The Italian wine and food pairing event hosted by Ruffino Italian wines and Graffiti’s Italian Eatery in Kanata was a huge success. Executive Chef Neil Mather paired five incredible dishes with complimentary Italian wines from the well known Tuscan wine house, Ruffino. It was terrific to have Ruffino’s National Brand Ambassador, Robert Ghezzo, along with the knowledgable Julien Bazinet of Constellation Brands, present. Robert spoke passionately about the rich history of Ruffino (est. 1877), and provided detailed introductions to each wine we enjoyed.

From the first dish, an arugula salad with goat cheese, toasted almonds, and fresh poached figs (paired with their Ruffino Orvieto Classico), and with each subsequent dish, we were all impressed with the chef’s complementary pairing choices as well as the Ruffino wines selected for the evening. The highlight of the evening was the incredible 2010 Modus along with Chef Neil’s unbelievable braised veal shank with saffron risotto. Folks, you’ve got to try that dish and wine pairing too!

The Ruffino wines tasted are all value priced and very food friendly (of course, they’re Italian)! Prosseco, Orvieto Classico, Lumina Pinot Grigio, Ducale Chianti Classico, Modus, and finally Moscato D’Asti all made lasting impressions. Unfortunately the Prosecco and Moscato D’Asti are not yet available in our market, but we were assured they’re on their way. Fingers crossed.

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Matt Steeves