Master Sommelier Chuck Furuya

has a blog full of information

and insight into the world of wine

……go to……

a personal perspective on

the world of wine

Become Chuck Furuya's

Home-Made Pasta Night
Tuesday, December 13th  
At VINO, we have settled out on a regular menu as it would really hard to take something off, because we love everything.  We do nightly specials to vent Keith’s creativity and it’s an opportunity for regulars to try something new.  On this night, Chef Keith Endo really wants to feature some of his new pasta creations.  As regulars know, he makes his own pasta and from my point of view they are each terrific in their own way.  We look to turn him loose and we can’t wait to see what he creates.  Since he has this NEW pasta machine, he is on fire right now.  Here are the proposed specials for the night….yes, a completely new, different “look”.

Wild Mushroom Ravioli
wild mushroom butter, ricotta salata & balsamic reduction
Cacio e Pepe
homemade spaghetti, cracked pepper & pana grandano cheese
our spin on a classic pasta from Rome
These specials will be in addition to our regular VINO menu & nightly specials and will be on a first come, first serve basis, so come early!
“Cabernet-Merlot Blends” 
 Thursday, December 15th 6pm
Gearing up for the upcoming Holiday Season, since several VINO regulars have been asking for a tasting of Californian Cabernets, here it finally is, .with a Washington stater thrown in to provide a different perspective. Yes, each of these are standouts in their own right!  NO fruit bombs here though.  You will not want to miss out on this tasting!
 2014 Neyers “Left Bank” 
The inaugural vintage—50% each of estate grown/heritage vines, organically farmed.  A very elegant suave, well textured 92 point Napa Valley “find”
2013 Spring Valley “Uriah” 
45% Merlot, 34% Cabernet Franc, 8% Malbec, 5% each of Petite Verdot & Cabernet Sauvignon from Walla Walla Valley, Washington.  93 points.
2012 Camino Cabernet Sauvignon “Montecillo Vineyard” 
100% Cabernet Sauvignon, 52 year old vines grown on a steep, rocky hillsideon the Sonoma side of the Mayacamas mountains.  100 case production.
2010 Mad Hatter “Napa Valley”
“2010 was a small concentrated crop”.  46% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 16% Cabernet Franc with a dollop of Petite Verdot by superstar Andy Erickson.  95 points
There you have it,  4 sensational wines. 
$35 a person (not including tax or gratuity).
By Reservations only….524-8466 or email Ann at

“Uovo Night” Sunday, December 18th
Uovo is a ravioli stuffed with our homemade ricotta cheese and a runny OK Farms egg.  It is really quite a tasty, savory dish, one which we constantly get requests for, it is that good! This is that night!  Keith will be featuring two new looks!  The specials will be on a first come, first serve basis so come early!
1)  red wine braised oxtail sugo, OK Farms egg with house-made ricotta and mint gremolata

2)  seafood (scallop, shrimp & crab mix), OK Farms egg with lemon ricotta, caper butter and diced tomatoes
These specials will be in addition to our regular VINO menu.
“Home-made Sausage Night” Tuesday, December 20th
VINO specials are now a collaboration of three—Chef Keith Endo & Sous Chefs Elton Solmerin & Micah Honma.  Their latest fascination is with making their own sausages, just like they have done with vegetables and pasta specialtie.  The challenge is how to make it taste both interesting, delicious and wine friendly. Here are two unique and intriguing flavor combinations, with great texture and balance.  These specials will be on a first come, first serve basis so come early!

Hudson Valley Duck & Foie Gras Sausage
sultana puree, port wine demi & pickled granny smith apples
Corned Beef Sausage
served with rye flat bread, whole grain mustard aioli & pickled cabbage

These specials will be in addition to our regular VINO menu.
“Piemontese Red Wines” 
 Thursday, December 22nd 6pm

Cheryle and I just came back from Piemonte just a few weeks ago.  The warming of the planet has greatly affected the region today.  Nebbiolo is now seemingly being planted everywhere it can be and we seem to be getting getting more an more Nebbiolo based red wines available to us.  A year or two ago, a very high profile, superstar Piemontese winemaker had noted his concern over how many of the wines being labelled as Barolo or Barbaresco today did not really live up to the appellation’s legacy.  I didn’t quite understand the depth of that comment then, BUT I sure understand it more gravely now.  Furthermore, one of the unfortunate side effects of this upsurge of Nebbiolo plantings, is we are also seeing less and less plantings of the less heralded, traditional grape varieties of the region.  While that is inevitable and not necessarily all bad, in some cases, it really is like losing old friends.  These wines can be interesting with and without foods.  Here are four true standout renditions to show you what we mean!  Each are from very traditional minded families, who own some very special sites and old vines.  The resulting wines are truly artisanal and really special and unique from my perspective!   I do not want wines like these to fall by the wayside in the name of progress.  You will not want to miss out on this tasting!
 2014 Cantine Valpane Barbera del Monferrato “Rosso Pietro” 
an authentic, artisan,  meaty, masculine style of Barbera
 2014 Cantine Valpane Grignolino del Monferrato “Euli” 
A rare combination of alluring perfume, virility and masculinity.
 2015 A & G Fantino “Rosso dei Dardi” 
These traditional minded Piemontese grapes are from 21 year old vines from the Dardi parcel of the Bussia Cru, crafted in a pretty, traditional style…efinitely our kind of wine!
2014 Benevelli Freisa “Alla Mia Gioia”
Another classic minded producer with 25 year old vines grown in red sand/blue marl soils & fermented in stainless steel…slightly & refreshingly pettilant.

