But you cannot mention Italian wine without mentioning the exceptional and varied cuisine of Italy as well as the influence Italian food has had on the rest of the world -- even here in Charleston.
Restaurants such as Soho's, Fazio's and Leonoro's are prime examples of local establishments that have consistently provided us with quality Italian cuisine. Add to this list Paterno's at the Park.
Paterno's, located at Appalachian Power Park, in downtown Charleston, is the latest addition to the Italian restaurant scene here in the capital city. Andy and Mary Jo Paterno, along with daughter Niki Paterno Kurten, have produced an excellent menu and a very good wine list with an emphasis on Italy.
The menu has a northern Italian flavor. The veal chop piccata, which is a butterflied and sautéed 14-ounce bone-in veal chop sauced with morel, crimini and shiitake mushrooms, capers and lemon butter on a bed of risotto, is my favorite so far. My wife and I split this generous entrée and shared a tasty bottle of 2010 La Scoloca Gavi di Gavi Black Label.
Gavi is a crisp and fragrant white produced in Piedmont and it married well with the veal dish. Also represented on the wine list are Barolo, Brunello di Montalcino, Chianti, Barbera and an assortment of quality California reds and whites.
Paterno's is just one more tasty and tasteful example of how Italian food and wine have had a positive influence on our little part of the world.
For more on the art and craft of wine, visit John Brown's Vines & Vittles blog at thegazz.com.