Tuesday, March 11, 2014


SD 26


Enrico B. of Solaire Wines and Paoulo the export manager at Montalbera wine estate in Monferrato (Peidmonte) held a nice little wine lucheon at SD26 Restorante in New York today .. Montalbera is a little gem of a wine property of Monferrato near Asti in the Peidmont wine region of Italy that is most famous for the celebrated wines of Barolo and Barbaresco .. Also well known but more of everyday wines of Peidmont are Barbera and Dolcetto ... Yes, Americans know these wines but Peidmont as well as the whole of Italy has many lesser known gems available for those who journey furhter into wines, the world of wine, and Italian Wines in particular.  In Peidmonte they have a number of wonderful wines that are relatively obscure and unknown. Very few Americans ever drink them, and even not that many Italians in other regions know of the wines as well. Some of these tasty little gems of Peidmonte are wines such as; Freisa, Brachetto, Grignolino, Arneis, and Ruche .. At this particular luncheon / tasting we were lucky enough to be drinking 2 of the previously mentioned wines of Ruche and Grignolino ..  And the producer of Montalbera is a specialist of both .. We started the luncheon with a very rare wine of Sparkling Grignolino which was a truly pleasant little surprise that everyone at the table loved. The wine was light and crispy and a joy to drink and was a perfect pairing for our tasty antipasto of Carpaccio of Big Eye Tuna & Wild Bass with Blood Orange and Fennel Pollen "Delish" !

Montalbera Vinyeards, Monferrato

For the second course of our luncehon we were served the signature dish of the former San Domeneico Restorante which has now morfed into SD26, signify SD= San Domenico and 26 for 26th Street where SD26 resides. The famed signature dish in question is SD26's Raviolo di Uovo, which is a jumbo homemade ravioli filled with Ricotta Cheese with an egg yolk in the center. When cooked the egg yold stays lush and parially cooked and the Raviolo is dressed in a decadent Truffle Butter Sauce ... We were served the Montalbera Ruche  di Castignolae Monferrato Tradizione 2012 wthe the Raviolo, and the two were a match made in heaven, abosluely fabulous. The Ruche Montalbera is text-book Ruche, whhich is to say alight bodied wine, full of flavors of ripe small red berry fruits like Rasberry and Red Courrant with nice floral notes and a twinge of spice. This wine is a pure joy. We also had a the Montalbera Grignolino  d Asti Grigne 2012 which was in perfect balance and very pleasant .. The Montalbera Ruche L'Accento  is a pumped-up Ruche that has 5% of the grapes dried (Apassimento) and is aged in barrique .. This wine is nice, but I feel it distracts from the true Ruche just a bit and I wholey prefer the Ruche Tradizione ... The Montalbera Barbera d'Asti  "Lequilibrio" 2010 is a bit of a pumped up syle of Barbera being aged in  French Barrique. The wine is just slighly big, but not too over the top. It's pleasant to drink and will be very satisfy for those who like a Barber that is a little bigger and more full bodied than the Barbera norm.
The luncheon was quite nice,  tasty the wonderful wines of Enricao Morando and his Montalbera Estate ... Everyone at the luncheon truly enjoyed the line-up of lovely wines, paired beautifully with our menu by Chef Matteo Bergamini, and the company of people on hand ...

Daniel Bellino-Zwicke 

Note: I've been serving The Montalbera Ruche Tradizione 2102 at my restaurant for the past two months now .. The wine is truly wonderful and his been a big hit with each and every customer I've served it to. They love it ...


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