Friday, February 9, 2024

Shrimp Scampi Pizza Paired with Masciarelli Montepulciano Rosé

If you haven’t discovered Italy’s many styles of rosé wines what are you waiting for?  If you have yet to jump on the rosé bus then there is no better time like the present.  You can find many Italian rosé wines from northern to southern Italy utilizing a variety of native grapes.  Today’s rosé feature will be based on the Montepulciano grape, Abruzzo’s signature red grape, from Tenuta Agricole Masciarelli.   With Valentine’s Day right around the corner the enticing pink hues and flavor profile of Abruzzo’s rosé will be sure to please yourself or that special loved one in your life.

Montepulciano as a grape in rosé wines

For those of us that are regular rosé drinkers or Italian wine lovers at that, if you’ve had the opportunity to drink rosé in Abruzzo you’ve probably had cerasuolo d’abruzzo.  Although, this wine I’m sharing today doesn’t fall under the Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo DOC.  It Is part of the Colline Teatine IGT.  Per wine searcher, the name Teatine is believed to be named after Teate, which was the name for Chieti in Roman times.   The Colline Teatine IGT was created in 1995 and covers the hilly terroir around Chieti.  Here the hills meet the foothills of the Central Appenines as well as the Maiella Mountains.  The cooling breezes from the mountain range along with its close proximity to the Adriatic Sea is what creates ideal conditions with its Mediterranean climate. 

map of Masciarelli in Chieti Abruzzo
Montepulciano not only makes great red wines, but rosé wines as well.  Even though Montepulciano I think really claims it’s home in the Abruzzo region, you can also find Montepulciano produced throughout a number of other regions in Italy.  It tops the charts for Italian grapes produced throughout the country.   The Montepulciano grape has thick skins that creates wines with deep colors and concentration and is part of the reason it does well as a rosé.  This grape needs a long growing season to reach it’s full maturity.  You’ll see a variety of colors in rosé wines made from Montepulciano based on the producer and how long they choose to macerate the skins with the juice, although not much time is really need before it imparts its rich colors and flavors. 

Masciarelli vineyards in Abruzzo

The Wine

I’m not going to dig into the Masciarelli estate much today as I have featured them previously as I shared Montepulciano wines from around Abruzzo .  The 2022 Masciarelli Rosato Colline Teatine IGT that I’m featuring today is made from 85% Montepulciano grapes and up to 15% other red grapes.  Masciarelli has been making this wine along with their Montepulciano d’Abruzzo and Trebbiano d’Abruzzo since 1981 from the owner, Gianni Masciarelli’s, original 12 acres at his home vineyard.

The free run must is fermented in stainless steel to preserve the freshness in this wine along with it’s acidity.  The grapes are sourced from 3 of Masciarelli’s vineyard sites around the area of Chieti in the Bucchianico, Martino sull Marrucina and Ripa Teatina vineyards mostly made up of calcareous clay. 

The 2022 Masciarelli Rosato Colline Teatine IGT was a beautiful salmon color in the glass.  Fresh on the nose with aromas of wild strawberries.  Simple and delicate on the palate, but refreshing acidity with notes of slightly tart strawberries. 

If you’re looking for an introduction into Italian rosé without dropping too much on a bottle, this is a satisfying and easy drinking wine priced at $15 a bottle.  Plus, it has a screw up for easy accessibility. 

Montepulciano Wine Pairing

After tasting this wine I could see it’s versatility with a variety of dishes, but I chose to make a white pizza of shrimp scampi.  It’s been a long time since I’ve made a white pizza.  As a child I grew up with my mom making pizzas on Friday nights, usually your typical cheese, but as I grew I got to appreciate a white pizza as well. Although, my two young boys looked at me funny when I took this one out of the oven and then proceeded to tell them it had shrimp on it.  They’ll learn.

Shrimp Scampi pairing with 2022 Masciarelli Rosato Colline Teatine IGT

It was rather simple to put together.  I cooked the shrimp first in oil, garlic, butter and salt making sure there was enough use as the sauce in prepping the pizza.  I put the dough into the oven first for about 4-5 minutes before putting the toppings on.   I brushed the garlic butter sauce from cooking the shrimp on top of the pizza with some parsley and topped it with shrimp I chopped up along with mozzarella cheese.  I cooked it an additional 8-10 minutes and it came out perfect!  Plus, the Masciarelli Rosato pairing couldn’t have balanced any better with the flavors in the pizza.  It had a nicely matched body of the wine in comparison with the shrimp scampi pizza and complimentary flavors. 

If you’re looking for casual and easy preparation this Valentine’s Day without skimping on satisfaction this may be the pairing to try.

This month I'm joining the Wine Pairing Weekend group as we chat about rosé wines and suggested pairings.  Follow my fellow wine writer friends as they share a wide variety of pairings.

 
 
*This wine were provided as a sample, but opinions are always my own.
 
Importer listed on the label: Vintus