The Amarone Stole My Heart

Masi Costasera, Amarone della Valpolicella Classico

DATELINE: Verona, Italy
Wine Correspondent:

I think I may be in love with the server or is it the wine I am in love with? I am unsure. Let me tell you how this happened one afternoon wine tasting in Verona.

Walking into the cozy space of La Fontanina, my senses quicken as I scan the wall, lined with exquisite bottles of various vintages. The Italianate décor makes me feel romantic. Sitting down, I am greeted by a beautifully appointed table. Yes America, this table is dressed with table linens, something that seems to be going the way of the past in the US, but not in Verona! Fine crystal, stemmed glassware, golden candlestick holders; this is formal dining at its best. After my water glass is filled by a sweet young man, another gorgeous man greets me. After some discussion of what I will be dining on, he inquires as to the wine I would like to have with my main course. Wanting to see if they really know what they have, I describe what I want and suggest that he pick something special for me.

The moment has arrived. The gorgeous man places the scrumptious looking entree in front of me. As delectable aromas waft up, arousing my olfactory senses to maximum capacity, he presents me with the wine he has selected for me. Pouring just enough to taste, he waits while I do just that. I gaze into the clear, deep purple, sensually viscous liquid as I swirl it around in my glass.

Inhaling deeply, I catch the intensely jammy, black fruit aromas of the Amarone; summer blackberries, plump, succulent, black cherries, even possibly just the tiniest hint of black raspberry. Then black liquorice drifts in. I cannot wait any longer. I must have this delectable liquid on my tongue. Taking a sip, I pull in the silky fluid deeply, letting it wash over the inside of my mouth. Smooth, velvet tannins entice me as flavors of vanilla, wait, not just vanilla, there’s chocolate also gliding in and vanilla again. Then black current notes with hints of raisin and even a bit of black pepper reveal themselves to me. Now I detect the sensually earthy, savory flavors of a warm autumn night. I am engulfed in pleasure. Finally, I look up to meet the handsome man’s gaze, as the wine’s exotic spice notes slide in near the finish, for a delightful surprise. Drifting into a secret place of pleasure, I let his dark eyes pierce me to the core as I imagine myself loosening his silky black tie and undoing the first few buttons of his crisp, black shirt to reveal just the barest trace of smoky black chest hair. My eyes slowly close without my awareness. Ah the lovely places to explore.

Sadly, my fantasy is abruptly interrupted.

“Signorina, please Signorina.”

He is briskly trying to get my attention. His eyes have gone even darker. Patience wearing thin, he wants to know if the wine is to my liking as a slight smile slowly returns to his exquisite face.

Against my will, I force myself to swallow the loveliness that is in my mouth. The finish lingers as I pull myself back to reality and acquiesce to his demand to know now. I utter a genuine, “Perfetto, perfetto!”

Taking a deep breath, I move on to enjoy the unique, culinary delights awaiting me. It was to be a feast that I would never forget. Was it the attractive young man or the wine, or the blend of his dark eyes combined with the savory, dark fruit flavors or the Amarone? This is a sublime dilemma. Does it matter? Not really. All I know is, the next time I’m in Verona, I’m going to La Fontanina. If his section’s full…I’ll wait!


Tasting Notes
Appearance: deep ruby red
Nose: baked fruit, plums and cherries
Palate: fruity tastes with hints of coffee and cocoa. Very well balanced.

Food pairing: main-course dishes, grilled or roasted meats, game, strong cheeses or on its own at the end of a meal.

Winemaker’s Notes
Proud, majestic, complex and exuberant; this is Masi’s gentle giant. A benchmark for the Amarone category, which together with Barolo and Brunello, makes up the aristocracy of the Italian wine world. This deep ruby-red wine has powerful, complex aromas of dried plums and balsamic (anise, fennel, mint) traces. Dry on the palate, smooth mouthfeel with bright acidity, the wine shows flavors of baked cherry, chocolate and cinnamon. Structured but noble, delicate tannins precede a long finish.

Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
A classic interpretation, the 2010 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Costasera offers power and personality. The bouquet shows your standard Amarone aromas of sweet spice and overripe fruit. But Costasera adds class and finesse thanks to the slow way in which the wine evolves in the glass. The mouthfeel also treads with a delicate pace. Its silky texture never feels too heavy or overburdened.

Facts on Masi Costasera, Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOCG
Price: $56.99 /  premium priced
ABV: 15% ABV /  med+ alcohol


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