THE next time someone plonks down a plate of gorgonzola in front of me I shall know what wine to drink it with. I shall casually reach for a bottle of juicy red Nero d’Avola and smirk knowingly.
Likewise, should I be confronted by some buffalo mozzarella, I can click my fingers, summon the waiter and say:” Marco, I think we need the sprightly Grillo grape with this.”
Now this never happens in Real Life, only in dreams about cheese and at bloggers’ wine tastings. In Real Life you’re in your favourite enoteca with a board of Italian meats and cheeses on the table and decide you’ll have one red and one white, the second cheapest on the list, because you’ve got to eke out those holiday euros.
As this is not a dream we’re at the estimable Veeno in Ecclesall Road, one of a chain of Italian enotecas co-founded by the splendid Nino Caruso, a name that sounds as if it has been made up by public relations but hasn’t.
I have used those complimentary adjectives not just because Signor Caruso is footing the bill. I genuinely like the place, having been here three times before and spent my own money on each occasion, once investing in a third share of a £26 bottle of superb Greco di Tufo. And I have a loyalty card.
Now I hope you don’t think I am not taking the event seriously. I am. All around me people are Tweeting and Instagramming and photographing while sloshing and slurping their vino so it hits all the taste receptors. I am wondering if I can go for another slice of speck.
I like wine but very often I don’t detect what others do in the glass. Here’s a Veeno chappie telling us that the Sicani Grillo hints at apples on the palate. The vinophile next to me says Granny Smith’s but I get pear, although I couldn’t swear if it was Comice or Williams.
However, it was my favourite wine of the night because I like its dryness and acidity. I could also comment on the delicate notes of oak and acacia only I’d be reading from the crib sheet.
What I like about Veeno, which you can read in my earlier review here, is that it has plenty of atmosphere and a slate of good wines from Nino Caruso’s family vineyard. The wines are interesting, although the house white is a bit too thin for my liking, and the food is tip top quality.
There Is a little booklet they give you so you can road test any or all of a selection of six bottles or glasses so I won’t add much more. That Nero d’Avola, by the way, is, according to my own notes, rich, velvety, tannic and smoky: in other words, very full on. I also loved the gorgonzola with it.
If you’re the sort who dodges that end-of-meal limoncello offered at your local trat, the one served here has none of the oily, oleaginous, cloying qualities you expect but is light and elegant.
For a much better review of the wines check out the post on fellow blogger Craig Harris’s blog. He’s the one who shouted Granny Smith’s and can gurgle in Italian.
They gave us a bottle of that house white to take home.