It is a rare dinner - other than with just the family - where I am one of the older people but the average age of the people around the table last night was very slightly lower than mine. An Italian theme seemed to fit the mood but I can never decide what to serve with asparagus, even when wrapped in prosciutto and sprinkled with parmesan before being baked so I went with the simple solution of encouraging everyone to continue with their pre-dinner drink which, in most cases, meant more of i Campi's rather fun Prosecco (I had, by this time, moved on to a delightful Mosel Riesling brought back from a trip there a couple of summers ago).
The main course was more straightforward: egg yolk pasta with a wild boar sauce (NOT ragu). This was to be followed by a simple cheese course of 36-month matured parmesan so this seemed a good opportunity to crack open a magnum of Enrico Nada's 2007 Barbaresco 'Casot' which sports the black label normally reserved for Reserva wines. 2007 was a very warm vintage with wines that gave a lot from the outset but, perhaps, lacked a little finesse because of this. Not so this bottle which was absolutely stunning! What more needs to be said? The weight and depth were pitched perfectly with the fruit pulling the drinker into the glass. A good job it was a magnum (and even better that three of the people around the table were driving!).
Subsequent drinking was curtailed by the zabaglione semifreddo which, whilst a winner, is perhaps too delicate for most dessert wines. A bottle of vin santo did call for some cantuccini dunking afterwards though. The wagon ensues.