Cheers to good times with fine wines

A La Carte

August 5, 2018

Story By: Elima Pangorang | Photos by: LAWRENCE TABUDLO

Underground Wine Merchants wine specialist Roberto Pennone, and Il Lupino Trattoria & Wine Bar’s general manager Heela Mottus and executive chef Adam Kekahuna with an array of wines and food pairings.

Coming across superb wine tasting in the islands is not always an easy task to fulfill. Lucky for residents, Il Lupino Trattoria & Wine Bar is in the know for the latest, greatest and finest wines out there. As a real treat, the restaurant just added a special vino that’ll elevate your taste buds all the way to Italy.

Working hand-in-hand with Underground Wine Merchants Inc., the Waikiki wine bar corks open for its guests Biancolella di Ponza, a premium wine exclusive to Il Lupino’s wine collection.

Caprese Salad ($18)

Harvested from grapes of Ponza island in Italy, this wine serves as a real gem that can only be consumed in Ponza, which raises the question, how did Il Lupino get its hand on this rarity?

Roberto Pennone, a wine specialist with Underground Wine Merchants shares that Hawaii’s climate is similar to that of Ponza, specifically to the fact that the volcanic soil the grapes of Ponza are grown, serves as a worthy connection to our volcanically formed islands.

Grilled Octopus ($20) pictured with Biancolella di Ponza wine

“Harvesting is done in Ponza,” explains Pennone. “Then it’s straight to the winery at Casale Del Giglio (the estate where the wine is from) and they put it in the bottle there.”

The Biancolella is a white wine described as having an “intense perfume of hawthorn blossom, ripe golden peach, and fresh apricot,” according to the Casale Del Giglio estate description. “The palate is flinty and fresh, reminiscent of the ‘volcanic-calcareous’ vineyard soils and sea breezes that sustain the vine. A lingering fruitiness on the finish and a hint of citrus.”

This wine is so supreme that it even won a Tre Bicchieri award, an esteemed recognition only given to Italy’s best wines.

Il Lupino further pairs the Biancolella with its menu items, suggesting the white wine alongside an order of Grilled Octopus ($20). Other wines from the Casale Del Giglio estate brought in by Underground Wine Merchants include a white Bellone and Satrico to be consumed with Il Lupino’s Caprese Salad ($18) with fresh burrata. For red wine lovers, sip on Mater Matuta, a deep, dense Syrah that is described as “silky and seductive,” as well as on the Cesanese with “intense aromas of marasca cherry.”

Finally bring your Il Lupino experience full circle with Jberico Jamon De Bellota ($28) that is cut in-house from an oversized leg of ham that has been aged for 36 months — don’t expect to find this anywhere else, as this serves as another Il Lupino exclusive.

Honolulu, HI 96815

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