Amarone della Valpolicella, which roughly translates to “strongly bitter,” describes this robust, rich red wine made in Valpolicella, in the northeast region of Italy called Veneto. You’ll find my top 10 Amarone reviews and ratings here.
5 Surprising Facts about Amarone:
1. The best and ripest of the dark-skinned grapes that are blended to create Amarone include Corvina, Molinara and Rondinella. These are carefully selected during harvest and gently stored for several months after harvest in cool, well-ventilated rooms on straw mats so that they dry, dehydrate and concentrate their sugars and flavors.
2. When they’re almost shriveled like raisins, they’re crushed and fermented to create Amarone wine.
3. These concentrated sugars ferment to complete dryness, which creates a wine with high alcohol (often 14%-16%), black fruit flavors and a rich, dark color.
4. Recioto wines from Valpolicella are also made this way, except that fermentation is stopped while there is still some residual sugar left in the wine, creating a rich dessert wine.
5. Ripasso wines from this region are “re-passed” or re-fermented and have some of Amarone’s rich character.
Due to the selection of the best grapes and the involved winemaking method, Amarone tends to be a pricey wine, usually more than $30 a bottle.
Signature aromas include black cherries, kirsch, raisins, plum, prunes, spice, coffee, cocoa and mocha.
Drink Amarone with rich, flavorful foods such as cheddar, parmesan, blue cheeses, polenta dishes, sausage, lasagna, venison, beef daube, casseroles, stews, Mexican Mole, leg of lamb, pasta with tomato sauce and dark chocolate.
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