8 essential facts that make Amarone a special wine
Amarone della Valpolicella or simply Amarone belongs to our list of “Italian and French wines you must try before you die”. That’s how remarkable Amarone is to us and a lot of wine lovers around the world. It has a full bodied, full flavoured, intense and elegant taste that leaves a memorable impression on the taste buds. Amarone comes from the Valpolicella region in the province of Verona in Northern Italy. The region, thought to have originated from Greek meaning “valley of many cellars”, is known as ‘the pearl of Verona’.
Valpolicella is the second largest producer of DOC wines— Denominazione di Origine Controllata, the highest quality level in Italian wine label classifications, with Chianti in central Tuscany taking the top spot. Judging from these short impressive knowledge about Amarone’s origins, you’ll surely enjoy a full bottle of this sophisticated red wine.
Acidity: Medium to medium-high
Flavours: Cherry, brown sugar, chocolate
We’re indulging you with 8 more interesting facts about the Amarone wine:
Valpolicella has been making wines since the time of the Ancient Greeks.
They wouldn’t be crowned as one of the best producers of wine in the Valpolicella if they didn’t have centuries of practice in stomping grapes since the ancient Greek civilization. Valpolicella has a cool continental climate that’s favourable for growing their quality product. The cool breeze from Lake Garda coming from the west, the Alps to the north and the region’s rolling hills protects them from the intense heat of the Mediterranean summer.
It wasn’t known as Amarone until it was listed in public records in 1953.This Verona wine has been in existence since ancient times. Sometime in 1936, a cellarmaster named Adelino Lucchese who tasted the wine for the first time exclaimed ‘Amarone’ meaning ‘the great bitter’. Since then, the story of how this great bitter wine got its name was passed on to every generation.
Amarone was granted DOC classification in 1990.
Amarone was granted the DOCG recognition— Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG), the highest quality level, together with its sweeter red wine sister Recioto. Both Amarone and Recioto have the same technique of using partially dried grapes. But rumours spreading on the grapevine says that Amarone was really just Recioto that was left to ferment for too long, thus the dry and bitter taste. But never believe that gossip!
Amarone has three main grape varieties— Corvina, Corvinone and Rondinella
Amarone producers follow a strict set of rules before releasing the wine into the world and getting the highest wine classification in Italy, the DOCG.
- 45-95% Corvina/Corvinone grapes, 5-30% Rondinella and some lesser known grapes
- the dried grapes must have a minimum of 40% water loss
- alcohol by volume should be at least 14%
- it should be in oak for a minimum of 2 years
Amarone riserva is aged for at least 4 years
Amarone has 15% alcohol content.
The grape varieties in Amarone are picked every mid-October to ensure its maximum ripeness. Because it needs to lose water 30-40%, they take a longer time to dry over the winter. Then, the grapes are pressed and fermented for 45 days, and aged in an oak barrel for 2-5 years. The wine becomes more concentrated because of this process resulting in 15% or higher in alcohol content.
Amarone is one of the expensive red wines.Why? Because of number 5. The grapes’ journey – from the drying process up to the ageing process is an ancient old technique that has proven its success time and time again. With a DOCG recognition under its belt, expect to spend $50 to $80 per bottle.
Amarone is best paired with foods that have a powerful flavour.
Because of Amarone’s rich and full bodied taste, the best foods to pair it with are lean red meats, beef, duck or lamb, and pasta. Strong, aged cheeses such as old Gouda and blue cheese. Avoid pairing this wine with fish and salads. Lastly, dark chocolate goes well with Amarone.
Amarone bottles has a special Le Famiglie Storiche label.
The Famiglie Storiche is an association of 13 oldest and most famous historical producers of Amarone della Valpolicella: Allegrini, Begali, Brigaldara, Guerrieri Rizzardi, Masi, Musella, Speri, Tedeschi, Tenuta Sant’Antonio, Tommasi, Torre D’Orti, Venturini and Zenato. Founded in 1999, they are responsible for promoting Amarone all over the world.
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