Riccadonna Italian Sparkling Wines

I am fond of a glass of bubbles so I was only too happy to accept an invitation to attend a lunch celebrating Riccadonna sparkling wines that are made in Italy and are bottled in Piedmont, the region of Italy boarding France and Switzerland.

15.10.13.1The lunch was held at Salt Meats Cheese in Alexandria and hosted by Italian sparkling wine expert, Martina Doglio Cotto and Italian/Aussie chef, Massimo Mele.

A long table, Italian style

A long table, Italian style

The name Riccadonna comes from an Italian family dating back to the 12th Century.  The family started producing wine in 1921 however in 2003 they sold the brand to the Campari Group and today, it is Australia’s most popular imported wine.

The lunch was held at Salt Meats Cheese, Alexandria

The lunch was held at Salt Meats Cheese, Alexandria

The day of the lunch was a beautiful, warm spring day, (actually extremely hot and more like summer), and so when I arrived all hot and bothered and saw waiters holding trays of icy cold sparkling drinks I was overjoyed.  The Riccadoona wines are best enjoyed very chilled and so they are perfect when served during the hotter months.

Plating up

Plating up

We sat at a very long table that is synonymous with Italian-styled alfresco dining, except we had a roof over our heads.  The long trestle table was beautifully set with fresh and colourful Spring flowers.  It was a stunning table and I sat there trying to think of a way to smuggle a couple of bunches of flowers home with me.

A long table, Italian style

A long table, Italian style

We started the lunch with fried pizza bread.  It was something I’ve never had before and I really liked the crunchy texture of the bread that was lightly sprinkled with sea salt and served with a zucchini relish.

Fried pizza bases with zucchini pickle

Fried pizza bases with zucchini pickle

The first sparkling wine we tried was Riccadonna Moscato Rose which has a very pretty and currently very popular, light pink hue.  The wine is excellent for a celebration and has very subtle rose notes.  I really enjoyed the Rose.

Riccadonna Rose

Riccadonna Rose

The Rose was paired with grilled tuna loin with sweet and sour eggplant and pomegranate relish.  Now I know you’re not supposed to pair wines with matching food colours but I thought the colour of the Rose was a wonderful match with the colour of the tuna.

Grilled tuna loin, sweet and sour eggplant and pomegranate relish

Grilled tuna loin, sweet and sour eggplant and pomegranate relish

I had an heirloom tomato salad with sweet and sour eggplant and buffalo mozzarella.  This was a fabulous salad and one I’d like to recreate at home.

Tomatoes with sweet and sour eggplant and buffalo mozzarella

Tomatoes with sweet and sour eggplant and buffalo mozzarella

The next course was baked figs wrapped in pancetta with candied walnuts, fresh pear and gorgonzola.  I adore all these flavours and know they work incredibly well together.  The salad contained bitter leaves however this was softened with the salty pancetta and the sweetness of the fig.

Baked figs wrapped in pancetta with candied walnuts, fresh pear and gorgonzola

Baked figs wrapped in pancetta with candied walnuts, fresh pear and gorgonzola

The dish was served with a glass of brilliantly red, Riccadonna Ruby.  It’s a wine made exclusively from dark grapes that’s light, fruity and easy to enjoy.

Riccadonna Ruby

Riccadonna Ruby

The main course was lightly smoked Huon Salmon with puree, shaved celery heart and fennel salad.  There were a lot of wonderful Spring colours and flavours in this dish with a broad range of green vegetables.

Lightly smoked huon salmon with puree, celery heart and fennel salad

Lightly smoked huon salmon with puree, celery heart and fennel salad

I had grilled mushrooms with puree, shaved celery heart and fennel salad.  I’m not sure the mushrooms went terrible well with this dish but putting them aside, the puree and salad of broad beans and other Spring vegetables blended well and were fresh and vibrant.

Mushrooms with puree, shaved celery heart and fennel salad

Mushrooms with puree, shaved celery heart and fennel salad

The wine served with the main course was the Riccadonna Prosecco.  This is a very light and refreshing and drinkable sparkling wine that is perfect with light meals.  I think it went very well with the primavera styled salad.  I can see myself enjoying the Prosecco on a hot summer’s night.

