Pendolino Wine Dinner: Gambero Rosso – Tre Bicchieri

The Sydney instalment of the Tre Bicchieri World Tour concluded with a scrumptious dinner at the restaurant Pendolino. The dinner came after a long afternoon of wine tastings and a masterclass lead by Eleonora Guerini, the editor of Gambero Rosso’s comprehensive, Italian Wine guide. It proved the perfect opportunity to eat, drink and be merry and enjoy 12 award-winning, Italian wines.

Italy boasts over 500 different grape varieties and Gambero Rosso’s guide is like the bible because it offers a detailed look at grapes and wines that can seem rather foreign to Australians. The evening started with a glass of Bortolomiol ‘Prior’ Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG Brut Millesimato Glera 2015. It is a grape grown in the Dolomites where the environment has its own unique microclimate. This provides impeccable growing conditions for Prosecco and it’s a light and fresh drop with a high acidity and hints of apple and almond. The second glass, an Altemasi ‘Riserva Graal’ Brut Trento DOC was a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Nero and had hints of orange blossom.

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Pendolino Restaurant has long been a supporter and importer of Italian wines. In recent times they have played host to their own series of masterclasses, which allow people to sample and learn about different wines from overseas. The first course from Pendolino chef, Nino Zoccali’s team was a beetroot salad with burrata, fresh mint, beetroot jelly, crisp breadcrumbs, Pendolino nebbiolo vinegar and King Island Ligurian honey dressing. This entrée saw the creamy, snow white cheese complementing the tart cubes of beetroot and Pendolino’s own special vinegar dressing. This dish also went well with the soft and fruity Zorzettig ‘Myò’ Friuli Colli Orientali DOC Pinot Bianco.

The primi course of traditional handmade ravioli with spinach ricotta, Parmigiano reggiano, gruyere, mozzarella, burnt butter and sage was grand. These large, thin ellipses were positively bursting with flavour. They were full of strong and powerful cheeses and proved an interesting match when paired with the fruity, sparkling wine, Ferghettina Extra Brut Franciacorta DOCG Chardonnay and Pinot Nero blend. This was quite a complex and tropical drink and like Italy’s own answer to champagne. The Le Marchesine ‘Secolo Novo’ Millesimato Franciacorta DOCG Chardonnay offered structure and elegance with its hints of raspberry, violet and wild strawberries.

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The main course featured some ten hour, slow-cooked British-bred beef with organic buckwheat ragú, Polegnano style heirloom carrot, parsnip and parsley root puree, burnt grain and organic Nero D’Avola sauce. This dish was absolutely divine- the meat just feel apart when you looked at it and the quinoa grains were tasty after having been caramelised to offer the right mix of crunch and oil. The carrots and puree also offered a certain sweetness to the dish and this went well with the Velenosi ‘Roggio del Filare’ Rosso Piceno Superiore DOC from Central Italy. This had refreshing grapefruit notes and it brimmed with different flavour profiles thanks to its being made up of 70% Montepulciano and 30% Sangiovese grapes.

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The night had been a decadent one filled with rich and bold flavours. It also offered the chance to learn a lot from some representatives from some stellar Italian vineyards and the Gambero Rosso Italian Wine Guide. It was a fitting way for Gambero Rosso to celebrate some 30 years in the industry while in the company of friends from Sydney.

For more information on Gambero Rosso’s Italian Wine Guide and the Tre Bicchieri world tour please visit:

For more information on the restaurant Pendolino please visit:

– Natalie Salvo