Wine Agency & Sommelier: Charlie Iacono from Iaco Vino
Event: Turquoise Blog’s #ExperienceIacoVino Wine Tasting
Event type: wine, wine tasting, Italian wines, grazing boards
Restaurant type: market cuisine, bring your own wine, fusion, French, Italian, Asian, terrasse, weekend brunches
Date: Wednesday October 9th 2019
Group of: 23
Last month, I had the pleasure of hosting my first ever wine tasting event! The tasting was conducted by Charlie and Nina from Iaco Vino and the event was held at one of my favorite BYOW restaurants, Machiavelli. Iaco Vino is a private importer of wines and you can find their wines at many restaurants across the Greater Montreal Area, especially at Italian restaurants. Charlie himself is a big wine connoisseur, with more than 30 years of experience in Montreal’s restaurant industry.
For those of you who follow my blog attentively, you’ll know that I’ve eaten at Machiavelli several times and in fact, I held my first ever Insta Foodies event there a year ago! Machiavelli’s cuisine can be described as fusion, with a lot of French, Italian and Asian influences. They also serve brunch on weekends and since its BYOW, you can make it a bottomless mimosas brunch and enjoy some quality bubbles. Machiavelli is located in Pointe-Saint-Charles, just across from Charlevoix metro station.
Present this time around to #ExperienceIacoVino, there was: myself @elisebgravel, Jenny @jlennyx, Victor @vudememe, Patrick @mtlfoodfrenzy, Louise @ruisa27, Mai @mtldelices, Stef @smarkfoodie, Shankeetha @mtlfoodjourney, Stephanie @1.frugal.foodyee.mtl, Geneviève @culinairement.mtl, Sinoun @sincity84, Sabrina @hangryinmtl, Karine & Nora @hangryeatsmtl, Lyne @mission.cuisine.urbaine, Mihai @mihai514, Sarah @redlipstalk, Tram @tramieskitchen, Sabrina @tinyfoodie, Cheng @chngcheng, Rola @montrealesque, Sabrina @youcannoliliveonce & Sirena @cravesmtl !
The white wines: Volpano Abruzzo + Pinot Grigio + Chardonnay
The red wines: Aglianico + Valpolicella + Sangiovese
The tasting featured 6 wines: 3 whites and 3 reds. On my end, being a big fan of white wines, I stuck to those 3. I started things off with the Volpano Abruzzo, which I enjoyed. It was very light and easy to drink. I then switched over to the Chardonnay, which Charlie reassured me wasn’t matured in an oak barrel (so no oaky and smokey taste to it, no heavy, greasy feeling either) and it was actually quite nice. However, I did find it quite floral and “perfumy” so it wasn’t for me. I finished things off with the Pinot Grigio which was very similar to the Volpano Abruzzo and my favorite wine of the evening. I received a lot of mixed feedback from the other participants, who all had reasons for enjoying one wine over the other.
Not being a red wine drinker, I left these to the other guests. I heard a lot of great feedback from the red wine lovers, who also all had their own reasons for liking one over the other.
The food: charcuteries + cheeses + foie gras + les trois bernardins
The wine tasting was accompanied by some beautiful grazing boards, les trois bernardins and a foie gras board, all prepared by Machiavelli. Everything was so good, especially the foie gras, and was a perfect pairing to Iaco Vino’s wines.
The Dinner: gnocchi + carbonara + tom yum + mac n cheese
After the wine tasting, some of us stayed behind for dinner and enjoyed 4 delightful pasta dishes! Everyone’s favorite was the gnocchi, which is Machiavelli’s start dish IMO. Whether you like or dislike gnocchi, Machiavelli’s are life changing; super fluffy, airy, soft and filled with delicious oozing mozzarella. I personally quite enjoyed the tom yum spaghetti, although it could have used a spicy kick. I like how Machiavelli adds some nice fusion twists to their dishes, like this Asian spin on a classic tomato sauce spaghetti. The carbonara was also very good; creamy, rich, smooth and mouth-watering. Personally I wasn’t a big fan of the pumpkin mac n cheese; overall the dish was too much on the sweet side for me and it reminded me too much of a dessert rather than a savoury plate. There were also some delicious mini crab cakes as a mise en bouche, which were divine and full of yummy crab meat.
Overall, we had a great time learning about and getting to taste different kinds of Italian wines and noshing on delicious boards prepared by Machiavelli. I loved how informal the whole thing was and how people were able to move about the room, chat and meet with different foodies, all the while enjoying some great wines and delicious food. Thanks again to everyone who contributed to making this evening special, to my guests for attending, to Charlie and Nina from Iaco Vino for presenting such lovely wines and to Machiavelli for the always great food!
Part of the planning for my Insta Foodies events also includes table decor and gift bags for my attendees. The beautiful floral arrangement was created by Ri @riantheflorist, boss babe at @fleuristemonarque and the flowers were provided by @prune_les_fleurs. The goodies which were provided for the attendees’ goodie bags, by Turquoise Marketing and Turquoise Blog, were provided by Kate from @astoria_mtl (turquoise macarons) and Frankie & Katherine @mtlfromscratch (slutty cookies). Thank you ladies for your generous contributions! 🙂
*This restaurant post does not contain my usual restaurant review criteria of restaurants, as this is a sponsored post where I was invited to the restaurant as a guest.
*All photos and comments are mine