By Liz Barrett
Café Spiaggia hosted a special dinner on Thursday, Oct. 19, featuring five courses with wine pairings by five Chicago women sommeliers — starring wines made by women! The sold-out event proved to be a draw for not one, not two but seven Chicago Dames including Veronica Hastings, Elizabeth Donovan, Carla Williams, Liz Barrett, Susan Szymansky, Mary Aregoni and Susan Weller.
The five-course menu started with Grilled Oysters paired with Foradori “Fontanasanta” Manzoni Bianco 2015, paired by Sommelier Leslie LaRue Lamont of Leña Brava. Next came Fall Squash with Hen-of-of-the-Woods Mushrooms, Apples and Candied Pecans, accompanied by Elena Walch’s “Kristallberg” Pinot Bianco 2016, paired by Sian Ferguson of Alinea. The third course of Tortellini with Saffron, Goat Cheese, Honey and Poppy Seeds offered a pairing by Spiaggia’s own Rachel Lowe: Costadila “Pet Nat” Bianco 2016.
Then a giant platter of Pork Tomahawk was served, with fennel mustard, polenta and farm eggs, paired with a Vignamaggio Cabernet Franc 2009 by City Winey’s Rachel Driver Speckan.
Finally, Monteverde Sommelier Hannah Grossman paired a beautiful fall apple cake with a delicate La Stoppa Malvasia Dolce Frizzante 2015.
It was truly a wonderful evening celebrating the wonders of women in wine and food – which speaks directly to the core of Les Dames d’Escoffiers! Three cheers to these talented sommeliers and the women-made wines they shared with us!