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I rarely miss a chance for dessert. Possessing a sweet tooth that demands a dental sacrifice, I generally love to cap off a dinner with a Sauterne or vanilla ice cream which is just what I did (kind of, with minor alterations) after having a hearty bowl of fettuccini with Bolognese sauce (from scratch, not jar) the other night.

I decided to simplify the theme; the wines of Northwest Italy—Piemonte—would accompany my Emilia-Romagna region inspired grub. Particularly, two wines under the jurisdiction of the Dalla Terra importing group, hailing from Asti. I had a bottle of Saracco Moscato d’Asti (#153) chilling in the fridge while the 2008 Vietti Barbera d’Asti “Tre Vigne” (#152) was breathing on the countertop as the meat sauce simmered.

After another hour of stewing in its juices the sauce was nearing completion, I prepped the fettuccini, cooking until al dente and at this point I was minutes from eating. I poured the Barbera into my glass and plated the pasta, ladling copious amounts of sauce.

The journeyman Barbera had a nice core of darker fruits, herbs and underbrush on the first collective whiff. On the palate the wine had the components (acidity, tannin and body) to marry with the meal.

After dinner, I gave myself a breather, taking in some programming on Hulu before moving onto dessert. After the show (to remain nameless), I cut through the green capsule and removed the cork, pulling another glass to have the straw, golden-colored wine beam and bubble (frizzante) lustrously. On the nose that wine made me salivate, varied fragrances of pear, lychees, apple and spices all at different levels. It was enticing and much more complex than other Moscato I’d imbibed. My tongue was treated to a far greater treat than a bowl of Vanilla Ice Cream, no matter how tasty the Three Twins brand might be. The wine was equally attractive on the taste buds, weaving delicate traces of fruits and spices together in a masterful fashion. I was happy with my choice to forgo the sweet treat for a charmingly sweet drink.

The Saracco Moscato d’Asti was more than I bargained for—a showstopper—that I would look forward to drinking again. Vietti hasn’t disappointed me yet and one day I might swing for the fences, drinking their Barolos with regularity, but I am far from that day now, content to drink their everyday wine wares. My night was made a success, an infinite amount of riches bestowed on my palate from the affordable treasure troves of Dalla Terra. Grazie a mille.

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