Presenting a stunning degustation menu with the prestigious Tasting Australia event last night, Italian restaurant, Farina00 Pasta & Wine Bar took up the challenge and involved themselves beautifully.
To accompany their authentic Sicily inspired dishes, they welcomed Paulmara Estate (with Paul Georgiadis himself sitting right in the middle of the restaurant) to their home restaurant to show off their lovely wines. I must say, we were truly impressed with the quality of the wine that accompanied our food last night. An amazing evening which was completely booked out, no surprise there. The evening began with a couple of welcoming speeches from Paul Georgiadis and his winemaker colleagues. Paul Georgiadis is the owner and viticulturalist, and his wife Mara works in the business too. They explained their craft and how passionate they are about making wine that is made to enjoy with food and good company.
To start with, we were spoilt to a shared plate of Antipasto containing salami, parma di prosciutto, Sicilian green olives, bambino bocconcini, marinated artichokes, and ciabatta slices. This was accompanied with their Robola, which holds quite a strong citrus base such as lime and grapefruit. Growing on a limestone, free draining soil, this type of wine is rather delicate with thin skin so must also be handled elegantly. We were told they are only made in Greece.
Secondi, the Pizza. Two flavours were presented on our table, both featuring the San Marzano tomato paste with fior di latte. These pizzas are inspired by the ones from Sicily, Italia. One half came with Parma di Prosciutto, Burrata, Grana and Rocket and the first bite impression was Mmmm! So good with a crispy crust. The other half came with Pork and Fennel Sausage, Chilli, Onion, Capsicum and Nduja. We love the added fresh chilli and not just some chilli flakes. It definitely spiced things up. Paired with a delicious grenache based, Mazi Rose, which is extracted in Mclaren Vale from a 60 year old vine. It’s a terrific quality fruit with no additive.
As we let our stomachs rest from this generous ensemble of food, we got to appreciate our wine even more. I have to admit this was one of the most enjoyable wine pairing dinners I have ever been to. The flavour is bold, crisp and great for those warm summer days. And now that Spring is beginning to peer in, this is the best time to give these wines a go. Spoiler alert: their Marananga Shiraz will be out next week!
Our pasta had arrived. Starting with the Cannelloni, ricotta and spinach filling on a bed of homemade napolitana sauce and parmigiana. Pairing this with a Syna Shiraz will bring out the flavour of the cannelloni. Definitely a great pairing.
Rigatoni came out afterwards. With slow braised lamb neck, shank and shoulder mixed in with homemade napoletana sauce, rosemary and pecorino. Oh my, actually lost for words. The lamb was so tender, texture wise it reminded me of eating cotton candy! That tender, melt in your mouth type of feeling. Kudos to the chef! Rigatoni was a winning dish. This was paired with a delightful De Nero which was inspired by a delicious wine in Sicily, made from grapes grown in volcanic soil. They brought their vision of De Nero wine to the Barossa Valley where the vines are able to thrive. Even with the hot wind and extreme weather. Such a versatile wine that doesn’t need the complexity which most Italian wines possess.
Our next course was something we were looking forward to. I can never say no to a good steak. A medium rare Scotch Fillet with Potato Puree and Red Wine Jus. Simply divine and tasty. We just wanted more! Apotigi was the wine paired with this stunning dish. Apotigi which sort of has a meaning of “break down from the earth” or coming from earth. The Paul Mara 2011 bought a run down vineyard and rejuvenated it in Barossa valley in 2011. One of the oldest cabernet vines in the world. Apotigi is their beloved Cabernet Sauvignon and we didn’t even question why. It was bold with a sweet ending. It’s perfect since our night was nearing its end.
The good old Tiramisu was the dessert of the night. You can never go wrong with a tiramisu (even for breakfast) . We thoroughly enjoyed our little sweet treat and it was almost inhaled in less than a minute. This was meant to be paired with their amazing Seppeltsfield Rare Tawny Port however on this occasion, we couldn’t get our hands on it to try. So we will happily leave it at that.
Thank you for having us team Farina 00 Pasta and Wine Bar and spoiling us with your second to none creations that evening. We really enjoyed our dinner and of course the wine pairing from Paulmara Estate which we became very fond of. We hope to see you again at Tasting Australia next year and under better circumstances.
Words by Dee Pene from Adelaide Food Authority