Anatomy of a Dinner Party: a day in the life of a hospitalityaholic

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A Sparkling Trip to Italy Via Canoe

Tuesday, October 13th, 2015

Good Morning Darlings!

Last week was a whirlwind of parties. I am back in the swing of things and diving in head first.

The lovely folks from Ferrari Trento invited me to join them for an exclusive lunch at Canoe, one of Atlanta’s most romantic restaurants. I tend to forget how close Canoe is, and yet it seems a world away from the city. There were less than 20 of us there for a glamorous preview of the Lunelli family’s stunning sparkling wines, paired with scrumptious cuisine prepared by Chef Matthew. The event was a lavish indulgence in the middle of the day.

Gracing the banks of the Chattahoochee River

Our group was seated in the private dining room and we all introduced ourselves. So many new friends!


I didn’t want to miss a moment hearing about these exceptional wines, so I chose a seat directly from our guest of honor, Marcello Lunelli, the distinguished winemaker.

Marcello Lunelli

Marcello Lunelli

Did you know that the rest of the world is drinking sparkling wine from regular wine glasses? We are the only ones drinking from flutes. Marcello wants to spread the word that sparkling wine is for everyday, not only special occasions. I concur. He made a great point by saying if he is out with his wife and another couple and they all prefer a different variety of wine, they can all agree on bubbles. I have seen this over and over again at our parties. No one declines a glass of bubbly!

Canoe’s dishes were a perfect accompaniment to the six (!!) glasses we sampled. Here’s a look at the menu and the wines we enjoyed.

Oysters on the Half Shell

Ferrari Rose’ NV Trento DOC Metodo Classico


House Smoked Salmon on a Crispy Potato Cake, Vermont Goat Cheese

Ferrari “Riserva Lunelli” 2006 Trento DOC Metodo Classico


American Prosciutto Salad, Compressed Melon, Parmesan

Ferrari Riserva del Fondatore “Giulio” 2002, Trento DOC

Ferrari Riserva del Fondatore “Giulio” 2001, Trento DOC


The “Guilio” 2001 was a standout for me. It has a remarkable nose with hugely expressive aromas of dried orchard fruits, cake batter and acacia honey. Cake! It was my favorite. And I think it might be your favorite, too, when you try it.

Next course!

Crisped Jumbo Lump Crab Cake, Thai Salad, Yuzu

Ferrari Riversa del Fondatore “Giulio” RD 1999, Trento DOC

Ferrari Riversa del Fondatore “Giulio” 1993, Trento DOC


This was my favorite dish paired with my other favorite wine. The 1993 vintage is one of the more costly wines, but wow, for a special occasion, what a perfect splurge. I found it online retailing from $168 up to $358 per bottle. It was so exciting to be able to sample this exquisite treat. If you are a lover of fine wines, I know you would be thrilled to add this to your collection. Or, send to me as a gift! 🙂 Trust me, you will be in grand company. Queen Elizabeth, Margaret Thatcher, Andy Warhol, Alec Baldwin, Brooke Shields and the Scissor Sisters have all enjoyed Ferrari scrumptious wines. Their wines were even served at a G8 dinner.

If you are traveling to Italy, you must make Trentino a stop and visit the charming Lunelli family. The vineyard even has a Michelin Star Restaurant, Locanda Margon, nestled amid the vines. I can’t wait to go. Shall we plan a trip together?

The company I enjoyed at this luncheon was marvelous. Joon Lim, who is a server and sommelier at Kevin Rathbun Steaks and I had a wonderful discussion about how most restaurant patrons are reluctant to ask for help when ordering wine. He is so fabulous that I have asked him to talk to me in depth about today’s sommeliers and why you should always ask for help. Look for the interview next week or so.


Many thanks to Ferrari Trento, Canoe and Palm Bay International. This was a special afternoon with special food, people and of course, the Ferrari Trento sparkling wines that will be gracing my dinner parties in the future.

xoxo, Patti

Clint & Patti’s Big Adventure

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

Good Morning Darlings!

Last Thursday Clint & I played hooky together. Clint planned an entire day of surprises that just delighted me to no end.

What did we do on our play day?

I Guess Some Healthy Eating Is Needed

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

Good Morning Darlings!

Welp, all the partying is done (until Super Bowl…), so I should really consider eating more healthily.

Let’s see what’s in the pantry and fridge.

Meatless Monday

Monday, October 10th, 2011

Good Morning Darlings!

Did you know that October is Vegetarian Awareness Month?

How shall we celebrate?

Just Chicken Salad

Monday, October 3rd, 2011

Good Morning Darlings!

Let me start by saying I consider myself to be a chicken salad connoisseur. I love pretty much any chicken salad. My dill chicken salad is thought to be a winner among my friends.

Do you love chicken salad, too? Come on in.

Picnic Time!

Thursday, August 4th, 2011

Good Morning Darlings!

Holly and I are now making our way back to Atlanta from Orlando. More twizzlers and diet cokes. And some more Bono and the Edge.

Maybe we should pack a picnic basket. Doesn’t that sound lovely?

What’s in your picnic basket?

Rub and Grub in New Orleans

Monday, July 18th, 2011

Good Morning Darlings!

I might be stretching with the title today, because we are talking about The Ritz-Carlton New Orleans and the divine cuisine there could hardly be called grub, but I knew it would get your attention!

There is still so much summer left to plan your vacation

Lighten Up

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

Good Morning Darlings!

Wow, our July 4th weekend was chock full of eating. Specifically lots of hot dogs, burgers and grilled chicken. And lemon bars. There were chips, beer margaritas, cuba libres, pasta salad, dips, and more chips.

Did I mention beer margaritas and lemon bars? I ate a lot of those.

How can I remedy all those treats?

Noontime Moonshine & Snow At The Ritz

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

Good Morning Darlings!

Oh, how I love The Ritz-Carlton. I know that seems like a no-brainer, but they are always giving me new ways to love them.

I recently had one of those days.

What’s new to love?

Last Minute Hotdog Ideas

Monday, July 4th, 2011

Good Morning Darlings!

Happy 4th of July! Hooray! A day off and time to fire up the grill.

What will you be cooking?