I believe eating and drinking to be a kind of journey. It requires attentiveness and observation. Beyond physical fulfillment, eating can lead to the discovery of unique flavors, myriads of textures and the gathering of cultural insights.
Culinary adventures can happen at any moment and occur in the most unexpected of places. And when I do have a great culinary discovery, I feel the exhilaration of a world explorer claiming a small (albeit valuable) new territory. Which is exactly how I felt when I discovered the delicious flavors of Torbato, a supremely rare white wine varietal native only to a small plot of land in Sardinia.
Thought to be imported by the early Greeks and the Catalans in the sixteenth century or a native, ancient grape of Sardinia, Torbato has almost completely disappeared from the winemaking scene. Wine making powerhouse Selle & Mosca, however, plan to change all that. As the sole owners of land that still produces this truly rare and delicate grape, the wine makers hope to popularize this little known grape and bring its delicious flavors to wine drinkers beyond the little island of Sardinia.
Grown in Northwest of Sardinia, Sella & Mosca’s Torbato is briefly aged in oak for six months and bottled under the name “Terre Bianche.” This rare, straw yellow white wine offers surprising aromatics of hay, grapefruit zest and almost earthy petrol notes of a German Riesling. The flavors are crisp, refreshing and dry like a wet, flinty Vermentino– perfect for seafood, poultry and light pastas. Torbato is a good wine and serves as a fascinating link to Sardinia’s somewhat mysterious vinous past.
I found this wine on line at Wine.com and, if you live in the Hollywood area, you should try a refreshing glass of Torbato at a lovely new Italian restaurant on Hollwood Blvd. (near Cahuenga) called Melograno. Chef Alberto Lazzarino’s Italian menu is both rustic and elegant.
Beautiful and approachable, this Hollywood eatery feels like a secret getaway from the hustling boardwalk populated by star-struck tourists, the well-heeled and the homeless. This intimate Italian restaurant offers delicious Italian fare that appeals to the timid and the adventurous. The wine list offers many great deals as well as amazing finds like the Torbato we tried. We enjoyed perfectly cooked asparagus with a porcini mushroom ragu (a sort of creamy mushroom sauce), cheese fondue and quail egg—a perfect dish for Torbato! For our entrée we enjoyed a delicious white barramundi with a pomegranate and Arneis gastrique as well as a deliciously succulent Cornish game hen. Melograno is a perfect location for any culinary explorer.