Saturday, May 25, 2013

A Drinker's Notebook #6: Connecting All the Bottles

Stefano Inama and Eric Miller are two of my favorite winemakers - not only do they know how to get what they want out of the grapes they grow, they also are good conversionalists, not only about winegrowing but about whatever topic you may want to bring up. "Am I still a winemaker?" Eric asks over our BYOB dinner at Twelves restaurant in West Grove. Ella and I have known Lee and Eric almost from the time they first established Chaddsford Winery over 25 years ago. "Of course, you are," I say. "Once a winemaker, always a winemaker, even if you are temporarily a retired one." Twelves is one of our favorite restaurants, true to its "grill and cafe" subtitle. Tonight, I am making a second introduction of winemaker Miller to winemaker Inama through the latter's wines. The Millers are visiting the Veneto in the fall, and I suggested they drop by Inama's winery and vineyards in Soave - that's now on the calendar. And as I had recently received Inama samples from Dalla Terra, his U.S. agent, I thought they would go well with Tim Smith's cuisine. And so we start off with Inama's 100% Garganega "Vigneti di Foscarino," a single-vineyard Soave Classico, which I have with sauteed calamari. Next comes the Inama Carmenere "Piu" (with 30% Merlot), which I have with Tim's very succulent lamb chops. Of course, the Millers have brought wines as well, including an older red Burgundy and a sparkler from Clos Pepe. Hold on to your seatbelts; it's going to be a long evening...

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