Italian Food & Wine Festival

A taste of Tuscany at Oakroom's wine-fest
By Earl D.C. Bracamonte


Royal vintner label Frescobaldi showcases an Italian wine and food festival this June at the Oakroom fine dining restaurant. The Marchesi de' Frescobaldi is one of Italy's most significant wineries, boasting a history of producing wines for more than 700 years.
“We are thrilled to highlight one of the world's best-loved wines. The brand is equated with prestige; a reflection of the family's distinct heritage, which included medieval kings, bankers, lawyers and patrons of the arts. We would like Oakroom diners to experience Frescobaldi because it is like getting a glimpse of Tuscan history from the 1300s to the present,” enthused GM Brian Connelly.
Complementing the wines is an exquisite Italian fare prepared by executive chef Jerome Cartailler. Fish lovers should try his Chilean Seabass. It's simply exceptional!
Albizzia, as a white wine, is appropriate with hors d'oeuvres, seafood and white meats. It went very well with grilled Portobello mushrooms and roasted pepper with aged balsamic vinegar as well as the Lentil soup with king prawns and coriander.
Pomino Bianco 2007/2008, a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc grown in the Tuscan hills, has a delicate nose that brings the aromas of flowers, lavender and young fruit, especially apricots. The palate blends melon and pineapple from the Chardonnay with crisp, young fruit notes from the Pinot Blanc unto a crisp, hazelnut finish. The white wine melded seamlessly with Chef Jerome's home-made wild mushroom tortellini with basil and Pecorino cheese.
Remole is a classic example of a wine for all dishes, on all occasions. Enjoy it, for example, with their aubergine and courgette parmigiana or with a selection of Italian cheeses.
Full-flavored dishes such as Veal fillet medallions with artichokes, lemon and Provolone paired smoothly with the Castiglioni, Chianti 2007. A pan-fried variation topped with Parmesan cheese and black truffles fused perfectly with the Nippozano Riserva 2006. Frescobaldi owns nine estates in the most exceptional vineyards of Tuscany. It is the major wine region of Italy and home to the indigenous Italian red grape variety, Sangiovese, which is the major component of Chianti red wines. A Chianti can only be called such when it is produced with at least 80 percent Sangiovese grapes.
The Frescobaldi family has been producing wines for over seven centuries now, exporting the same for nearly 500 years to date. They first shipped wine to England in1517 to their first customer, King Henry VIII. The family is a major vineyard owner, with a great reputation for producing the highest quality wines. They own much of the best vine-growing land in Tuscany.
The Castiglioni estate in Chianti Colli Florentino has some of the oldest Merlot vineyards in Tuscany. Vittorio degli Albizzi, a member of the Frescobaldi familiy through marriage, first brought Merlot to Tuscany in 1855. He also introduced Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir to the region.
But it was in the late 1940s that Lamberto Frescobaldi with his son, Vittorio, modernized wine-growing production, emphasizing research, innovation and quality. Today, the business is helmed by Lamberto Frescobaldi and his winemaker, Niccolo D'Afflito.
Future Trade presently imports seven Frescobaldi wines into the country; including two whites (Albizzia Chardonnay and Pomino Bianco) and five reds (Remole, Castiglioni Chianti, Castelgiocondo Brunello di Montalcino, Nipozzano Riserva Chianti Rufina and Montesodi Chianti Rufina).
Oakroom's monthly Wine & Food Festival, a brainchild of its general manager Brian Connelly, a wine connoisseur, is fast gaining popularity. Following the success of the Chilean promotion, Italian wines take centerstage this month of June, to be followed shortly by American varieties starting July 3rd.
The adjacent Oakroom Bar offers an attractive option for unwinding after a day's work or for a nightcap. “We have a good selection of beverages that are versatile, working well on their own or with a variety of food,” Connelly shared.
For more details and/or reservations, simply call the Oakroom's direct line at 719-1160. The restaurant is nicely tucked at the 6th level of Oakwood Premier Joy~Nostalg Center at the heart of bustling Ortigas Center.

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