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Mauro Lorenzon is known as the best wine connoisseur of Italy. He enjoys the reputation of a “wine pope” and is well-known from the media, particularly the television. Mauro owns its own winery and a wine bar in Venice, the Enoiteca Mascareta.
At the gourmet restaurant PiacerMio in the Marina di Venezia, we first learned something about Mauro Lorenzon and his method of producing organic sparkling wine. Massimo Battaglio told us about Mauro’s wine bar and that made us curious. So we use our last evening in Venice for a visit.
The Enoiteca Mascareta is diagonally opposite the Liberia Acqua Alta, a unique bookshop in Venice.
We have an appointment with Massimo in the Enoiteca Mascareta and he has a surprise. He arrives with Ulrike and Alessandro, two very nice Austrians from Carinthia who live in Italy. We already knew Ulrike from the reception in the Marina di Venezia. Alessandro Scarpa is actually Italian with Austrian roots. On this evening he sometimes also takes over the role of the interpreter.
Already entering the wine bar, we are impressed by the great number of bottles and wines. All wines have been carefully selected and tested by Mauro.
The peculiarity of the Enoiteca Mascareta is, you can drink a glass of every wine from the extensive assortment. “All we have, you can have”, is the motto applied here. There is no specific wine list, but one is happy to recommend the right wine and tell you the price.
In the wine bar, there are about 1000 bottles of 100 different winemakers. Before, Mauro had a wine bar in Jesolo with twice the number, about 2000 bottles. Asked if he also has a Zweigelt from Austria, he just reaches behind and fetched a bottle from the shelf.
At first, Mauro serves us a Chardonnay, Vino Frizzante Biologico. It was made according to his method, the method Laurenzon. During the fermentation one adds no sugar, the sweetness comes only from the sweetness of the grape.
We enjoy asparagus with egg followed by mussels.
Mauro is also known for his sense of humor, as you can see on his cards.
The next dish is pasta with pesto from Genoa. The pasta comes from the company Verrigni from the Abruzzo.
It is made from the best Italian durum wheat semolina, grown and harvested both in the company’s own farm and in the farm of the befriended farmer and famous winemaker Francesco Paolo Valentini. Mr. Valentini is also known for the best Trebbiano, wine from the Abruzzo.
Along with the pasta comes a Lovat Bianco from the Solaris grape, which originates from the Palatinate. The wine is grown in Riva at Lake Garda and contains no sulfites.
Black octopus, cod, and polenta follow. Now Mauro serves us a special red wine from the winery Ca’ di Rajo. It is made of different grapes from the region of Venice. The production is similar to the one of Amarone, an Italian wine made from dried grapes.
For this purpose, the grapes remain longer on the vines. The wine from last year is mixed with a little must of this year to increase the sugar content. Then it is bottled. One moves the bottles from the cellar to a warmer area. Mauro explains “The yeast in the bottle has slowly absorbed too much sugar and produces small pearls. And that’s a solution of striking simplicity”.
Out of one barrel of this wine, one made a special edition. Filled into 120 regular bottles and 24 magnum bottles, each bottle has a unique label, showing a different image of Mauro. The name of the wine is “thirsty face”, the face of someone who is thirsty. We are honored that he opens one of his 24 bottles for us.
In the course of the evening, one also shows us various newspaper articles and a picture of Mauro together with Ervio. Ervio is the éminence grise of Marina di Venezia. He is the link between the owner-occupier families and the management.
The restaurant is decorated with pictures of Mauro, all drawn and painted by his relatives. The similarity of Mauro to Albert Einstein is striking. His colorful clothes emphasize his intellectuality.
Finally, one shows us the storage cellar, with a small seating area and huge shelves filled with wine bottles.
Again, we see drawings and paintings of Mauro on the walls. Above the table hang the empty bottles of the “thirsty face”, the Ca ‘di Rajo special edition.
In the meantime, Mauro’s nice wife has joined us. She urges leaving because they had long planned to visit the Doge’s Palace at night. For once it was open that night with free admission. On the one hand, it is unfortunate because we would have liked to spend more time in this nice round. On the other hand, it is positive for us, because we certainly would not have been able to resist one or the other glass of this excellent wine, although we also have an appointment later in the evening.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank all for the wonderful evening and the exceptional wine experience in Enoiteca Mascareta. It will remain in our memories for a long time.
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