Paper Moon Perfection

Vinoveritas Dinner with Michael Palij our Master of Wine

18 January 2018, by Sarah Dawson

Summoning connotations of a Mediterranean sky, aromas of fresh herbs, olive oil and great flavoursome food and wine, "Paper Moon" fulfilled all expectations and more as an outstanding venue. Where better for Vinoveritas to show off a great selection of wines and spend time with our Master of Wine Michael Palij. In Milan in 1977 Pio Galligani and his wife Enrica Del Rosso opened the doors to the first restaurant 'Paper Moon' and the rest is history!


Its reputation for honest Italian food has remained to this day. The restaurants are in Istanbul, Beirut, Doha, Manila and now Hong Kong, opening just last September in collaboration with 1957 & Co restaurant group. The diverse locations stand as a testament of its quality and undeniably also to its unwavering identity. The Hong Kong restaurant adds further bonus to having one of the best and original views of Hong Kong Island from Ocean terminal, Harbour City, Tsim Sha Sui.


With glasses of Andreola Prosecco in hand, Michael arrived straight from the airport off a delayed flight in perfect time for our event. How fortunate! The first three wines were introduced without further ado.

Andreola Prosecco Valdobbiadene '26 Primo' Brut DOCG Non vintage, Veneto, Italy.

La Monacesca Verdicchio di Matelica DOC 2014, Marche, Italy with Scottish Salmon Tartare.

I Pastini Minutolo 'Rampone' IGP 2015, Puglia, Italy with Lobster Risotto.

All three wines matched very well with the offerings and the Minutolo 'Rampone' was a hugely popular favourite. Michael explained how unknown 'Minutolo' is as a grape variety and that at the moment it can be safely claimed we are the only importers of a wine made from this variety in Hong Kong! The Verdicchio was amazing and when it is of this standard be on every menu, I think.


Smiles turned to enormous satisfied grins as the food and wine continued to flow. Michael introduced the next two red wines.

Cabutto Barolo Cabutto, DOCG 2013, Piedmont, Italy with Grilled lamb chop.

Castello di Bossi Merlot 'Girolamo' IGT 2001, Tuscany, Italy with braised Veal Cheek.

I am afraid to say that photographs of the veal are lacking as no one wanted to interrupt the gorging of such a sumptuous affair. The Barolo was delightful with the lamb, showing the herbaceous side of the Nebbiolo grape in its true elegant form. The rich Merlot which only Italy seems to be able to produce in such a satisfactory way, seamlessly sat beside the veal cheek making a mouth-watering experience.

To complete an amazing evening, we decided to have a blind tasting for a little fun and to further demonstrate that the most expensive wines in a line up are not always the best. It was a well demonstrated exercise as it is common to be swayed by a known label!

Castello di Bossi 'Corbaia' IGT 2001, Tuscany, Italy

Marchesi Antinori 'Tignanello' IGP 2001, Tuscany, Italy

The Corbaia was most popular showing expressive fruit and still fresh and vibrant, thank goodness we still have some 2012 in Magnum left. The Tiganello was mature and smooth. It should be noted however that both wines were outstanding and one should never completely write off a wine on self-preference. Wine is about the setting it is in, to be enjoyed with great food and good company as it was tonight.

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