Gala Dinner of Older Barolos at La Festa del Barolo

at Del Posto Restaurant, NYC (3/26/2011)

This was the evening portion of this wonderful event put on by Antonio Galloni with a lot of hard word by his lovely wife Marzia. The afternoon was tasting of current release Barolos. You can find my notes on that tasting here, along with many photos of the winemakers.

This dinner was different from most that I report on in that the number of people and wines was much greater than normal. This isn't just a sit-down dinner focussed on great wines, but also a great social occasion, a chance to share great wines with a larger number of people, and to meet many new people. Thus my notes below are briefer, but there are more photos of people which I've interspersed chronologically, which will, I hope, give a feel for what it was like to be at this extraordinary event.

Arriving back at Del Posto for dinner.

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At this dinner, each group of attendees was matched with one Barolo winery and seated at a table with the owner/winemaker who attended. By our request, my group was seated with Giuseppe Rinaldi and his daughter Marta.
Marta and Giuseppe Beppe Rinaldi. Joe Gagliano, Paul Tortora.

My friend Greg dal Piaz sat 2 seats away from me and next to Giuseppe. Since he speaks fluent Italian, I asked him to ask Giuseppe a simple question: What was the first vintage of Giuseppe Rinaldi wine? They chatted away intensely for 10 minutes, so I asked Greg if he had gotten an answer. He said not yet. Then after 20 minutes, then an hour, finally I gave up. Greg had a great time and learned much, but never got an answer to my question.
Giuseppe Rinaldi & Greg dal Piaz.

I too had a great time. As you will see below, the list of great wines I got to taste was enormous. Thus my notes are quite brief. Obviously wines like these are best appreciated in a small group with lots of time to spend with each wine. But this is a different kind of event and a different kind of pleasure. The next La Festa del Barolo will be in April 2013, and I can assure you that I will be there.

Flight 1: Getting Started
Flight 2: Warming Up

A Tour of the Back Room

While we were all settling in for dinner, someone mentioned that all the sommeliers (more than one per table) were in the back room decanting all the wines that had been brought by winemakers and attendees. So I snuck back to take some photos.

Each table had its own space in this back room for the bottles they brought.

And oh what bottles they brought … 1990 Giacosa SSR,
1971 F. Rinaldi Cavalieri, 1978 G. Rinaldi Brunate Riserva in 3L, 1955 & 1971 Monfortino.

1989 & 1978 Giacosa Rionda Riserva, 1978 Bartolo Mascarello in magnum,
1968 Mastroberardino Taurasi Riserva Piano d'Angleo & a 3.75L bottle of Vietti Barolo.

Back to Our Table

Beppe and Greg were still talking when Doug Polaner stopped by, so he chatted with Marta.

Then Lidia Bastianich stopped by to chat with Beppe.

Flight 3: Around the Salad
Roasted Winter Vegetables with Robiola Sformato & Truffled Hazelnuts.

Jamie Wolff, Joe Gagliano. Luca Currado chats with Greg.

Cali Rhone prodigy Morgan Twain-Peterson stops by to talk Barolo...

Flight 4: With the First Pasta Course
Del Posto Agnolotti del Plin with Golden Butter.

Flight 5: With the Second Pasta Course
Risotto with Vacca Rossa Parmigiano-Reggiano & Aceto Tradizionale.

Flight 6: With the Meat Course
New York Strip Steak with Young Arugula & Eggplant Parmigiano Torta.

Moving Around: Lots of People Pix
Someone (Dan Tisch?) told me that Jay McInerney was at another table and had loved the wine I brought. Since he is one of my favorite authors, I could not resist the opportunity to go say hello and get my picture taken with Jay. I should note that neither of us was driving after this event.

Antonio Galloni and Bruna Giacosa stopped by our table.

Roberto Voerzio chatting with Beppe and Greg.

Roberto and Bruna Giacosa share a laugh with Beppe.

Cali Cab master Thomas Rivers Brown loves him some Barolo
(with your Fine Wine Geek on the right).

Mauro Mascarello's son Giuseppe stops by to say hi to Marta...
Then Beppe....
Then Greg.

Members of the table:
Jamie Wolff of Chambers St. The Barolo Brothers, Greg & Kelly.
Last 4 photos by Dan Tisch.

Flight 7: With the Cheese Course
Chef's Selection of Assorted Artisanal Italian Cheeses.
Beppe Rinaldi, our distinguished guest.

An amazing evening of great wine, great company, and great fun. The food at Del Posto was excellent, but it took too long for red-wine-friendly dishes to come out. My only complaint on an otherwise perfect event.

Tasting notes posted from CellarTracker

Greg dal Piaz's notes on the same event posted on Snooth.




All original content © Ken Vastola