A relaxed dinner with friends at Italian & Sons last night. Trapped into drinking Peroni by asking if it was local or not, but then into good wines and food.
With a dish of sardines marinated in vinegar, onion, pine nuts & sultanas - a glass of 2009 Caldora Colle dei Venti Pecorino. Recommended by the waiter as a good match for the sweet/sour/fish/onion challenge of the sardine dish, this turned out to be a good recommendation. Not overtly fruity of definitive in flavour, the wine's most obvious characteristics were a light gold colour and a line of oxidative flavour (in a good way) that really worked against the fish dish. Somewhat like how the oxidative line and weight of fino or manzanilla sherry is also so good with sardines.
Even better drinking was a bottle of the 2008 Pio Cesare Barbera d'Alba. While the rest of the table had a round of pizza, I had the Thursday night special of White Rocks veal with marsala and king brown mushrooms. Excellent, it was, with the veal tender, the marsala well-judged and the mushrooms inspired. The balance, poise and acid of the barbera sat well against and across the savoury and sweet of the veal dish, as well as the different pizza I may have helped myself to.
So a good, relaxed time of Italian food, wine and conversation. Even if no one agreed with my dislike of Mad Men's version of late-fifties and early sixties America. A good short black and a glass of Nocello get me over these things.