Unique culinary event lets guests select their favorite wine while Chef Santos pairs it with a special three-course menu.
January 2, 2018 (Paso Robles, CA) – Starting Jan. 24, Il Cortile Ristorante – winner of the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for four consecutive years – will launch its annual Reverse Wine Dinner series, where each week guests can each pick their favorite wine and Chef Santos MacDonal will create a special three-course menu around it.
Every Wednesday** through Feb. 28, 2018, Il Cortile will partner with a different Paso Robles winery, who will pour a select group of their signature wines. Each guest will select their preferred wine for their special menu, which complements the flavors and textures of their chosen bottle.
“The Reverse Wine Dinners have become really popular because wine lovers can take an active role in the creative culinary process,” said Carole MacDonal, owner of Il Cortile. “We aim to challenge and inspire guests – as well as Chef Santos – by transforming the traditional pairing experience into a surprise culinary delight each week. Every year, Chef Santos looks forward to experimenting in the kitchen with a diverse lineup of wines and local seasonal ingredients, creating an ever-changing menu that gives guests new reasons to return for an encore.”
Each dinner costs $60 per person plus tax and gratuity and the cost of the wine, which varies per winery and bottle. The 2018 schedule for the six-week dinner series includes:
January 24 Turley Wine Cellars
Turley Wine Cellars crafts 34 wines, the vast majority of which are produced from old-vine, single-vineyard Zinfandel and Petite Sirah. All of their vineyards are certified organic by California Certified Organic Farmers and they use all naturally-grown yeast in the fermentations. Turley aims to both create and preserve California’s unique winemaking culture.
January 31 Bella Luna Estate Winery
Bella Luna Estate Winery is a boutique, family owned winery that focuses on Italian varietals, making small lot productions of premium red and white wine. Bella Luna uses dry farming methods, with the dual aim of conserving water and creating more interesting wines boasting more minerals and earthy flavors.
February 7 Epoch Estate Wines
Epoch Estate create their wines from Rhone, Zinfandel, and Tempranillo varieties. Owners Bill and Liz Armstrong aim to carry on the legacies of their historic York Mountain and Ignacy Paderewski vineyards through their wines. Through carefully managed, non-invasive farming, they aim to bring the complex character of their vineyards and terroir into each bottle of Epoch Estate Wine. All of their fruit is estate, coming from two specific and unique sites: Paderewski Vineyard and Catapult Vineyard.
February 15** Alta Colina Wines
Alta Colina is a well-known estate producer that organically farms its 31 acres to create a variety of core wines. Whites include Grenache Blanc, 12 O’Clock High Viognier and the Claudia Cuvee Marsanne, to reds such as GSM, Toasted Slope Syrah, Old 900 Syrah, and Ann’s Block Petite Sirah. They also bottle one or two additional small lot wines each vintage that reflect a variety, block, or blend they think deserves the focus of a stand-alone bottling. (**This event takes place on a Thursday as that Wednesday is Valentine’s Day).
February 21 J. Dusi Wines
The story of the Dusi Vineyard began in the early 1920s, when Sylvester and Caterina Dusi emigrated from Northern Italy and settled in Paso Robles, introducing some of the first Zinfandels to California’s Central Coast. Zinfandel remains the mainstay varietal today at the vineyards, which are presided over by Janell Dusi. The intense flavor profiles of the “Dusi Fruit” are characteristic of the land’s unique micro climate and the family’s old-world, handcrafted grape growing techniques, making the grapes sought after by many local wineries.
February 28 Hope Family Wines
This family-owned and operated winery crafts more than five unique labels: Liberty School, Austin Hope, Treana, Candor, and Troublemaker. Austin Hope maintains the Hope family’s legacy of sustainable farming practices and long-standing tradition of making delicious, reliable, and accessible wines, all while infusing a vibrancy that resonates from the vine to the glass.
The Reverse Wine Dinners tend to sell out quickly, and seating is limited, so booking well in advance is recommended. These events are a rare and unique opportunity to experience the Il Cortile team’s passion and pride, which has been an innovative force on the Paso Robles Wine Country culinary scene in recent years. Il Cortile Ristorante won the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017, in recognition of its robust wine list featuring a well-chosen assortment of quality producers along with a thematic match to the menu in both price and style. Reservations can be made at 805-226-0300 or online at www.ilcortileristorante.com.
About Il Cortile Ristorante
Il Cortile Ristorante is located in Paso Robles Wine Country, a top destination for exquisite wines, picturesque landscapes and beautiful weather – the perfect pairing for Executive Chef Santos MacDonal’s rustic Italian cuisine. Owned and operated by Chef Santos and his wife Carole, the menus are seasonally inspired and created with the freshest ingredients. Chef Santos makes an array of exceptional homemade pastas, fresh seafood, top quality meats and antipasti. The wine list, inspired by Chef Santos’ food, completes the dining experience. Visit Il Cortile Ristorante in downtown Paso Robles. www.ilcortileristorante.com