Prelude event logo

We invite lovers of wine to attend a 2017-2018 Prelude evening, which will culminate in the 16th annual First Press Fine Wine Dinner & Auction in the spring of 2018.

At our gourmet dinners, Italian chef Gabriele Bertaccini will craft for public radio listeners a wine-paired, five-course meal around the cuisine of a single region of Italy.

At our wine-tasting events, dozens of public radio listeners will enjoy some exceptional wines from around the world that will be paired with delicious hors d’oeuvres or artisanal cheeses.

Prelude Dinner: The Tastes of Italy – Emilia-Romagna

This sprawling region embraces the fertile Po river valley that runs across the central-northeast part of the peninsula. Emilia-Romagna has everything from the world’s oldest university (Bologna) to stunning Byzantine monuments (Ravenna) and even much of country’s automotive industry, including automakers Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Maserati. Bologna is known for such distinctive pasta forms as tortellini, lasagne, and tagliatelle, while Parma’s claim to fame is Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (Parmesan) and some of the country’s best prosciutto. Nearby Modena produces traditional barrel-aged balsamic vinegar.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017
6:45pm – Reception
7:30pm – Dinner

The Chef’s Den
215 East Catalina Drive
Phoenix, Arizona 85012
Map

SOLD OUT

$150.00

Prelude Dinner: The Tastes of Italy – The Sicilian Heritage

Sicily sits at the crossroads of the Mediterranean world, so its countryside—and its kitchens—reflects the diverse cultural heritage that this island has gained over millennia. First colonized by the Greeks, who left impressive temples that are still standing today, Sicily passed from Roman to Byzantine to Arab hands, who introduced ingredients like rice, citrus, and spices (saffron and cinnamon, among others) that are key to modern Sicilian cooking. The volcano Mount Etna has blessed the island with a rich volcanic soil that allows fresh vegetables to fill local pantries and excellent wine, like Marsala, to stock local cellars. One of the most emblematic Italian desserts, cannoli, was invented here!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017
6:45pm – Reception
7:30pm – Dinner

The Chef’s Den
215 East Catalina Drive
Phoenix, Arizona 85012
Map

Only 10 tickets available!

$150.00

Prelude Dinner: The Tastes of Italy – Apulia & the Adriatic

The coastal region of Apulia (called Puglia in Italian) forms the “heel” of the “boot” that is the Italian peninsula. Ferries from cities like Bari and Brindisi connect Italy with countries on the other side of the Adriatic Sea like Croatia and Albania, while fishing boats bring in a mainstay of Apulian cuisine: fish and seafood. Apulia’s agricultural plains give rise to irresistible dishes that incorporate simple, freshly-made pasta and abundant, locally-produced olive oil.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017
6:45pm – Reception
7:30pm – Dinner

The Chef’s Den
215 East Catalina Drive
Phoenix, Arizona 85012
Map

ONLY 2 TICKETS LEFT!

$150.00

Prelude Dinner: The Tastes of Italy – The Northern Kitchen

Northern Italy was the first part of the country to industrialize in the 19th century, and cities like Turin and Milan are still major manufacturing centers today. The Piemonte region around Turin formed the core of the future Kingdom of Italy, although the fashion world now holds court in Milan. If Northern Italy is an economic powerhouse, then it’s also a gastronomic one, too. Risotto is a traditional northern Italian dish with varieties like Milan-style, golden yellow from saffron, or Venetian-style, black with squid ink. Locally-grown hazelnuts add depth and flavor to many northern desserts, although during the holiday season, the raisin-infused panettone takes center stage.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017
6:45pm – Reception
7:30pm – Dinner

The Chef’s Den
215 East Catalina Drive
Phoenix, Arizona 85012
Map

Only 10 tickets available!

$150.00