 There you have it,  4 sensational wines. 
$20 a person (not including tax or gratuity).
By Reservations only….524-8466 or email Ann at
Christmas Special Menu
December 24th and 25th
Opening at 5:00pm
Seafood Sausage
Hau’ula tomato concasse, pickled red cabbage and lemon caper buerre blanc
wine: 4oz

Smoked Organic Chicken Ravioli
creamy garlic  pesto, sun-dried tomato & toasted pine nuts
wine: 3oz

choice of entrée
Sous Vide King Natural Dry Aged Rib Eye
sweet potato gratin, charred brussels sprouts and peppercorn demi
wine: 4oz

Kula Strawberry Panna Cotta
chocolate gelato and mango coulis
$55 food only
$15.95 – wine pairing by Master Sommelier Chuck Furuya
Both nights will be very busy, so I strongly suggest you make reservations….at 524-8466 or email Ann at
We will also be offering our regular VINO menu too.

"Wild Mushroom Night"   
Tuesday, December 27th 
Some really cool, wild mushrooms are still in season.  Imagine fresh mushrooms, grown on the Big Island and “Small Kine Farms” in Waimanalo!  VINO Chef Keith Endo will be making two mushroom specials on this night.  Not only will they be good, they will also be wine friendly.
Roasted Gold Chanterelles
 parmesan cheese polenta, thyme-veal jus & shaved pecorino romano
Porcini Mushroom Pappardelle

mushroom butter, balsamic, OK Farms egg & parsley gremolata
These specials will be in addition to our regular VINO menu.  These specials will be on a first come first serve basis.  We are excited!!!
“A Taste of Champagne”
 Thursday, December 29th 6pm

The is the week leading into New Year’s Eve and the celebration of saying good bye to 2016 and hello to the incoming 2017!  We traditionally feature a tasting of bubbly in anticipation and wanted to do it earlier, but just kept holding off for the right time. 
FOUR Champagnes
-one done with NO dosage & largely Pinot Meunier to the blend
-one from the Aube, mostly Pinot Noir dominated
-one Rose (have to do pink, right?)—Pinot Noir dominated and Grand Cru to boot
-one 100% Chardonnay, Grand Cru and incredibly Grand in profile!
Furthermore, the progression will have you scratching your head.  You will not want to miss out on this tasting!
Geoffrey Brut Nature “Purete”
50% Pinot Meunier, 30% Pinot Noir & the rest Chardonnay with NO
 dosage added.“stripped down purity & authenticity”

R. Dumont Brut  “Tradition”
a tasty, very pretty, stylish “grower” Champagne from the Aube region, located roughly 90 miles southeast of Reims & Epernay. “90% Pinot Noir and 10% Chardonnay. The grapes from their vineyard have qualities that seem less aggressive and more sumptuous than those from the northern districts. In addition, vinification of whole berries at low temperatures enhances this quality of soft elegance”.
Paul Bara Brut Rose “Grand Cru”
one of the very best, truly artisan, Grand Cru “grower” Roses
68 % Pinot Noir, 20 % Chardonnay, 12% still red wine

2008 Pierre Paillard Blanc de Blancs “Grand Cru”
100% Chardonnay from the 1.5 acre parcel of Les Motellettes (planted in 1961)in the Grand Cru village of Bouzy
There you have it,  4 sensational wines. 
$42 a person (not including tax or gratuity).
By Reservations only….524-8466 or email Ann at
Ultimate BYOB Dinner 
Saturday, December 31st
5:00 pm

Here we go again!  Our tenth BYOB dinner at VINO on Saturday, December 31st, a night to bust loose one more time.  VINO Chef Keith Endo has created an interesting and wine friendly menu specifically for BIG time wines.  This will be a chance to bring one of your gems out of the cellar and SHARE.  Imagine what a night this would be, if everyone thought that and brought a wine to turn heads!  To me, that is one of the true great pleasures of wine, sharing a great bottle or two with people who get and appreciate it.  We will start the dinner at 5:00 pm. start early, end early.  That’s the thought!  Here is the proposed menu and suggested wine pairings…
trio of antipasti
Charred Organic Carrots  cranberries & Espelette pepper

Spanish Octopus harissa & Roma tomato jam

Crispy Cauliflower buffalo sauce & bleu cheese mousse
BYOB WINE RECOMMENDATIONS:dry Rose or aromatic white wines
first course

Sweet Rock Shrimp Gnudi
   parmesan cheese crema & fried sage
BYOB WINE RECOMMENDATIONS: aromatic white wines
second course

Olive Oil Poached Kampachi
preserved lemon, braised fennel, brown butter
BYOB WINE RECOMMENDATIONS: aromatic white wines

Buttermilk Braised Pork Shoulder
Tuscan white bean stew, house made chorizo & spicy granny smith apples
BYOB WINE RECOMMENDATIONS: rustic Mediterranean red wine

Bourbon Sticky Toffee Pudding
marshmallow gelato
$52 a person (not including tax or gratuity)
By Reservations only
Please call….524-8466 or email Ann at

This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
Vino Italian Tapas and Wine Bar · 500 Ala Moana Blvd · Honolulu, HI 96813 · USA