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Da Vinci Italian Eatery-BYOB

by Joyce Soroka
6617 Carlisle Pike, Mechanicsburg, PA 17050 Tel: 717-691-0111

This restaurant offers a casual family dining experience at moderate prices. An Italian mother and her three sons have forged the nuance of the Palumbo family traditions into their menu selections.

The menu selections are traditional Italian cuisine. The dinner menu includes appetizers and entrées. Dishes “From the Land” and “From the Sea” include a choice of either pasta or potatoes & vegetables. Every meal includes homemade garlic bread served piping hot along with your choice of butter or olive oil with herbs for dipping. Soup or a side salad are an extra charge and pair well with the entrées. My favorite entrée is the Classical Parmigiana with veal, which I consider to be the best of its kind in this area. The generous portions typically require a take-home box. In addition to the dinner menu, there is also an expansive list of pizza, sandwiches, cold and hot subs, Stromboli’s and salads, all of which are available for eat-in or carryout, and DaVinci’s Grandma Pizza is a long time favorite of area pizza aficionados!

Our BYOB wine selection was a 2013 Hook and Ladder, The Tillerman, a red blend from Los Amigos which happens to be one of my favorites! It paired well with our Classical Parmigiana chicken and veal entrées.

We passed on dessert, but it was a difficult decision! Mrs. Palumbo makes all of the desserts, among which is a moist, delicious carrot cake that, although not typical Italian fare, is always a satisfying end to any wonderful DaVinci meal!

There is something for everyone at DaVinci Italian Eatery, where every menu item could be the perfect pairing for your carefully selected BYOB wine of choice!

DaVinci Italian Eatery is open 10:30 am-10:00 pm Tuesday through Saturday and 11:00 am-9:00 pm Sunday.

President’s Column

by Dave Williams

I don’t know how many of you have given thought to what goes on within the Pa Wine Society or what needs to happen to present a tasting event. Not that you have to, it’s just that we try to bring interesting topics and wines to your attention for your education, entertainment and enjoyment. To that point, I would like to ask what you would like to learn about, or taste or experience relative that pertains to the subject of wine?

Have we overlooked a topic of particular interest/curiosity to you?
Do you have an idea for an entirely different type of event or a different venue?
Are there things we have done in the past you want us to revisit?
Do you have suggestions to improve what we do?
Would you like to participate in planning and hosting an event?
What would it take for you to invite a friend to an event?

Our planning typically reaches out 6-18 months for events. We are always open to new and different ideas. Events range from light social to highly focused topics with a more academic tone. Our volunteers conduct PWS business and host events for you and your education and pleasure. For without your participation there would be no PWS.

I encourage you to contact me at President@pawinesociety.com with your comments, criticisms, suggestions and ideas. Alternatively, approach me at any tasting. I truly welcome your input.

Words on Wine by Marty Cook

 
How Rosé Wines Are Made

 

Well before the arrival of the Summer Solstice, wine palates begin to shift their seasonal preferences from heavier full-bodied red wines to lighter wines, i.e. those “summer sippers” that we all love! Prominent among these delightful, refreshing offerings are many wonderful Rosé wines. But, beyond the enjoyment of a cool, thirst-quenching glass of delicious Rosé, have you ever given thought to how that Rosé wine was made?

Many Customers in the Fine Wine & Good Spirits store where I work have asked me how one makes a Rosé wine. Some Customers intuitively think that Rosé wines are simply a blend of red and white wines combined in the proportions necessary to reach a Rosé-like color. While it is true that this type of blending is one way in which Rosé wines can be made (although the use of this method to make a Rosé wine is prohibited in some countries, most notably France), it may come as a surprise that there are two other approaches to making Rosé wines! I have also heard Customers speculate that Rosé wines (and, particularly, wines made by blending) are lesser wines. Nothing could be further from the truth!

As for the sometimes-maligned general practice of blending wines, it is axiomatic among winemakers that blending a good wine with a lesser wine will only produce an inferior wine. That is why the true art of blending good wines is an effort (indeed, a skill) to combine two or more good wines and blend them in such a fashion as to produce a very good wine that reflects the finest qualities of every constituent wine that went into its final blend!

Aside from blending, the two other approaches to making Rosé wine are: skin contact and saignée (from French for “bleeding”). Skin contact refers to the length of time before fermentation during which the crushed grape clusters (or, the must, which includes grape pulp, skins, seeds, and possibly stems) stay in contact with the juice. The length of time can be as brief as a scant few or as long as 24 hours. The juice, once separated from the skins, retains a pink color and that varies in intensity according to the length of time during which the must was in contact with the juice. Saignée, on the other hand, refers to a method in which grapes are lightly pressed and the initial resultant juice that “bleeds” off from the light pressing retains a pink color from its brief exposure to the grapes during this light pressing.

Rosé wines may be made in various shades of pink, owing to the technique employed during their production. They may also be “still” or “sparkling”. The amount of residual sugar can also vary across the spectrum of sweetness to dryness, although my favorite Rosé wines are in the medium-dry to dry range and come from Provence, France. In addition, all Rosé wines are generally served chilled and are meant to be consumed while they are young and at their freshest. And, best of all, Rosé wine pairs well with virtually any food! So, enjoy a wonderful Rosé “summer sipper” soon!

