Wined and Dined by Valentino
An Evening with the Umbrian Wines of The Briziarelli Estate
I can’t help myself, I know this story is all about a great Italian wine and food pairing, but first I just have to tell you that I TOURED ONE OF WINE SPECTATOR’S 74 GRAND AWARD WINNING WINE CELLARS – OVER 90,000 BOTTLES – WITH VALENTINO’S PROPRIETOR, PIERO SELVAGGIO.
Take a deep breath. It happened like this: I tagged Valentino’s in my Facebook status update because I was going there that night for dinner. Valentino’s, and Piero, tagged me back. Then between courses at the dinner, and bolstered by some amazing wines, I went right up to Piero himself and asked, “Hi, I’m your Facebook friend Eve, any chance of seeing the cellar?”
Piero took me by the hand, led me through the busy kitchen (though the chefs took the time to say hello and smile broadly) and up a narrow staircase – so narrow I had to go up sideways with Piero motioning for me to grasp the handrail.
Once on the second floor, we were met with a small hall lined with framed Wine Spectator covers of Piero, James Beard awards, his latest Grand Award designation…I was already so overwhelmed.
Then, one large room, with built-in large wooden boxes bisected with boards, held the start of the treasure trove. After that came hall after hall – going further back into a great beyond than we had time for – were more and more boxed sections of wines. Piero pointed out special selections dedicated to the best from Italy, California…before we had to turn back.
But Piero made sure I saw the Pièce de résistance: the private dining room set for dinner, lined from floor to ceiling, on all four walls, with cellared wines.
When I reluctantly returned downstairs, overhearing Piero telling his maitre d’ that I had “kidnapped” him, I was already planning how to get back and…into that private dining room.
It all began with…
(If you want to continue with the story in words please go to: http://www.westranchbeacon.com after 8am today. )
Our tale in photos: