“Under the Tuscan Sun Wine Dinner” presented by Villa Capri Poway
Villa Capri is a local Italian restaurant located in Poway (and another located in Carmel Valley) and one of my favorite Italian Restaurants in San Diego. Located in a strip mall near Target, it’s kind of a hidden gem. On the last Thursday of every month Villa Carpri Poway features a wine and dinner night. 5 courses paired with 5 wines I left feeling very full and just a little tipsy (for $49.95). This months theme was “Under the Tuscan Sun” which is a meal inspired by Chef Antonio’s recent trip to Tuscany. I’m definitely no wine expert, but it was fun learning about each wine over dinner. During each wine dinner, the wine is actually presented by a winery or distributer representative giving us some fun insight on the wine and wineries. Tonight, Mario was invited to Villa Capri Poway to talk about our Tuscany wine and if you like the wine you can actually order a bottle (or a case) for home.
Chef’s Appetizers: Chef Anthonio’s own creation of mini bites inspired from his recent trip home to Italy. We kind of started light with plate of appetizers for everyone to share. This was a good appetizer sampler plate with:
- Cheese and sun dried tomato crostini
- Fried sage
- Chicken liver pate topped with capers crostini
- Prosciutto wrapped a little bread stick (sorry don’t remember exactly what that was called)
- (not pictured) olive crostini
It was a good variety of appetizers with some good traditional Italian flavors. And because the menu didn’t describe exactly what appetizers we were being served, we had fun trying to figure out what was what before finally asking to see how close we were.
The fried sage was actually the most interesting item since we’re so used to of adding the herb as flavor eating as a fried appetizer was quite a surprise. I wanted to eat more, but I knew I had 4 more courses to go.
Our appetizers were served with Vermentino, Belguardo 2014. It is described as medium bodied, large fruit (yellow peach) aromas, pleasingly mineral and sapid taste best paired with seafood, risotto and pasta with vegetables, fish soups fish stews, and grilled fish. But as you see we didn’t pair this wine with any of that and yet it was still paired nicely.
Salad – Insalata di Cavolo Nero paired with Rosé, Fattoria Del Sardi
Organic baby kale, apple, goat cheese, pecans and strawberry with a lemon dressing. I usually don’t care for dressing on my salads because I found that most dressings don’t really do too much to a salad if it already has good fresh flavorful ingredients. But the lemon dressing at Villa Capri is kind of my “go to” dressing if I have to have dressing (I’ve been to several events where Villa Capri has catered).
This was just a perfect summer salad for a warm day in San Diego and paired with Fattoria Del Sardi 2014 which is a mix of several different types of grapes / wines to create the pale pink color and that is why it’s called a rosé.
Something that learned from Mario tonight was that this is an organic wine (I guess that’s why it’s paired with the organic kale). And he was very passionate about telling us about how organic items in Italy are very different from what is considered organic here in California.
Carb Course – Ravioli All’Aretina paired with Supertuscan, Querciabella Mongrana 2011
Homemade potato and pancetta ravioli in a savory butter sage sauce, and yes that is just TWO pieces of ravioli but more then enough. I think I”m guilty of having “eyes bigger then my stomach,” especially when I order ravioli. I never think I’m served with enough ravioli, but I’m always stuffed after a few. These were especially filling since the ravioli was stuffed with potatoes (I think it was mashed potatoes).
The savory butter sage sauce actually had a very nice subtle sage flavor and balanced out nicely with the panchetta (bacon) on top.
Our first red wine of the night was the Supertuscan, Querciabella Mongrana 2010 (the menu said 2011 but were served 2010) which features some interesting photography on its label. The 2010 bottle is a photo by Alessandra Rocchetti named “Vera Tussing” taken in London, UK, 2011.
I’ve always wondered why some wines are called straight up called Merlot and a Cabernet, but after looking up some info on the wine, I found that this particular one is a mix of Sangiovese (50%), Merlot (25%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (25%). So I guess that’s why, it’s a variety of wines to create this particular flavor.
Meat – Stinco Di Agnello alla Toscana paired with Brunello Di Montalcino, Col D’Orcia 2010
Braised lamb shank in rosemary, garlic, vegetables and Tuscan white beans. Our servers made sure everyone had a fork AND a knife before serving our fourth course. I was ready (after ‘feeding my camera’) to dive into the braised lamp with my knife and fork but after my first bite I was so happy to discover that I didn’t really need that knife.
I was so excited to not be too full yet and was able to finish all of my food! (note to self: must go to the gym) And of course forgot to take a picture of the bottle of wine. Though I did catch a shot of our server pouring my glass of Brunello Di Montalcino, Col D’Orcia Vintage 2010.
This is described as an intense, full bodied and elegant with fruity notes of ripe blackberry and raspberry typical of Sangiovese and well combined with the species and with the woody scents originating from the long ageing in the barrels kind of wine. Ideally paired with red meat entrees, hearty stews, and assorted cheeses.
Dessert – Sorpresa della Chef paired with Vinsanto, Antinori 2008
Ok, it’s the end of the night and I’m ready for an espresso to stay awake after a four courses and four wines. I’m actually really thankful for some of the wait time between courses to digest and make room for more food and wine.
And the dessert is almost always a “Dessert surprise of Chef Antonio.” Tonight, it was a lemon tart and biscotti.
I am actually not a fan of any dessert wine, but this was actually very different from the usual Moscatos I usually think of when it comes to dessert wines. And by now, I’ve completely forgotten to take a picture of the bottle. Vinsanto, Antinori 2008 is described as an intense and brilliant amber in color, the wine features nutty aromas with further notes of butterscotch, candied fruit, and sweet citrus fruit. Ample, rich, and full on the palate, the flavors recall chestnuts and, on the long and sustained finish, hazelnuts as well.
The next wine dinner at Villa Capri Poway will be on Thursday, August 27, 2015 at 6pm. Don’t forget to make reservations!Villa Capri Poway
14771 Pomerado Rd
Poway, CA 92064