Trinchero skin-contact Malvasia & scampi @CiaoBelloHou by @BobbyMatos

trinchero malvasia orange wine

Above: Chef Bobby Matos‘ cooking has never been better and the seafood never fresher and more tasty at Tony’s Ciao Bello restaurant in Houston.

Thanks to our constipated wine distribution and impacted-bowel wine importing regulation here in Texas, it’s rare that we have the opportunity to (legally obtain and) enjoy European wines that are not available in other states (with more liberal regulation like California and New York).

Last night, when I spoke at a wine and seafood pairing dinner at my friend and client Tony’s Ciao Bello restaurant in Houston, I had the good fortune to taste the Trinchero skin-contact Malvasia, which, to my knowledge, is only available in my adoptive state.

bucatini crabs legs

Above: The bucatini had been tossed in a sauce made of stock from the crab shell, white wine, bay leaf, and a touch of cream. They were then topped with breaded and fried crab legs.

It’s brought in by maverick “against all odds” importer Doug Skopp, a colleague whose become a friend.

I’ve followed Trinchero — a Vini Veri producer in Asti — for nearly ten years and I am huge fan of their Barbera, especially the Vigna del Noce cru, arguably one of the best expressions of Barbera available commercially today.

(Polaner brings the wines into the rest of the U.S. but not the Malvasia.)

monkfish prosciutto

Above: Tracie P and I generally don’t eat seafood in Texas beyond Tony’s restaurants. It’s just never as good as in my home state California.

The skin-contact Malvasia was tannic and dense although more delicate on the palate than I expected. The scampi were delicious but slightly overpowered by the wine, however satisfying. (I might have done the Trinchero with the phallic prosciutto-wrapped monkfish and lentils above.)

Remarkably fresh, it really began to show its muscle and nuance as it opened up, with layers of nutty and dried stone fruit flavors.

Thank you, Doug, for bringing in this groovy wine! And thanks, Bobby for the fantastic dinner last night. Your cooking has never been better. Great dinner…

4 thoughts on “Trinchero skin-contact Malvasia & scampi @CiaoBelloHou by @BobbyMatos

  1. Jeremy-Nice to finally meet you in person last night. Really enjoyed the meal and the wines were excellent…my wife is wishing she could’ve been there after seeing the pic of the bucatini! Look forward to meeting up in the future and enjoy the upcoming trip to Italy with the family.-Jason

  2. Ha! “constipated wine distribution and impacted-bowel wine importing regulation”…are you sure you’re not English? There’s an awful lot of ‘potty’ stuff going on in that sentence :)

  3. Jason, great to finally meet and get to taste with you, too! That was awesome. Thanks for coming out. Let’s connect when I get back from Italy. Thanks again…

    Fabio, most definitely an “orange” wine. :) And most definitely delicious.

    Vinogirl, you know what IBS stands for? Yup, you got it: Isaac Bashevis Singer. As much as an Anglophile as I am, it’s really the Jew in me that brings the potty humor out. ;)

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