On Saturday evening, After Hours Gallery turned into the makeshift home of BACCHUS MISCHiEF, Chef Gabriele Bertaccini's underground wine event. Guests trickled into the jazz-filled entertaining area complete with skyline views, natural lighting, and the il Tocco staff preparing sweet and savory bites.
Couples, friends, and a few solo artists seated themselves around the kitchen on couches and at a dining table. Though they were more or less strangers to each other, hardly anyone was a stranger to Gabriele Bertaccini or his venture CULINARY MISCHiEF.
After a brief formal introduction, the il Tocco staff served up a series of six Italian white wine variations and pairings, pausing between each new bottle to give guests the chance to swirl, sniff, sip, and snack.
Bertaccini poured generously, and he discussed not only the history behind each wine, but also the future -- when they could expect to see it in the States and how they could obtain it. Bertaccini was proud to note than none of the wines cost more than $10 and could be ordered through him. (Although, just by coincidence, I happened to find one of the featured wines, Le Rime Pinot Grigio at Trader Joe's for $7.99).
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As is usually the case with wine, conversations began to flow more fluidly with each new glass, creating a sense of familiarity among the 20-plus guests and chefs (yes, it seems they ended up going over their initial 12-person limit). Armed with liquid reserves, Bertaccini made his way around the room, adding onto conversations as he topped off each glass.
Despite the heat (the il Tocco staff was smart enough not use the oven in the small upstairs space), the Bacchus pilot was a success -- increasing the chance that the next MISCHiEF event will once again be sold out. To get on the e-mail list, visit the MISCHiEF site.
And for those looking to re-create a little BACCHUS MISCHiEF at home, here's your shopping list:
Fontana Candida Frascati Superiore 2009 DOC Castello D'Albola Pinot Grigio 2009 DOC Le Rime Banfi Pinot Grigio 2010 IGT Si Soave Italia 2009 DOC Vigne Di Hortensia Langhe Pietro Rinaldi 2010 DOC Ecco Domani Moscato Delle Venezie 2011 IGT