“If food is the body of good living, wine is its soul,” author and media personality Clifton Fadiman is reported to have said. Chef Joey Maggiore is sharing a bit of his soul with diners with the launch last weekend of his private selection wine label at all locations of The Sicilian Butcher.
“Growing up in a big Sicilian family, great wine was always a staple in our home,” Maggiore says. “My dad really loved wine, and I know he’d be just as excited as I am to see this wine line finally shared with the community.” The Maggiore Group’s patriarch, Tomaso Maggiore, died just last month after a long battle with lung cancer. The elder Maggiore was also a wine enthusiast and famously made his own vino. “We’ve partnered with some of the best wineries in the world to create unique blends that I’m very proud to have my name on,” Maggiore continues.
The “Chef Joey”-branded wines include a Cabernet Sauvignon, a Chardonnay and a Pinot Noir, all grown and bottled by Andrew Geoffrey Vineyards in California’s Napa Valley. Additionally, Maggiore has partnered with 12 wineries in Italy to produce wines that honor his Italian heritage, from reds and whites to sparkling and dessert wines. The bottles will first be available at The Maggiore Group restaurants (Tomaso’s, The Sicilian Butcher and Hash Kitchen) and later roll out to retailers. Plans are also under way for a line of Sicilian olive oils, artisanal olives, bruschetta toppings, sauces and tomatoes.
We had the chance to try Chef Joey’s Cabernet Sauvignon this past weekend as part of a media preview. The wine is comprised of 96.8 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 2.2 percent Cabernet Franc and 1 percent Petit Verdot. The Maggiore Group’s tasting notes include “strong aromatic and flavor components of dark fruits, vanilla, mocha and black pepper.” We loved the rounded earthiness, deep fruitiness and balanced tannins. It’s a classic Cab in all the best ways.
Suggested pairings for the Cabernet Sauvignon, which is currently only available at The Sicilian Butcher for guests dining in ($50/bottle):
- Sicilian in Strada: Panelli fritters, potato croquettes, arancini, craft meatballs, creamy polenta, artisanal meats and cheeses, pickled condiments, jams and traditional bruschetta ($15/person)
- Neapolitan short rib cannelloni: pasta sheets stuffed with short rib ragù, ricotta and mozzarella and baked with béchamel ($21)
- Parmigiana di melanzane pizza: eggplant Parmesan, tomato, mozzarella, Grana Padano and fresh basil ($13)
- Lamb osso bucco: fall-apart tender lamb, red wine reduction and saffron risotto ($22)
- Ribeye steak: pounded-out steak with oreganata breadcrumbs and citrus and herb oil ($22)