It was little Italy Friday night at LangeTwins winery with Pietro ‘Pete’ Murdaca in the kitchen pairing our Italian varietals with his cuisine. Was it the rainy night? The red checked tablecloths? Perhaps the strolling accordions? There was a bit of magic in the air as 75 guests witnessed this third generation young chef stretch and execute a unique culinary experience.
Dinner pairings were all Pete’s design – opening act was a golden beet and arugula salad paired with the LangeTwins 2016 Sangiovese Rosé . He then matched our 2014 Winery Exclusive Nero D’Avola with an oxtail ragu and cavatelli pasta that took two days to prepare. Our 2013 Single Barrel Teroldego was the feature with a charred ribeye over a bed of raddichio, but it was his chocolate semifreddo dessert topped with toasted hazelnuts and fresh fruits that pushed everyone over the top served with our MVP Dessert wine.
The addition of Italian varietals to the LangeTwins portfolio can be attributed to winemaker David Akiyoshi who identified these Mediterranean varietals as unique wine grapes that would thrive in the Lodi appellation and especially under the direction of our viticulture team. “These varietals are old world heartbeats,” said Akiyoshi, “and great additions to the family portfolio of wines.”
Murdaca is a hometown Lodi son of Annette and Jim Murdaca, and a third generation chef. His culinary training was in Italy, and he completed internships both in Calabria and Rome. Murdaca cites “freshness of ingredients” as a key to his success, with an emphasis on sourcing local produce. Murdaca and his family are currently renovating their Kettleman Lane restaurant, Pietro’s and describe their new look as “blending the old with the new”. They expect to reopen in the June, 2017.
We spiced up the evening with a caricature of our chef Pete to honor his first solo winemaker’s dinner and pressed him to sign autographs for his admiring crowd. It was amore!