Ristorante Pagnanelli overlooks Lago Albano near Castelo Gandolfo about 30 minutes southeast of Rome. Both the food and the view are spectacular. Our lunch was a virtually private affair arranged through the auspices of Miles and Miles Private Tours based in Rome. Roberto, founder of Miles and Miles and our guide for the day, knows the Mariani family personally and created a unique and wonderful experience for us. Seated near the balcony perched more than a 100 feet above the lake, we were treated to a private tasting of four wines from the area; a spumanti, a white made from the Malvasia grape, a Shiraz, and finally a dessert wine. Each was paired with an appetizer meant to bring out the flavors of the wine. Especially good was the puff pastry with gorgonzola and walnuts paired with the Malvasia. Then it was lunch. I highly recommend the sampler plate of four fish caught in Lago Albano. Our experience was topped off by a tour of the wine cellar stocked with more than 3000 labelings, with some bottles signed by Robert DeNiro and Jane Fonda among other celebrities, and some high quality grappa. Fantastic. My thanks to the Mariani family and Roberto of Miles and Miles for a wonderful and memorable experience.
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