Last evening we participated in a magnificent wine dinner with Zenato wines at Assaggi Osteria in McLean, Va. Zenato is one of Italy’s finest Amarone producers and one which we highly rated in our Report #41 The Amarones of Valpolicella. The dinner was attended by wine enthusiasts of Northern VA and Christian Comito, Italian Portfolio Specialist, The Winebow Group, Zenato’s importer. Pictured here with Christian Comito is Assaggi Osteria’s talented chef/proprietor, Domenico Cornacchia and chef/proprietor Driss Zaidi of EVO Bistro in McLean.
Zenato is a family estate founded in 1960 by Sergio Zenato. His children Alberto and Nadia have managed the estate since his death in 2008. While it started as a negociant winery, it now has its own vineyards for producing Amarone in Sant’ Ambrogio. In our reviews of Zenato wines in Report #41, we were impressed with their power, richness and elegance and our wine dinner at Assaggi more than confirmed our previous assessment.
Wine Dinner Menu
At the reception, guests were served a variety of canapés with the 2015 Zenato Lugana San Benedetto,($21) a flavorful 100% Terbbiano offering perfumy aromas and flavors of quince and fine herbs—perfect for the start of a meal. We were then treated to Fois Gras Ravioli Raspberry, Shallots, Parmigiano Reggiano paired with a 2012 Zenato Valpolicella Superiore Ripassa ($27). Both this wine and the Lugana paired well with the delicate and tasty ravioli.
For the second course, chef prepared a magnificent Risotto cooked in Amarone wine and topped with Moscovy Duck Breast. This dish served al dente with rich flavors stole the show and paired beautifully with the 2011 Zenato Creasso Rosso Corvina ($50). We were next served a rich and flavorful dish of Miskyma Ranch braised Wagyu Beef Cheeks and Polenta paired with the 2011 Zenato Amarone della Vlapolicalla ($68). This Amarone —-a beautifully red-fruited earthy wine with concentrated flavors of dark cherry, plum, dark chocolate and tobacco leaf—paired magnificently with the braised beef cheeks. The final cheese course of Erborinati veined cheeses consisted of three rich Gorgonzola cheeses made from: buffalo, sheep and cow milk. The buffalo Gorgonzola was especially tasty but all three were beautifully paired with rich and complex 2009 Zenato Amarone Della Valpolicalla Classico Riserva Sergio Zenato. ($133)