Gnocchi and Barbera, a virtual pairing for someone we love

Anyone who follows along here at Do Bianchi knows how much we love cousin Marty (above) and what an important part of our lives he has become since I moved to Texas two years ago.

Marty and family have been facing some health issues lately and so it was a great thrill for me when he emailed late Saturday afternoon asking me to recommend a wine for dinner at Tony’s in Houston.

As I do often for many of my friends and family (who often ask us for virtual pairings; remember this very early one here?), I jumped online and took a look at the PDF version of Tony’s list: not knowing what Marty and co. would be eating, my “best bet” was a 2006 Barbara d’Alba by Prunotto.

I’m not such a fan of Prunotto and their modern-style bottlings of Nebbiolo (not exactly “my speed,” I like to say euphemistically), but when it comes to the winery’s entry-level labels like its Barbera d’Alba, you can almost always count on an honest wine, bright, with real acidity, balanced alcohol, and approachable prices. Barbera, the ultimate food-friendly grape in our book…

Marty paired with Tony’s Gnocchi over Foie Gras-Guinea Hen Sausage and Crispy Potatoes (which I happened to taste, thoroughly enjoy, and photograph on Friday when I was in town for my weekly chat with Tony).

Reports this morning reveal that the gnocchi were followed by a rib-eye! I guess he is feeling better! :-)

We’re just glad to hear that Marty — our family’s favorite bon vivant, gourmand, and fresser — is back on his feet and back at Tony’s, his favorite hang in the HTX. (HTX denotes Houston for all ya’ll who don’t speak Texan, btw.)

A Bialystock to our Bloom, we just don’t know what we’d do without him.

Buona domenica ya’ll!