A classic Italian restaurant should have some classic Italian wines and of course, a few surprises. Mascalzone certainly has that. We’ll start with a couple of classics. Not quite Barolo in prestige but classics nonetheless; Montepulciano d’Abruzzo and Chianti are two such Italian wine types which naturally deserve a mention.
Ask your average person to name an Italian red and it will probably be Chianti, thanks to Anthony Hopkins and The Silence of the Lambs but if it were a question on Family Fortunes to name five Italian reds, there’s a fair chance that “Montaypoochayano” as our English tongue tends to pronounce it, would be on there too.
The wines themselves are produced a little nearer to the coast away from the interior, where temperatures are a little less extreme. Ageing in steel vats keeps it simple: slight tannins.
Many of the dishes from the Mascalzone menu in London would match perfectly, especially with red meats or strong cheeses but the Penne Salsiccia E Brocolli looks particularly fun. The chilli and sausage tamed by the soft fruit of the wine. Or the Braccio De Ferro pizza, with tomato, mozzarella, sausage, spinach, artichoke and rosemary, almost a home from home for flavours redolent of Abruzzo.
Chianti Capofosso DOCG
Chianti. Practically everyone’s heard of it.
But what do you know about it?
Firstly, its home is Tuscany. Region of the beautiful and historic cities of Florence and Siena. A place of rolling hills, orchards and vineyards. It looks like you imagine Italy to look like. Its principle grape is Sangiovese. A star of the wine world, it is grown elsewhere in Italy and in the new world, but nowhere does it find greater expression than in the hills of Tuscany.
Famously slow to ripen, the Sangiovese grapes grown in vineyards near Siena, south-west of Florence, thrive in the warm autumn sunshine, giving further balance and complexity.
Looking down the menu, many options jump out but two that particularly spring to mind would be the Pappardelle Al Ragu d’Agnello, the wine’s perfumed fruits perfectly matching the flavour of the lamb stew and rosemary. Or for vegetarians the Ravioli Aurora, a spinach and ricotta cannelloni with mushrooms and tomatoes, the acidity of the wine cutting through the creaminess of the dish. The spice and fruits matching perfectly the earthiness of the mushrooms and sweetness of the tomato.
Events at Mascalzone
Mascalzone host events such as Live Music, Food and Wine Pairing Evenings and Wine Tasting at all locations.
Together with this, Mascalzone offer creative catering and event services. Packages are available for events of all sizes and varieties so if you need to host your own event team of specialists are available for a consultation so that you have the best catering option for your event.
Author: Lewis McKie
Graduate in French Language and Literature from Glasgow University. Thirteen years in wine trade. Currently developing film scripts whilst blogging on other passions including Wine and Nature.