REALLY slow food at Michele and Charles Scicolone’s table

Above: Good friend Frank (not pictured) brought a 3-liter bottle of 1971 Chianti Classico by Ruffino to our “very slow” and excellent dinner the other night in the home of my long-time friends, the delightful Michele and Charles Scicolone — authors, bloggers, and legendary New York hosts. That’s me wielding the 3-liter with Charles in the background.

Michele and Charles Scicolone have a lot to celebrate these days.

Charles (check out his blog) was recently made a knight in the order of the Imperial Castellania di Suavia: a week ago Sunday, the “dames” of the confraternity presented him with his honorary sword and sash, in a ceremony replete with medieval pageantry and garb, at the historical Soave castle.

And New York Times best-seller author Michele (check out her blog) is basking (rightfully) in the glow of more than 50,000 copies printed of her latest book The Italian Slow Cooker (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010). (You may remember Tracie P’s post inspired by Michele’s book.)

Above: On Saturday, Michele was testing recipes for her forthcoming The French Slow Cooker recipe book. Slow-cooked veal shank was served with slow-cooked risotto (and oven-roasted asparagus).

Tracie P and I had the good fortune to be invited to Michele and Charles’s home for dinner on Saturday night, where we got to sample some of the dishes that Michele is testing for the forthcoming French version of her slow-cooker success, like this chocolate cake:

Above: Yes, made with a slow-cooker!

We also got to taste a champagne-method wine, a DOC from Italy I’d never seen before, a sparkling Lessini (place name) Durello (grape name).

Above: Anyone else have notes on this wine or other wines made from Durello grapes?

I was impressed by its richness, freshness, and unctuous mouthfeel, and it was a great accompaniment to Michele’s turkey, pork, and fig slow-cooker pâte. Charles had brought the wine back from his recent trip to Soave.

O, and the 1971 Chianti Classico? Old and dusty, earthy and grapey, crunchy and delicious… perfect with the veal and the ripened cheeses that followed…

Thanks so much, Michele and Charles, from both of us, Tracie P and me. Such success couldn’t have happened to more lovely people. You’ll always be the “first couple” of Italian food and wine in my book!