Riccadonna Prosecco

Riccadonna Prosecco

The final course was baked peaches with toasted panettone and lemon mascarpone.  Massimo said this is his version of a Christmas dessert.  The half-peach was topped with dried fruits and nuts then covered in the panettone and baked, then topped with the lemon cream.  I really enjoyed the dessert; instead of the panettone being dry, it had soaked up a lot of juices from the fruits and was soft and intensely flavoured; rich but not overwhelming.

Baked peaches with toasted panettone and lemon mascarpone

Baked peaches with toasted panettone and lemon mascarpone

The wine served with the dessert was the Riccadonna Asti Spumante.  This is apparently the most popular imported wine in Australia.  It’s a very sweet sparkling wine that pairs well with desserts.  I do have to say I’m more in the ‘dry wine camp’ but I can see how a sweeter sparkling wine works well with desserts.  Martina said this is a wine that’s perfect for adding to simple desserts.  For a taste of summer simply pour a little Asti Spumante over a bowl of ripe stone fruits and it will bring the fruit to life.

Riccadonna Asti Spumante

Riccadonna Asti Spumante

I very much enjoyed tasting the sparkling wines produced by Riccadonna and having them paired with a beautiful Italian lunch.  I think the wines are very festive-looking and as they are lower in alcohol and sparkling and drinkable, they are perfect for our upcoming summer and party season.  It’s just as well I have a bottle or two chilling in my fridge.

A gorgeous Spring table

A gorgeous Spring table

Riccadonna sparkling wines are available at all good bottle shops and retail for less than $20.00/bottle.

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Comments

  1. This brought me back to my teenage years lol – we used to drink Riccadonna Asti Spumante, like it was going out of fashion. I love sweet wine. Reading this I might have a look what ones we have here in NZ and might try a few others 🙂

  2. Soooooooo many fond memories attached to this little bottle of bang. We used to drink Riccadonna when we were getting ready to go out dancing. It was our rocket fuel for a fun filled evening. LOL! I really must try it again, especially with delicious food.
    Loving the long table setting, simple and very pretty!

  3. What a great menu to enjoy with all those wines. 🙂

  4. Now this is my kind of lunch!
    Have a happy day Charlie.
    🙂 Mandy ox

  5. I am always amazed by the interesting foods you try. And those hydrangea and roses look lovely paired together. What a beautiful table setting.

  6. What a lovely opportunity! Bubbly drinks are so festive. This tasting would have been right up my ally too! Everything looks so pretty. Good price point. I’ll have to see if it’s available in California!

  7. What a gorgeous table! And the food and bubbly looks fabulous, too!!! So nice 🙂

  8. What a delightful lunch, all the dishes were so well presented, I love both Prosecco and Asti Spumante. Were you able to take some of the flowers home with you?

  9. Just had to visit to say I think this an absolutely beautiful menu with the tuna and the Caprese being my special favourites. Have to smile ’cause before my wine ‘tastes’ turned to dry and drier and driest , Asti Spumante was very much on the menu . . . somehow my then future in-laws actually chose it for our wedding reception wine . . . . would have loved to be the birdie on your shoulder now . . .

  10. Looks delicious Charlie. It all looks like it was matched beautifully

  11. All the food looks divine and I can’t blame you for wanting to steal the flowers

  12. I still haven’t been to Salt Meats Cheese even though it is so close to us! I should fix that.

  13. The setting was beautiful. I’m hungry now just reading about all those tasty dishes and great wines.

  14. I love bubbles too! As does Mrs KR — it’s her favorite. We always joke that of course she couldn’t be fond of something like beer. No, it has to be expensive bubbly! 😉 Anyway, sounds like you had a fun time. Love all the pictures! Thanks so much.

  15. Love that place, so many amazing things!
    Looks like it was lots of fun.

  16. I also love the wines & sparkling wines of ricadonna. We can but it in a large wine importeur business. I love the rosé sparkling one a lot! 🙂 Cool for you!

  17. What a fun event Charlie and right up my alley! I too love bubbles. It looks like the paired the wine expertly with delicious dishes. I have a feeling the Rose would have been my favorite. 🙂

  18. I love that table! It goes for a mile at least. Those dishes are a perfect way to celebrate good bubbles. I thought the same thing about the rose and the tuna. 🙂

  19. –Pure, Elegant Decadence, Charlie,
    This is what I call a “LUNCH!” Oh, My! x

  20. What a gorgeous luncheon! How fun to be invited to such an event. I would have needed someone to drive me home after all the sparkly with each course. ha

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