Tuesday 7 February 2012


Last Friday I was browsing my Facebook event calendar and saw an  invitation for an interesting event that caught my eye: Taste & Match Milano, something about 8 wines and 8 foodbloggers that "invented" a matching dish for one of the wines. Interesting concept, interesting price (€30,- each), not too far away from home (a 40min drive into Milano) and above all... interesting people! Interesting people I already "knew" virtually via Twitter and/or Facebook, foodbloggers whose blogs I read regularly that I could finally meet & greet in real life (IRL so to say). And since I prefer meeting IRL and food & wine seem to be more then a hobby (Klout even thinks I am highly influential about these items, especially in combination with Italy) I decided (together with my lovely wife Maddy) to go and discover this for ourselves.

So despite me feeling destructed after travelling all week, Maddy who just recovered from a muscular inflammation and the snow falling down over Morazzone we hit the road and drove (carefully) to Milan(o). It turned out to be a great evening! Where do you get the chance to have an 8 course dinner with 8 matching excellent wines for € 30,-? Even better: the 8 'enogastronimic' addicts (aka foodbloggers) had given it weeks of thoughts to combine the wine they had been given with a meal . They were serving the dishes and wines themselves so you could ask for explanation, recipes and reasoning!

Here in a short overview the 8 foodbloggers, the 8 wines with the 8 matching recipes!
unfortunately all recipes are only available in Italian but with a little help from Google Translate and by asking the foodblogger you might be able to get there as well

The first antipasto was made by Cristina, blogging as "Zucchero e Sale" (sugar and salt), she had us start with her "Fagottini di brisè con persico e patate alle erbe" a delicate combination of "bread" stuffed with perch, potato and herbs, together with the "Rosé brut Conti di Buscaret" (a sparkling rosé) a perfect start for this evening.

Next up was Tania from blog "Speck and the City" (I really love the original name of certain blogs). She prepared "Tartare di Gamberi su Patate e Carciofi con Crema al Basilico", Tartare of Shrimps on Potato and Artichoke with a Basil sauce. Delicious, in these 3,5 years that we now live in Italy I've become a huge fan of the artichoke and this combination was just wonderful! The only non-Italian wine, Kakhetian noble white 2008 from Georgia (not USA, but ex USSR), was maybe a bit too complicated for me though. Maybe I would have needed more time (and more wine then just that 2 sips I could take since I was driving), but Tania's dish was perfectly able to compete it!

On to the primi, first the pasta prepared by Pietro and Francesca of "Singerfood". This lovely couple had the honours to use one of my favourite white wines, the Roero Arneis! In this case Roero Arneis DOCG Marquis Incisa della Rocchetta. They prepared a wonderful looking dish "Calamaretti" that tasted even better then it already looked. What a delicious combination of calamari pasta filled with shrimp, salmon and buffalo mozzarella! Complimenti!

Next up was the cute Teresa (aka Tery), of "Peperoni e Patate", her "Vellutata di Ceci con Sautè di Vongole e Crostino di Pane alle Mandorle" (velouté of chickpeas with clams and a toast of almond bread) was an unexpected surprise. The simple chickpeas were transformed in a soft creamy silky 'soup' with perfectly spiced clams and the almond bread with a swift of garlic, DE-LI-CIOUS! And she combined this around a good glass of Pinot Nero "Marchese Leopoldo 2009 Marchesi Incisa della Rocchetta".

Cristiano of "il Cucinotto" prepared the first main course we tasted:  "Flan di Cardi e Porro con Cannolo Nero di Crema al Sifone di Capra con Miele di Castagne su un Letto di Caviale di Melanzane" a mouthful of ingredients resulting in a fingerlickingly good dish combining very well with the Pinot Nero "Rollone 2009" of Marchesi Incisa della Rocchetta, another pinot nero of the same house as Tery used for her Primo, but this one seemed to be a bit more mature. The dish itself ones more proved to me that even eggplant can be tasteful (I rarely eat it), here's the best English translation I could come up with: Flan of thistels and leek with a black horn filled with goat cheese and chestnut honey on a bed of eggplant caviar"...

On to Roberto (the one having invited us to this dinner) from "di Cotte e di Crude" who prepared "A Gualtiero, Club Sandwich di Pan Brioche con Polpetta d'Oca, Scalagno Confit, Radicchio e Crema di Zafferano". Seems the guys for the main courses had their internal contest on who could invent the longest name *kidding*. Problem for me is translate it: "to Walter, club sandwich of sweet bread with a goose meatball, caramelized shallot, radicchio and safran sauce", Apart from the fact the bread could have been a bit thinner it was again a delicious combination. Pitty was that by the time we reached this dish others had finished the Barbaresco San Stunet 2007 and they jus opened a fresh, from the car, cold bottle. Therefore I couldn't judge this wine properly... (pitty)

Next and last stop, the desserts, the first one "Torta soffice allo sciroppo di limone e rosmarino", soft cake with lemon and rosemary syrup  prepared by Alice of "Food Couture". The rosemary gave that surprising kick to the perfectly soft cake (need to make that to impress my guests one day). She combined with a typical Moscato d'Asti 2010, Felice from Marchesi Incisa della Rocchetta.

And last but certainly not least where there the "Brownies al cioccolato bianco e nocciola con salsa alla vaniglia" by Gaia of  "Shake and Bake". Brownies of white chocolate and hazelnuts with vanilla sauce (although her linked recipe is without the vanilla sauce). She created her delicious brownie to combine with the Niades 2011, Brachetto d'Acqui of our big (and tall) friend Gianluca Morino of Cascina Garitina. It was the first time I drank this Brachetto and I hate to admit: it was good, not so sweet as other brachetti, which is good!

Thank you Fernando for a great evening, it's a great concept! If you get the chance then go and visit Taste & Match, next occasion is in Venice on 25 February!

below a video of the evening (pay attention around 0:50 where Maddy and I have our big moment as the Twitter Brigade)

Taste&Match (Milano 28/1/2012) by FernandoWine from FernandoWine on Vimeo.


  1. wow! Thank you for your post! Seems you had a great evening :)

    1. Indeed Cristina, it's one of those nights where you expect to end up watching a movie on the couch but that turned out to be the contrary! a culinary festivity with virtual friends finally IRL, discovering new dishes and wines and making new friends (we sat on the couch the next evening though ;-) )