22 May 2008

Tirami Su = Pick Me Up

'There is as much difference between a mackerel and a red mullet as there is between a miller and a bishop...'
[Baron Léon Brisse, 19th century food journalist]
ENCOUNTERED WHILST working as Sommelier for agile Chef Enrica Rocca at a team-building evening: a leviathon. This striking Red Mullet was baked with cherry tomatoes and spring onions (fortunately Enrica has a large oven). Slipping easily from the marrow, eleven students and I devoured almost every morsel (I think someone scooped an eye). I partnered it with a muscular, but sneakily acidic Barbaresco. When quizzed on its maturity, Enrica told me that she "hadn't seen its birth certificate".
We were universal fans of Ca' de Pipa's '04 Amarone. To borrow Andrex's slogan, it was 'soft, strong and very, very long'. Arriving in time for irresistably sloppily creamy Mascarpone coffee infused, cocoa dusted lady fingers, this pitch bleak, dense, meditative wine was softly undulating with a sweetly-bitter, persuasive finish. Combining moist raisins with dark cherry liqueur chocolates, it provide clean, well-priced support (£22, Majestic).