Ciao Bella! i Ricchi’s Italian Wine Fest

Washington wine lovers gathered on one of the season’s last beautiful evenings for a night of wine, antipasti, and education at i Ricchi, an authentic Italian fine dining establishment nestled unsuspectingly in south Dupont, as one walks towards the business-heavy West End.

Despite its location, i Ricchi is anything but stiff or buttoned-up. As owner and chef Christianne Ricchi describes, “From the food, to the frescos on the walls, the original terracotta floors and antique olive oil urns, we want to transport you to Tuscany even if just for a little while.”

Guests celebrating the hump day of DC Wine Week enjoyed dining alfresco, sampling from 16 different wines and enjoying hors d’oeuvres served up by the chef herself. Favorites included chicken sausage served over Italian beans accompanied with fried polenta, as well as Italian skewers, various flatbreads, and, of course, a delectable charcuterie board.

We dropped by to sample the wide array of Italian or Italian-owned estate wines, including:

Sparkling

  • Prosecco – Canella N/V
  • Ribolla Gialla Sparkling – Colutta
  • Lambrusco Amabile – Ca’ Montanari

White

  • Vernaccia di San Gimignano – Montenidoli
  • Pinot Grigio – Jermann
  • Chardonnay – Antica, Antinori
  • Soave Classica – Suavia
  • Greco di Tufo – Loggia Della Serra

Red

  • Valpolicella Classico – Nicolis
  • Dolcetto – Marcarini Boschi di Berri
  • Il Bruciato – Guado al Tasso, Antinori
  • Chianti Classico – Il Molino di Grace
  • Cabernet Sauvignon – Antica, Antinori
  • Col Solare – Antinori/Chateau Ste. Michelle
  • Barbera d’Asti – Damilano
  • Vino Nobile di Montepulciano – Fattoria del Cerro

My first taste of the evening was the Ribolla Gialla Sparkling, Colutta. Sweet sparkling wine is not my usual jam, but I did appreciate the subtle mineral notes of this pale yellow wine made from the Friuli region.

I’m also not a fanatical white wine drinker in general, but the Greco di Tufo was superb. Made of 100% Greco grapes of the Campagnia region, this golden wine would be great with grilled fish or even mild fresh cheeses. I enjoyed a full glass of the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, which was perfectly bodied for the crisp fall air at dusk. I also loved its intense ruby red color.

I was headed off the another event for the evening, and unfortunately had to cut my wine trip short. Not to worry, however: there’s an entire half week left of other DC Wine Week extravaganzas, and I’ll definitely be back to i Ricchi again soon to try the rest of their menu, when I just can’t swing a midweek jaunt to Tuscany.

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