Bistro Barberet and Bakery – Not A BYOB!  

by Averill Shepps

26 East King Street, Lancaster  Phone: 717-690-2354

When you open the door to Barberet, you enter the pastry shop which showcases the desserts you can have after dinner or take home, that is if you can ever decide from the gorgeous array of color, shape, and decorative effects! Owner Cedric Barbaret says it is “like a jewelry store for his creations.” After tearing yourself away from the bakery area, you pass into the restaurant, which describes itself as having “French casual comfort food with a modern twist.”

The appetizers are different from what you would encounter in most Central Pennsylvania restaurants. They include Sumon Fumé, and Beef Tartare with a Quail Egg. The three of us decided to share the Quenelle De Brochet, which included Gruyère and Saucisson cuit de Lyon with Black Truffle, Pearl Onions and Potatoes.

The Plats Principal, like the appetizers, are upscale. They include Poulet Basquaise and Duo of Lamb. Two of our party selected the Veal Schnitzel with a lemon-caper-parsley beurre blanc, arugula salad and shaved parmesan. The veal was pounded very thin so that it resembled a small pizza on the plate. It was lightly seasoned with the cheese and herbs so that the flavor of the veal was not lost, as it often is in other restaurants. I had the Braised Beef short ribs which were paired with Ancho Chili, Gnudi, and Roasted Corn  Relish. The Braised Beef was so tender you only had to use a fork to cut the beef and, with the other accompaniments, made this an outstanding dish that I would order again.

Barberet’s wine list is small but it appears to be able to accommodate the menu items. Barberet also has a prix fixe menu for $35.00 that includes a choice of an appetizer, an entree and a dessert. If you have to park in the parking garage the price is five dollars for three hours.

Barberet lives up to its press clippings, and we know we will be going back.

 

President’s Column April 2019

by Dave Williams

For the past two years or so my wine experience has been in transition.  My focus has been on a selection of grapes that are relatively new to me and not the most common.   I find exploring a grape variety from many locations easiest for me to grasp its message,    followed by the influence of climate, terroir and wine-making style.  My preferences find their way quite simply as do food pairings, without attending to the point scores assigned by the wine press.

More recently, reading Terry Theise’s two books, “Reading Between the Wines” and “What Makes Wine Worth Drinking”, has challenged my overall approach toward wine.   It has prompted a transition from more of an analytical to an experiential approach  reflecting on the wine’s message and “authenticity” or connection to place and people.  Madeline Puckette in her newsletter, “Wine Folly”, recently compared and tasted three grocery store California Cabernet Sauvignons under $20, which indirectly reinforced the concept of “authenticity” as these were primarily what I call manufactured wines – consistent from year to year without much variation.  These volume wines are composed in the winemaking process utilizing all the tools chemistry provides to produce a desired         outcome.  It is quite the contrast from approaching a wine to experience its message of a place and people with all the variation a vintage imbues.  I equate this to the difference between quiet listening versus loudly being told.

So, if you have ever questioned what wine really means to you, I urge to pick up one or both of Theise’s books and ponder how you experience wine or how wine speaks you.

 

PA Wine Excellence Results

by Averill Shepps

The Pennsylvania Wine Excellence tasting and awards ceremony was attended by 90 people, There were winemakers, wine lovers, in fact everyone there was interested in or involved in the Pennsylvania wine industry and in encouraging the wineries to make great wines. Leaving you in suspense no longer, the winner was Waltz Moscato, while the top scoring red wine was the Stony Run Cabernet Franc. It was the third year in a row that Waltz won, though each year for a different wine.

As we got ready for the event on that Sunday, I looked around the room and saw all the board members and former board members, running around performing the various tasks that need to be done. I was moved by the spirit with which they got to work, each at their own job – bringing and arranging all the bottles needed for the 90 people, opening them all, pouring 10 glasses at 90 place settings.

Then there was the audio-visual to be set up, the tasting order to be distributed, and all the while our stalwart treasurers were checking the 90 attendees in at the door. We have a dedicated group of volunteers who work without compensation or recognition because they feel that what we are doing is important. A big thank you goes to all of them!

And a personal thank you as well to all those who were involved in the recognition ceremony that Frank Fritsch had organized to honor me for the 17 years I have worked on the event. I was truly stunned and even rendered speechless by the ceremony. Now I can say that while I don’t do all that work for the recognition, it is certainly lovely and meaningful to receive it. Thank you all!

President’s Column March 2019

by Dave Williams

I particularly enjoy our PA Wine Excellence event. This year’s celebration was an entertaining and successful event judging by the comments and lingering social interactions. The wines continue to improve and we see new wineries participating each year. Waltz again captured top honors with their 2018 Moscato followed by Stony Run’s 2016 Cabernet Franc, Reserve. However, all 20 wines presented were quite worthy in their own right as were many of the 90 wines submitted. If you are skeptic of Pennsylvania wine, you really need to attend this event to re-evaluate your assessment of Pennsylvania wine and hear the story from the people who make it. They are truly “authentic” to use Terry Theise’s term having a connection to a place and family or people.

