Masi Amarone, the Marco Polo of wines, continues its journey in search of the world’s gastronomic traditions. This year it set sail for the island of Ischia, to pair up with the traditional flavours of Campanian cuisine interpreted in a surprising and exciting way by Michelin-starred chef Nino Costanzo from the “Il Mosaico” restaurant. This happy link-up has been celebrated in the historic surroundings of Villa Serego Alighieri, home to the descendants of the Supreme Poet, Dante.
The Mediterranean flavours of Neapolitan cuisine (from pizza to mozzarella, from fish to buffalo meat) have been paired with Masi’s wines from the Valpolicella region in an unusual and original way. The great Campanian chef’s main course – “Buffalo cheek with Amarone and honey, served with scampi and milk-cooked potatoes” – is inspired by the great wine list masterpiece: Amarone Classico Riserva di Costasera, a rich and prestigious wine with a unique personality. “I wanted to create a dish that would be evocative of the landscape in Ischia: hilly countryside overflowing with vegetation or covered with vineyards and lemon groves, and the sea, a land famous for its spa-like mineral waters as well. So I picked buffalo cheek, a simple and traditional ingredient to represent the land, and giant scampi, the noblest sea creature to represent the sea. Their flavours balance the spectrum of tastes that come from Riserva di Costasera, with its baked fruit tastes, its soft tannins, and its long, long finish.” This is how Nino di Costanzo explains his choice of ingredients and the unusual food-and-wine pairing.
Sandro Boscaini, president of Masi Agricola, expresses his satisfaction with the experiment. “Like our Amarone, chef Nino di Costanzo’s cuisine comes from the passion of a family tradition – this is a common factor for both of us. The food-and-wine pairing using our Riserva di Costasera is quite extraordinary. Nino has got to the heart of this wine, providing a dish that respects it and enhances it at the same time, thanks to his long experience and his love for the food, smells and flavours of a unique part of the world.”