Brandy, Verdeca and Malvasia bianca wine (Puglian white grapes) and frozen peaches.

Sommelier Eric Diotte

After mingling with our fellow dinner party guests, we were then seated for a lovely dinner created to highlight three specific Puglian wines.

Orchiette pasta in a tomato olive basil sauce, topped with Pecorino cheese

Family style spinach salad with peaches, fennel and red cabbage

Chicken involtini with roasted red pepper, caramelized onions, ricotta cheese, fresh basil and asparagus with an eggplant and zucchini ragu

To complete the meal we were treated to a dessert of balsamic butter roasted pears with honeyed goat cheese and cinnamon almond biscotti with a cherry on top. Unfortunately I don't have a photo of this dish as I was too busy chatting about wine to remember my photographic responsibilities.

When tasting the wines, we were encouraged to make notes on our tasting sheets and discuss our impressions with other dinner guests. My favourite of the evening was the Tatu Primitivo. Although wine tasting notes are quite subjective at times, I thought I'd share mine with you anyway, using the headings provided on the tasting sheet.

Wine #1:
Mezzomondo/2008 Negroamaro/Product of Puglia/$7.95
Flavour: not too fruity, a bit dry
Acidity: high acidity
Texture: light-bodied
Body: high alcohol
Nose: raspberry, vanilla

Wine #2:
Ogio/2008 Primitivo/Product of Puglia/$8.48
Flavour: fruit comes over well
Acidity: not very acidic
Texture: light bodied
Body: medium alcohol
Nose: raspberry, bubblegum, vanilla

Wine #3:
Vigne e Vini/2006 Tatu Primitivo del Tarantino/Product of Puglia/$14.95
Flavour: fruit comes over well
Acidity: medium acidity
Texture: light bodied, medium tannins
Body: high alcohol
Nose: cherry, cedar

Many thanks to Larissa and her team for an enjoyable evening! It was so great to connect with some new food and wine-lovers and I definitely recommend bringing a Puglian wine to your next dinner party!


  1. These are such a great photos! I think my favourite course was the orchiette pasta with the tomato olive basil sauce. But the pears with that goat cheese was to DIE for.

  2. Thanks for bringing me along for the ride, Heather! It was a delicious experience... and my mouth is salivating all over again looking at these pics! My fav was also the pasta. Yum!

  3. Thanks Carolynn and Caroline! :) For me it was all about the red pepper ricotta in the chicken and that Tatu Primitivo!