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Rare tasting of Frank Cornelissen's wines

June 18, 2012 | 10:00 am

Frank cornelissenIf you have any interest in the natural wine movement, the second in a series of wine tastings focused on biodynamic and natural wines might be of interest. At Papilles bistro in Hollywood, Santos Uy focuses on just such wines, many of them hard-to-find and not much seen on local wine lists.

Wednesday, June 27, chef Tim Carey will prepare a prix fixe menu to complement the wines of famed Mt. Etna winemaker Frank Cornelissen. An idiosyncratic artisanal producer in working in one of the most sought after appellations in all of Italy, Cornelissen is Belgian.

He has a blog, too, which he writes in English. He’s not a prolific poster, but he gives insight into the challenges of making wine on the northern slope of Etna — how he protects his vineyards from bushfires, cleaning the ungrafted vines, pruning, snow in the vineyards, whether attending tastings is worth it or not. 

Cornelissen has a bed and breakfast on the estate and he's into natural in cooking, too. Guests can arrange to have a macrobiotic meal cooked by Aki Misono, a Japanese cooking teacher and cookbook author. To do so, contact aki@frankcornelissen.it.

Cornelissen won’t be at the tasting in person: His California importer, Amy Atwood of Amy Atwood Selections, will present the wines. $69 per person; reservations recommended. 

The menu? 

Foie gras and peaches with 2011 Susucaru Rosato

Smoked Tastmanian sea trout with Contadino Rosso No. 8

Crispy pork belly and Manilla clams with Munjebel Bianco No. 7

Cherry crumble with kirsch ice cream and a dessert wine TBA

Papilles, 6221 Franklin Ave., Los Angeles, (323) 871-2026, www.papillesLA.com. Wine dinner menu, $69 per person.


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 -- S. Irene Virbila

Photos: Frank Cornelissen and friend pruning. Credit: copyright Frank Cornelissen.