Italy, being the most complicated wine region in the world, really doesn’t get a fair shake in the U.S. There are so many wines, and they are made with such odd grapes, that most of us opt for what’s easy –- Chianti and sangiovese blends, poorly-made pinot grigio, and the odd Barolo or Montepulciano.
So, when the Wine Curmudgeon gets a chance to taste something off the beaten path, he takes it. And when the wine is well done and not especially expensive, like the Masi (about $15, though availability may be limited), it’s a treat. It also helps that most of Masi’s other wines are, four, five and even 10 times more expensive.
This red wine is a blend, made mostly with a Veronese grape called corvina, grown almost nowhere else. It’s partially dried, somewhat like a raisin, before crushing. This gives the wine a darker, deeper flavor, though it isn’t particularly fruity. Serve it with red sauce, as well as roast meat, including chicken. It would also make a terrific chicken cacciatore.