For two nights only (February 5th and 6th) The Producers Hotel teamed up with Coriole Vineyards to bring a touch of McLaren Vale to the city with their first collaborative ‘pop up’ cellar door ticketed event, Ciao Ciao. The Producers Hotel, located on Grenfell Street, was transformed into a Mediterranean wonderland with a touch of rustic vintage décor supplied predominantly from By the Oaktree, an Adelaide-based vintage prop hire and event styling company. Ciao Ciao was advertised as a feast for the senses with Coriole wines, Thrift Shop Bar cocktails, Italian-inspired eats and a host of local musicians to keep the good vibes flowing, including Delia Obst, Koral and the Goodbye Horses, Bec Stevens and Heymus. Adelaide Food Central was invited to check out what Ciao Ciao had to offer.
Coriole, a McLaren Vale winery, was founded by Hugh and Molly Lloyd in 1967 and to this very day is still owned by the Lloyd family. Coriole has been an Australian pioneer of Sangiovese and Italian wine varieties since 1985 and now exports to the USA, Canada and various countries throughout Europe and Asia. On the night Coriole showcased five of their unique Italian-style wine varietals with complimentary wine tasting with each available for purchase by the glass or bottle. We kicked of the tastings with the 2015 Prosecco, the latest in the batch of Italian varieties to be released by Coriole. Unlike champagne, Coriole Prosecco is made using the Charmat method, which is tank fermented as opposed to bottle. Not a huge fan of sparkling I was sceptical to taste the Prosecco but on the first sip I was in love!
The Coriole Prosecco is a delicate style sparkling wine, wonderfully light and refreshing, definitely the ideal aperitif! Next in line was the 2015 Fiano, an ancient variety originating from Southern Italy similar to the more well-known Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Gris styles; a wine well-suited to warm weather drinking. The 2015 Sangiovese Rosé with its beautiful crimson-pink colour was another of my favourites with its distinctive strawberries and cream notes. We then had the chance to sample two Italian red varieties that I wasn’t familiar with, the 2015 Nero d’Avola and 2014 Barbera. The Barbera was indeed my pick of the crop, a delicious easy-drinking medium-bodied red that I imagine to complement a wide range of foods. The lovely ladies from Coriole definitely knew their wines and after this short, yet stimulating introduction to Italian wine varieties I eagerly await a visit to the cellar door at Coriole Vineyards to taste more of their range.
The Thrift Shop Bar, an all-Australian craft spirit bar on Waymouth Place in the city, also joined the Italian fiesta with their Aussie take on the Italian Spritzer. Two cocktails utilising Coriole Prosecco were on offer; an Aussie Spritz with Applewood Distillery Økar (comparable to Aperol), Coriole Prosecco and fresh orange, or the Limoncello Spritz. I decided on the Limoncello Spritz with Applewood Distillery Limoncello, Coriole Prosecco, fresh raspberries and mint. It was delightfully thirst-quenching and indeed the perfect summer cocktail. I loved the fizz from the Prosecco and the combination of the tart lemon citrus with the natural sweetness of the fresh raspberries. Not only did the Limoncello taste delicious, it was equally appealing to the eye with its sprigs of aromatic mint.
Ciao Ciao of course offered a range of Italian-inspired eats that could be purchased with the likes of antipasto platters incorporating Coriole olives, arancini balls, focaccia with Coriole olive oil, pasta, four different wood-fired pizzas and gelato. We began with a serve of the Arancini Balls flavoured with pumpkin, sage and parmigiano and served with a tomato sugo. These stuffed rice balls were absolutely delizioso (you guessed it, Italian for delicious); from the cheesy rice filling to the thin crispy outer breadcrumb coating. We finished these off in a heartbeat!
Up next was the Veal Ragù served with a tomato, garlic, oregano and parmigiano sauce and chargrilled polenta. The ragù was packed with hearty chunks of tender veal and the tomato-based sauce was flavoursome. Whilst ragù is commonly served with pasta, this ragù came with chargrilled polenta, which albeit bland on its own was a perfect accompaniment to the dish. I was pleasantly surprised to find the polenta wonderfully smooth and not gritty at all. This dish was a definite winner!
We finished our Italian feast with a wood-fired Salami Pizza with tomato, mozzarella, olives and oregano. Unlike the rest of the dishes the pizza arrived at our table in an unsightly takeaway cardboard pizza box, however the taste of the pizza made up for this oversight. The pizza had a lovely grease-free thin base that was topped with plenty of stringy mozzarella, but not so much that you couldn’t actually taste the flavours of the olives and salami.
Adelaide Food Central would like to thank the staff at the Producers Hotel, Coriole Vineyards and Thrift Shop Bar for allowing us to attend this little slice of Italy in the city.
Words by Kelly Betterman
WHERE: 235 Grenfell St, Adelaide