A Sparkling Spring Dinner at Lilia
Last week we had the great pleasure of hosting a sparking wine dinner at our favorite restaurant, Lilia, with Franciacorta, a little-known region near Milan with more than 100 wineries specializing in meticulously-crafted sparkling wine. The bubblé, made in the classic method with a second fermentation in the bottle, is complex, refreshing and highly drinkable (especially with exquisite Italian food). Franciacorta wines were the first sparkling wines in Italy to receive the highest designation of quality, DOCG, and their regulations are stricter than any other sparkling wine in the world, including Champagne. You can taste the precision and care with each sip.
Chef Missy Robbins prepared a spring feast for us that included her signature Cacio Pepe Fritelle, Mafaldini with pink peppercorns, and Slow Roasted Porchetta with spring lily pesto. It was a jaw-dropping family style dinner and each course was paired with beautiful bubbles.
Brittany Asch of BRRCH added to the magic with a few of her whimsical rose and peony arrangements. What more could you want for a Monday night? For us it was a dream come true.
To welcome our guests we served Franciacorta Rosé Vintage from Corte Bianca, a label run by an architect and her husband who gave the winery a spiffy modern renovation and converted it to be organic and sustainable.
The ridiculous antipasti selection, which included things like Crispy Little Fish, White Asparagus and Grilled Ramps with Spring Onions, was paired with Franciacorta Brut from Enrico Gatti. The organic bubbles are made with all chardonnay grapes for a superbly crisp sparkler.
The Franciacorta Brut Nature Vintage from Ronco Calino was served with Missy’s legendary pasta. It’s a nature, also called zero dosage, meaning there’s no additional sugar added to the fermentation, allowing for the natural structure of the bubbly to shine through. We love this wine.
The main event, Slow Roasted Porchetta, was paired with a Franciacorta Brut Rosé Vintage from Fratelli Berlucchi. This wine has a special place in our hearts as we got to spend some time with the wonderful Tilli Berlucchi at her historic winery with ivy covered walls and ancient rooms with 15th century frescoes.
For dessert we revisited our favorite glasses over an unforgettable treat: Strawberries, Cream and Rosemary Shortbread.