Northern Italy is known for great things, including Venice, Lake Como and the beloved Amarone wine. This part of Italy is considered a cool climate wine-growing region, however, the chillier weather hasn’t stopped vintners from making absolutely incredible wine. While all of Italy produces wines that bring a smile to your face, Amarone is special. You can’t help but fall for it, making Amarone a beloved wine all over the globe.
Amarone Della Valpolicella (Amarone from the Valpolicella region) is made from three different grapes grown in the region: Corvina, Molinara, and Rondinella. Named as if they were sisters, these grapes are plucked from their family vines during harvest season and dried on mats before pressing. A percentage of the water in the grapes slowly evaporates, and when grapes are crushed this results in a wine that is more savoury and condensed (think of a raisin with a bit more water). In regular wine the grapes are harvested and then crushed, allowing the vintner to use all of the water in the production process. In Amarone, grapes are placed on mats and watched over until they reach the perfect level of shrivelled satisfaction from the winemaker. This process is called Appasimento or Rasinate, which means to dry or shrivel. Although the grapes are dried, Amarone is a dry red wine that is aged in oak barriques, offering it body and complexity. Due to lower production (since it takes more grapes to make a bottle of wine), the bottle price reflects this time tested art of winemaking and its unique flavour profile.
Amarone is pronounced AM-ARE-OH-NEE and the word actually means “The Great Bitter.” At the time Amarone was invented, it was considered to be bitter compared to much sweeter wines from the region. Although its savoury and full-bodied flavours are no-where near bitter, the ancient name has stuck.
Need a bottle to share on a romantic date? Amarone. Need a special wine to impress a client? Amarone. Need a bottle to open up with a friend and gossip the night away? Amarone. No matter the scenario, the answer is Amarone. It is a must try wine and worth spending the extra little bit of money on this discovery. I promise you WILL NOT be disappointed.
My recommended Amarone is Cottini Villa Annaberta Amarone Available at vintages for $35