Sunday, March 18, 2007

Casa Larga Vineyards Fiori Delle Stelle a Star

So, I'm home alone. Dominique and the boys are snowed in upstate, and I am at home this weekend in New Jersey, working on yet another book.

Luckily, a few friends of mine took pity on me and we decided to go out to dinner. Instead of celebrating St. patrick's Day by going out for stuffed cabbage and green beer, we braved the wintry scene of our town, and went for Italian. We ate very well at a local restaurant. Cucina Bella Italian Restaurant, in Boro Plaza, in Freehold. It is a pizzeria with a separate restaurant section. The food there is always hot, delicious, and hearty. And served in a friendly manner, whenre the owner knows every one who enters her establishment. There is even a dish, Eggplant DeVito, which is named for my Uncle Tom DeVito.

So two of my friends, Eric Hirsch and Matt Weismantle, joined me in a boys night out. Eric is a single dad, and Matt's wife was kind enough to let him join us. As I said, we ate well, eating a piping hot bowl of fresh garlic knots, drizzled with garlic and olive oil salt and pepper, along with salad. And then I ate a vodka penne with shrimp.

For dessert, we trekked through the fresh winter wonderland recently presented us here in the northeast and middle-atlantic, went back to my house, and we decided to continue our bull session and open a bottle of Casa Larga Vineyards Fiori Delle Star.

One thing people count on my house having - plenty of good dessert wine. And this one certainly helped bouy that reputation. It was a little more tawny in color than I expected. But it gave off a rich scents of apricots and apples, and on the tongue it was rich with honey, apricot and apple. We all nodded after the first sip. It was excellent.

Casa Larga Vineyards, located in Fairport, NY, is Monroe County's only winery. Casa Larga's Fiori Delle Stelle Vidal Ice Wine was awarded the 2005 Governor's Cup for "Best Wine in New York State" from the New York Wine and Food Classic. The winery was established in 1974, and is owned by Andrew Colaruotolo. The winemaker is Andrew Colaruotolo and the vineyard manager is Mike Countryman. The vineyards are about 40 acres and they make about 16,000 cases a year.

It was not exactly the way everyone else celebrated St. Patrick's Day, but we had a lot of fun.

Try Fiori Delle Sttelle Vidal Ice Wine. It's a great way to beat back winter or end any meal.