Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Amarone

I’ll be in Los Angeles this week checking out a handful of new or otherwise noteworthy restaurants, and cannot wait: Every time I’m in LA, I’m more and more impressed with the local dining scene. Keep an eye out for reviews and impressions in the coming weeks right here.
And for those of you who will be in Philadelphia this week, it’s worth a last-minute check to see if any seats have opened up at the sold-out Taste of Hazon: A Culinary Celebration of Tu B’Shvat Tuesday evening, February 7th, featuring newly minted Four-Bell chef Michael Solomonov of Zahav restaurant at the National Museum of American Jewish History. If I were in town, I’d be there in a heartbeat: The smoked lamb carpaccio with passion fruit and dates alone would guarantee my attendance.
For now, however, it’s time to turn our attention to Valentine’s Day--specifically, what to drink on the big day. Over the next week, I’ll be recommending a few specific bottles to pop on the big night. And to start, I can think of few things more appropriate than a seductive bottle of Amarone. Indeed, if there’s one wine that has the ability to unleash the genie of romance, it’s this dried-fruit beauty from Valpolicella. My review of a particularly lovely (and affordable!) bottle is below.
Tenuta Sant’ Antonio Amarone della Valpolicella “Selezione Antonio Castagnedi” 2007
Seductive, confident nose of deeply roasted and spicy coffee beans, edged with bittersweet chocolate, black and white peppercorns, crushed ripe black raspberries enrobed in chocolate, and licorice. This is seriously complex, heading toward maturity nicely, and thoroughly sexy. The palate is quite savory, with a briny edge to the charred meat, blackberry, plum-skin, and black licorice notes. Espresso and a touch of incense come through, especially on the finish. Very interesting style of Amarone; I’m a fan of this one. Drink now - 2018.