Enjoyed a superb wine dinner in Fenns Quay last evening, the Sicilian wines coming from Villa Tonino via Liberty Wines  

First wine up was an Inzolia 2009, bright and light and very cool, very appropriate on such a heavy evening and an agreeable accompaniment to the Bruschetta starter.

Next wine was a Grillo 2009. Didn't make friends with this instantly but by the end, thought it had a bit more to it than the Inzolia. In any event, it went down very well with a magnificent Mackerel pate with pickled vegetables.

And then came the principal plate, the Osso Bucco with spiced rustic potatoes, now almost a signature dish at Fenn’s Quay. Just magnificent. And we had three reds to choose from here.

Number One, the Nero D’Avola 2008, was the lighter, “a modern version of this classic southern Italian grape variety”. It was probably too light for the meat and indeed Victoria Curatolo, who was guiding us through the family wines, hinted that it could well be drunk on its own and even chilled down a  bit on a hot day.
I had no doubt that the second red, Baglio Curatolo Nero D’Avola 2007, was the one to go with the Osso Bucco. This was much stronger all round with plum being the dominant feature according to the notes. A really smashing wine to go with red meat.

The third red, the Baglio Curatolo Syrah 2007, was also deep in colour  with just a hint of the normal expected spice. Victoria was rating it highly, against both its New World and even French rivals. Not convinced about that but I do have a few bottles now (won the raffle) to try it further.

And I’ll also be trying the Marsala Superiore Riserva NV. This is made by fortifying the local grapes with white grape spirit in the traditional way and you end up with an ABV of 18%. This accounts for no less than half the production at Tonino and Victoria recommended it be eaten with aged cheese.

At home, they keep it in the fridge and always drink it chilled but “it is up to yourself”. The Sicilians also like to drink it with the “Queen’s Biscuits”. Victoria thoughtfully brought some with her and they proved quite a match, especially if dunked in the wine.

The meals are always terrific in Fenns Quay and we finished off with a superb dessert: an Almond tart, lemon cream and fresh strawberries. Well done to the Fenns Quay crew (excellent hosts), to Villla Tonino and Liberty Wines for bringing it all together.