Jokes aside, there is a part of the European way of understanding wine that we want to bring to the States and our clientele at Due’ because we think it’s an important part to enjoying our authentic food.
We’re introducing some changes to our wine list that we hope open the door up to enjoying and pairing wine with our food in a new way that matches your mood and occasion.
Our new wine list features a range of amazing Italian wines all organized by occasion, to help you make the right selection for both your taste and budget. We’ve increased the number of options across the board from affordable house wines for a quick lunch bite, to mid-tier wines, to more upscale options for special date nights or celebrations. There’s something for everyone and every event.
Our Italian house wines are perfect for a quick pick to go with a quick meal if you’re looking for something easy and budget-friendly. We have both a white and red option to meet both styles. Our house red is Chianti from our home of Tuscany. It’s dry with medium-to-full body and moderate tannins. Our white house option is a Pinot Grigio from the Veneto region of Italy. It’s light bodied, dry and crisp. Both a perfect pairings for a quick lunch.
If you’re entertaining guests or treating yourself out for a nice lunch or dinner, we’ve created this “Casually” section to help your find the right selection. They’re a tab more expensive that the house wines but still in a nice budget range for a nice lunch or informal dinner. We’ve added a few new wines here to pick from that you’ll love with your meal: look for the Barbera and Montepulciano D’Abruzzo. The Barbera is an Italian red from the Piedmont region. It’s a dry wine, medium-bodied, with earthy, berry flavors. Montepulciano D’Abruzzo is another Italian red from the Abruzzo region in the south. It’s dry as well, medium-bodied, with red fruit notes. Both are excellent choices for a casual meal.
Our “To Celebrate” assortment is for those special events you really want something special for: birthdays, anniversaries, entertaining business meetings, etc. This selection is a bit pricier but the Italian wines are excellent and are a perfect companion to our dishes if you’re looking for an experience that really stands out. These are served bottle only and meant to share with your party (or not!). We’ve really beefed up this menu with three new fine Italian wines to choose from: a Sauvignon Blanc, Valpolicella Ripasso, and Barbaresco. The Sauvignon Blanc is a white from the Friuli region of Italy. It’s dry with earthy flavors. The Valpolicella Ripasso is a red from the Veneto region of Italy. It has medium body and has earthy, tart berry, and herbal notes. Our most expensive option for a real treat is the Barbaresco, a red addition from the Piedmont region of Italy. It’s dry, full-bodied, has red fruit notes with a firm tannic structure.
Regardless of the occasion and where your budget is for it, be assured we have an amazing imported wine option for you that matches the authenticity and quality of our Italian food.
We hope you enjoy exploring our new wine menu!
Quintessential Tuscany. Dry, medium to full body, moderate tannins.
From the Veneto region, Light-bodied, dry and crisp.
From the Abruzzo region. Medium-body, dry with red fruit notes.
From Piedmont region. Dry, medium-bodied, with earthy berry flavors.
From the Sicily region. Fruity, sweet with moderate acidity.
From the Veneto region. Medium-body, dry with red fruit notes.
From the Friuli region. Dry, with earthy flavors.
From the Veneto region. Medium body, earthy, tart berries and herbs.
Dry, full-bodied, red fruits with firm tannic structure.
Previously on the Due’ blog, we spoke about our passion for cooking traditional dishes like carbonara and amatriciana the right, traditional way with guanciale. We explained how we make our own in house from an authentic blend of spices and WA sourced pork. We’re adding another menu item which uses this special ingredient for your to enjoy it’s rich flavor: pasta alla gricia.
This dish is another ancient dish from Roman cuisine, which is commonly considered the mother of all Roman pastas. There are different stories about the origin of the name gricia. The most widely known is that it is derived from the name of the village where the pasta is said to have originated, Grisciano. Another theory is that the word gricia is a bastardized version of grigio which means gray. This might be referring to the gray cast left on an iron skillet from frying guanciale.
Other theories range from the name grici,the inhabitants of the origin area.
One interesting story claims that Grigioni, a medieval name for the German and Swiss bakers who came to Rome and cured pork, is the origin of the word and dish. These bakers were quite hard working and this dish was a simple, fast favorite of their lifestyle. With an origin like this, pasta alla gricia should be a perfect fit for our hardworking American lifestyle as well! All of these old histories may hold a piece of the truth; we may never know.
What really matters is how this dish has captivated generations of Italians and now pasta lovers around the world for literally thousands of years. It’s simple, yet rich in flavor recipe has secured its place as a timeless classic. To make pasta alla gricia, it’s quite simple: pecorino romano cheese, black pepper, salt, and our guanciale. It’s incredibly short ingredient list is packed with powerful flavors that work beautifully in unison.
This simple, powerful dish is perfect for a satisfying lunch in the middle of your busy day; just like the origin stories suggest! Come in and join us this week for a perfectly crafted plate.
Just like America has great rivalries like Budweiser vs Miller Light, Italy has our own (a bit more substantial) food rivalry’s and unwritten blasphemies. One of the most infamous is guanciale vs pancetta. So much so that this centuries old tradition has crossed over into meme culture with popular memes bashing either choice.
First of all, you may be wondering, what is guanciale? Most Americans have probably heard of Pancetta, which is essentially pork belly that is salt and pepper cured. Very few have heard of guanciale. Guanciale is the pork jowl (cheek) cured in a mix of salt and spices. The differences are slight but they’re definitely there. Guanciale is a speciality of central Italy (not surprisingly, close to where we're from).
To make guanciale, we rub the pork cheek in a mix of salt and spices and cured for one week. Then we dry cure it for a minimum of 6 weeks. The flavor comes out much stronger than Pancetta and it has a softer texture. When cooked into traditional sauces, the fat melts away revealing strong, deep flavors that completely transform the sauce. It’s a small detail, but an Italian that knows what true traditional flavor is will know the difference and why guanciale is the choice over pancetta.
Some typical sauces and dishes you may see guanciale in Carbonara and Amatriciana sauces. At Due’ we use guanciale in our Amatriciana this way, following the Roman tradition. We even take it a step further. We source the pork locally from Washington organic farms, spice, and cure the meat in house to make sure we get the authentic Roman flavor for our dishes.
We’ve also introduced another very traditional way of using guanciale: in our Cacio&Pepe. Normally this dish is meatless but with the addition of guanciale to create “Gricia” or a variation of Cacio&Pepe with that rich flavor of guanciale. This dish is popular and native to the area around Rome.