Niagara Gazette — The wine tasting/food pairing was a first-time event at the Baseline and Love Road restaurant — opened by the couple who returned to Jenny’s island home after Hurricane Katrina convinced them to sell their popular New Orleans restaurant. Jenny hopes it will become a monthly event, pairing wines and foods from various parts of the world.
The first course was an amazing antipasti platter than included rice balls (arancini) stuffed with goat cheese, grilled polenta with garlic chard and a poached shrimp dotted with basil pesto. It included a beautiful, smooth red from an Italian winemaker Isabella Foradori, a woman quite famous, Ryan says, for her Teroldego reds and who dramatically reduced the yield of her vineyards to improve the quality of the grape.
That course was followed by calamari and egggplant fritti alongside a baked acorn squash slice topped with red wine-bacon risotto, and braised pork demi glace, served with two wines from Sicily, including a crisp, white Fiano that I will be looking for in the future.
Luca’s wine, a smooth red Langhe Rosso, was served with Richard’s roast rack of lamb with king mushroom cavatelli and porcini sauce. A trio of beautiful little lamb chops shared the plate with a serving of seared ahi tuna with sea scallops and arugula in lobster butter. It was an over-the top explosion of rich flavors from land and sea and the wine held its own among the flavors.
“My big focus is that people should be trying different things,” Ryan told me later. “There’s this vast world of wine out there that most people don’t ever experience. They stick with their favorites instead of exploring these different regions, different varietals and different people that have been wine making a really long time.”