16 July 2010

Masi Wines

Masi is a wine producer from the Veneto region in northeast Italy. The Boscaini family has been in the wine business since the late 18th century, acquiring vineyards in this area. They are well known for their traditional Italian wines, but here I'm going to focus on two relatively newer and more innovative wines. Following suit from the popularity of the Supertuscan wines, these are known as "Supervenetians"--a combination of grapes from the Veneto and Friuli that are carefully blended to produce a specific flavor profile.

First up is the 2008 Masi Masianco. $16, 13% abv. 75% Pinot Grigio, 25% Verduzzo. I'd love to see more of this: Pinot Grigio teamed up with a stronger grape to provide some additional body and complexity. The ratio is ideal, because it doesn't let the weaker Pinot Grigio become overwhelmed. Lightly tart, mellow, with aromas of pear and peach. This is nice and light with a hint of sweetness. Lady A is not a huge fan of white wines, but enjoyed this one when served with glazed flounder and braised bok choy/fire roasted tomatoes.

For the second course, we opened the 2006 Masi Campofiorin. $16, 13%, abv. 70% Corvina, 25% Rondinella, 5% Molinara. Aromas of tart cherry, with flavors of fig, licorice, and oak. Firm tannins, short finish. Not too strong, not too light, but definitely full of flavor. (Note: I tried the 2005 Campofiorin last year for my birthday.)

Even though it's summer, I felt a fall/winter dish was best: thick cut pork chop topped with cremini mushrooms and a butter/sage sauce, and roasted acorn squash topped with pecans/Bourbon/brown sugar. You get far enough north in Italy and the cuisine starts blending with that of Switzerland and Austria, so I felt this was appropriate. Plus it was an excuse to get the butcher to custom cut a pair of 2" thick Porterhouse chops. They were brined in an apple cider/mustard/allspice brine, rinsed, then seared and roasted to medium rare. A bit too much for one person, but the leftovers were great.

This week I'm knocking out some dinner writeups that have occurred over the course of a few weeks--I don't have a different woman over for dinner every night, even though it might appear like that from the blog. In any event, for this particular food and wine gathering Lady A brought an assortment of gourmet cupcakes from Muddy's Bake Shop in East Memphis. I always feel a bit like a six year old when eating cupcakes, but these were amazing. My favorites were the Red Velvet and the Snickerdoodle, though they all tasted great. Apparently the most popular is something called the "Prozac", which is chocolate based and sells out quickly.

The ballot for the Memphis Flyer's 2010 Best of Memphis Awards came out today. If you live in the Memphis area and are a fan of these great little desserts, you can vote for Muddy's in the bakery category. And if you look in the blogger category, you might just see a familiar name.

Note: These wines were received as samples.


Do Bianchi said...

Masi is a great example of a winery that does a wide range of wines, from the super modern to the traditional. I love the traditional style Amarone they make with Serego Alighieri, aged in cherry wood (!).

Gotta love those cupcakes, too, man!

Benito said...


I've enjoyed the various Masi wines I've tried over the years, and from a marketing standpoint it has a name that is short, sweet, and easy to remember if you don't speak Italian. It's easier to tell a friend to grab a Masi wine than something like a "Masianucciolo". ;)

The gourmet cupcake craze was late coming to Memphis, and I mostly ignored it, but that little half dozen definitely made an impression on me.


Kat at Muddy's Bake Shop said...

Ooooh, thanks for the shout-out! Come on over for some homestyle deliciousness anytime! :)

Thomas said...


Both wines certainly are nice, and I agree with Jeremy about the overall quality of the Masi house.

Re, Campofiorin: that blend doesn't seem to have a Friulian variety in it.

Re, cupcakes: you little boy, you...

Benito said...


Will do!


You're right, and I was speaking generally. I didn't want to get into ripasso and Slovenian oak on this particular post. Had to leave room for the cupcakes. :)


Joe said...

I dig on Amarone, and Masi makes a solid and readily-available one in the Dirty, and I've seen the Campofiorin around, and I should stop saying "and" so much.

Haven't tried it. Now that I know it's made of Amarone grapes, would like to tuck in.

Very fortunate to have a butcher shop across the street from my neighborhood, even though I'm in the sticks. I believe they will be custom-cutting me some 2" chops, you rascal. Thanks for the inspirado (since you're into Tenacious D references)!

Benito said...


I wouldn't recommend rocket sauce on the thick chops, but you can still kick it with a tasty groove. ;)

Definitely give the Campofiorin a try. It's a great bargain and not difficult to find.


Joe said...

no rocket sauce. maybe small seasoned curlies on the side. SMALL seasoned curlies.