to hold an argument of love.
The one has wisdom with her from above,
For every noblest virtue well designed:
The other, beauty's tempting power refined
And the high charm of perfect grace approve:
And I, as my sweet Master's will doth move,
At feet of both their favors am reclined.
Beauty and Duty in my soul keep strife,
At question if the heart such course can take
And 'twixt the two ladies hold its love complete.
The fount of gentle speech yields answer meet,
That Beauty may be loved for gladness sake,
And Duty in the lofty ends of life.
Dante Alighieri wrote about his life experiences. His poem and sonnet collections carry deep meaning, matters pertaining to life, love and death. As I read his work, “Of Beauty and Duty” I tried to forge an analogy from the poem that would pertain to wine. Dante reflects on the beauty of his lover as genuine by youth and nature. While his arranged marriage to an aristocrat is beautiful because it is her duty. I contemplate on the fact that wine is about life, love and death. We have to agree that all wine begins in the vineyard, where life is reborn every spring at bud break. The love comes from within the caretaker of the vine. He brings the true beauty to the vine. It is in the vineyard where the promise of true beauty resides. The vine and the fruit it bears are beautiful by nature. As for the duty-ness, I see the wine that came forth from the vine as beautiful by arrangement. The wine may appeal to one person and not another. The magical picturesque beauty is long gone; all that remains is liquid. However, a person may find the wine beautiful by opinion, which is the wine’s duty. As for death, the vine surely preludes death in the fall as it drops its decorous beauty and seemingly holds its breath as it falls into a deep slumber. While the wines death is sure to come as the bottle is emptied; never to be awakened.
Our wines this month come from the Boscaini family, who manage the Masi and Alighieri wineries. In the late 18th century, the Boscaini family purchased a little valley called “Vaio dei Masi,” of which the family retains ownership to this day. Since then, 16 generations later, the Masi Company has grown systematically through land purchases in the best viticultural areas of the Veneto. Masi is also involved in the management of the historical estate in Valpolicella, Serego Alighieri, which belonged to Dante’s son, since 1353.
Veneto is the northern most wine region in Italy and is responsible for a large percentage of Italy’s wine production. The appellation consists of large plains and hillsides composed of clay and calcareous debris. The hot summers and cool winters are moderated by the Adriatic Sea. Wine making around Venice has been traced back more than 2000 years. It is believed that the Romans learned the secret of making Amarone from prior civilizations.
Masi is known worldwide for its Amarone; a wine created by drying fresh grapes to concentrate the juice before pressing, yielding an unctuous nectar suitable for the gods. Our wine, not an Amarone, is made from the indigenous grapes: Refosco and Raboso. Our red wine reveals a fruity, friendly wine, with flavors of ripe cherry, plum, sweet spice, and herbs, combined with good structure and excellent balance between acidity and soft tannins. This wine is perfectly suited to pair with polenta, mushrooms, herbs, pasta, beans, stews and hard cheeses.
Our white wine is from the Alighieri Estate. Possessioni Bianco is made from combining the intense aromas of Sauvignon Blanc with the elegance of the Garganega grape with its characteristic aftertaste of almonds. This unique white wine should be consumed at 50°F to optimize the aromas and balance the acidity. Food pairings for this Bianco are antipasti, fish, chicken or veal. The Venetians favor sardines, and mussels as well as pasta tossed with grilled vegetables.
I found this wine’s intriguing flavor to also pair well with biscotti and Tiramisu as a dessert.
2007 Serego Alighieri
Grape varieties: 70% Garganega
Suggested retail: $12.99 750ml
Modello Delle Venezie
Grape varieties: Refosco & Reboso
Suggested retail: $14.99 750ml