A beautiful day or evening on the deck or patio with friends, enjoying the bright flavours of southern Italy -- what could be better? A glass of wine and a variety of flavours on a traditional antipasti table make for leisurely entertaining. Most of the food can be made well in advance. Just light the grill and put on a few Italian sausages to get everyone into la dolce vita.
A rustic wine from the south of Italy would be the perfect accompaniment to this antipasti meal. Try Pellegrino Cent'Are Rosso or Pasqua Nero d'Avola, both made from Sicily's Nero d'Avola grape, which produces rustic, plummy wines without too much tannin, making for a smooth finish.
Similar, but with dark cherry and black currant flavours, is Mission Hill 1998 Private Reserve Merlot (British Columbia). Or perhaps a refreshing rosÃ© is more to your liking on a sultry summer's day: Cave Spring RosÃ© 1999 (Ontario) is a lovely strawberry-colour wine that's light and cheerful but still has good body. Salute!
â€“ Andrew Chase
If you love Italian flavours, be sure to check out the Forza Italia! story in the November 2003 issue of Canadian Living Magazine for a splendido dinner for six including Grilled Figs Wrapped in Prosciutto; Thick-Cut Veal Chops with Rosemary, Capers and Lemon; Braised Leeks with Parmesan; Gelato di Banana al Rum and Hazelnut Chocolate Pizzelle.