FYI. PWS is a distributor of Riedel glassware. Those that attended the tasting with Riedel can attest to the impact of proper glassware can have on the wine experience. It can be quite dramatic. As a distributor we are entitled to 40% discount off retail pricing. I would be interested to hear from those who would be interested in purchasing Riedel glassware and who would be interested in having another Riedel tasting event. If not for yourself, it makes a great gift for a fellow wine enthusiast. To quote Riedel, “Grape varietal specific stemware features finely-tuned glass bowls consisting of three variables: shape, size and rim diameter; to translate the ‘message’ of wine to the human senses.”
For info on Riedel glassware, I suggest visiting www.riedel.com.

Wineworthy

by Dave Williams

TE, The Inn at Leola Village 38 Deborah Drive, Route 23, Leola, PA 17540 (717)656-7002 www.theinnatleolavillage.com

Originally an Amish tobacco farm slated for demolition in 1999 to make way for a convenience store and automotive service center, it was—thankfully—magnificently renovated in rustic character with a mission to create a five-star resort. The locals thought it was a foolish endeavor and claimed it would happen only when pigs flew, which explains the many images, statues and figurines of winged or flying pigs adorning the property.

Today it has two restaurants, three acres of gardens, unique accommodations, event hospitality facilities and a spa. Osteria Avanti is a noteworthy, yet more conventional Italian restaurant, servicing the property with breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. However, it is TE that makes dining a truly grand celebration. Chef Calabrese wanted to create the ultimate expression of a formal Italian restaurant. Ultimate is no exaggeration! Your experience will be a journey of refined Italian cuisine worthy of the Forbes 5-Star and AAA 5 Diamonds rating. Dining is offered Friday and Saturday only and reservations are required, as is a jacket for the gentlemen. The menu consists of two basic offerings: a five-course prix-fixe or a nine-course degustation menu. Multiple choices for each course are standard, as are the chef’s amazing intermezzos between most courses. Wine can be purchased from the list of 450+ wines or you can select the sommelier’s pick of wine for each course. TE is luxurious entertainment with impeccable service for you and your mouth and soul that takes an evening (2.5-3.5 hours). In fact, the exchanges with the engaging staff enhanced the entire evening. It comes at a price, but worth every penny. The five-course menu is $129/person and $199 with wine paring. Degustation menu is $199 and $299 with wine paring. It is a dining experience to rival the finest in the world regardless of location. Be prepared to be impressed, I most certainly was and anticipate returning.

President’s Column February 2019

by Dave Williams

This year will be 33 years since several curious individuals came together to explore wine, armed simply with more questions than answers, but a hunger—or should I say thirst—to learn. Today we are an organization that regularly gathers to learn and explore the vast world of wine. Our future and success depend on you and others who have an interest in learning about wine. Speaking for myself, much of my wine knowledge has come from PWS events, which enhanced my appreciation of wine and significantly impacted my dining pleasure. One of the remarkable things about wine is that its pleasure accrues value when shared with someone else.

Over the years there have been a dedicated and revolving team of people who plan, prepare and execute our events. A great deal of thanks goes to those individuals. They do this out of passion, as there is no compensation other than the gratitude of smiling faces enjoying an event and the knowledge acquired.

I would invite your input on subjects and events you would like to see PWS present. Plus, I encourage you to invite your friends, family or business associates who have a curiosity about wine to attend an event. What we share is a pleasure, comradery and desire to learn. What we gain are friends and a deeper appreciation for one of life’s great pleasures.

President’s Column January 2019

by Averill Shepps

The PWS Bylaws require a change of executive officers after serving for three years. As I have served a three-year term, we just held an election at which time Dave Williams was chosen to take over as President. He has served ably on the Board and as Vice President. I will remain on the Board as Past President. As I leave, I want to remind you all of what Peter Weygandt said about us after speaking at the Chateauneuf-du-Pape tasting three years ago. He expressed his impressions of us beautifully.

“I had a most enjoyable time—being with such genuine wine lovers, so attentive, so involved in each wine, and enthusiastic – a wonderful feeling, and so rare to find these days. As Robert Parker once said to me – it is easier to find a great wine than it is to find people who truly appreciate great wine. You have such a group.”

Let us never lose that spirit! Part of it is you; part is the Board that works diligently to put on good events for you; part of it is past Board members who continue to help us out by pouring wines when asked, by helping with our PA X judging, by keeping up our Facebook page, etc. People will leave the Board, but as they do so they tell us they will continue doing what they have been doing for us. I know our members are outgoing and welcoming to new attendees so that they will feel comfortable. After all we all share a common, consuming interest—learning about wine. We are fortunate indeed to have such a group! May I leave you with a bit of trivia. The Friday night tasting group at the Lemoyne store (I call it the Pub) had a distinguished visitor last Friday. Governor Wolf was there!