Friday, August 26, 2011

An Evening of Serenity at Marcello's

Ever since I bumped into Ms. Serenity, as she was exiting an evening of pizza at Marcello's last year, we've kept telling each other that we should figure out a night to get together and head over ourselves.

It's taken awhile and a few false starts, but we finally worked out an evening that was good for all three of us - Boo, Ms. Serenity and me. I told her that I didn't even know that she liked pizza. I'd always seen her as being a dim sum and sushi kind of gal. Generally, it doesn't take too much to convince Boo and I to make the trek for calamari and the funghi e prosciutto. So, this shouldn't have needed to take as long as it did.

While Marcello's may be home to perhaps the most intriguing wood burning oven in the city, it doesn't exactly feature the most complete wine list. I did see one wine that at least tweaked my interest though. We ordered a bottle - not expecting much - but hoping to see what one of the better known Italian producers (at least in Vancouver) does with a purely non-Italian varietal wine.

903. 2009 Tommasi Viticoltori Le Prunée Merlot (IGT Della Venezie - Italy)

The Tommasi family is now into its 4th generation of winemakers and, since its start in 1902, it's seen steady growth and expansion. One site referred to the Viticoltori label as being the "Tommasi family's ode to innovation." One of the newest lines and projects is the Le Prunée vineyard that is completely planted with Merlot while being located smack in the heart of Valpolicella country.

I didn't find much, if any, reference to the winery's concept behind the making of a varietal Merlot; however, it doesn't seem to me like it's a simple off-shoot of the Super Tuscan movement. I might have expected to see some blending in a situation like that.

In any event, the wine was pretty much what I'd expected - fruity with medium body - and it was simple enough to go with our pizza. I think I'll stick to the region's more traditional wines - like Amarone, Ripasso and Valpolicella - in the future. Unless, of course, the winery does go the route of a Super Venetian and blend the Merlot with the historically local grapes. That might be interesting.

Now that I know, however, that Ms. Serenity is a pizza afficionado, we'll have to try and check out some of the new gourmet/authentic pizzerias that are popping up around town. I've heard good things about Nicli Antica in Gastown and I'm quite looking forward to the opening of Via Tevere Pizzeria Napoletana on Victoria Drive later this Fall.

Ciao & Buon Appetito.

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