Like most food and drink events, this one started off with some mingling and pre-dinner aperitifs. White wine of course—but not just any white wine. We got a preview of the 2018 Bianco di Toscana IGT “Creto di Betti,” which hasn’t even been bottled yet. I will say, as someone who’s not really into white wine, I couldn’t stop sipping. It tasted like summer, pure and simple. By that I mean that this wine was meant to be consumed on a big wraparound porch before dinner—preferably on a swinging bench, as the sun shimmers through the trees. Probably not surprisingly, it carried us right through the first course of arugula and avocado salad as well.
Next up was ricotta and spinach ravioli paired with Chianti. It was delicious, as you might expect. I mean, you can’t really go wrong when you pair Chianti with pasta. Given the prominence of Sangiovese grapes among Fattoria Betti’s production, however, this one felt a little special. A beautiful ruby color, it tasted like black cherry and plum, with tannins that were present but not too overwhelming. I tend toward red wines that are fruity but balanced, and this one fell right in line with those preferences.
While the Chianti was my favorite wine of the evening, my favorite moment actually involved Merlot, because it was served with SESAME CRUSTED SALMON as the main course. Never in a million years would I have paired these two things together, because hello, Merlot is heavy and salmon is light and if you’re like me and absolutely must pair salmon with red because you don’t like white, you ALWAYS go with something light, like Pinot Noir. As it turns out, all of that is crap—the pairing totally worked. In fact, I’m now a little obsessed with it, the way you get obsessed with a secret that’s so cool you feel cool just for knowing it. Of course, now that I’ve told you it’s no longer a secret, but it’s still super cool, trust me. The combination will surprise and delight you.
I should also note that the sesame crusted salmon was incredible even outside of the pairing. I eat salmon often enough that I generally don’t get excited about it. This dish, however, excited me. Between the sesame crust and the unexpected base of warm lentils, it felt like an entirely new experience in and of itself.
Overall, between the delicious wine and food and the chic ambiance of the event, this was one of the best evenings out I’ve had in a while. Etceteraetcetera is officially on my list of restaurants to book for a pre-theater meal, and Montalbano—the province where Fattoria Betti can be found—on my list of wine vacation destinations (I keep a lot of lists). For those who are looking to create the Tuscan experience here in New York, in turn, Fattoria Betti wines will be coming to the city soon. Keep an eye out for them at restaurants near you in the coming months.
Thank you Fattoria Betti and Perle & Perlage for a wonderful evening!
By: Reagan Daly
Follow Reagan’s oenological adventures on Instagram at @corkdorknyc!