Many of the customers who make themselves at the counter or at the tables of our Caffè Monte Baldo would like to taste the Amarone della Valpolicella, that wonderful red nectar that we call the "King of Valpolicella". The charm of this wine excedes the Italian borders as it is particularly appreciated by tourists from Northern Europe and those of the English-speaking countries.
Why is this wine so loved?
Amarone is a red wine with an intense and luminous color, with a great taste and intensity, presented by a great softness and able to give heat and vigor to the sip.
To use modern terminology we could define Amarone as a "Premium Valpolicella wine", made by the best grapes and the best vineyards, selected, harvested and processed by the "vignaron" with the greatest care.
Its history is very old and has its roots in the wine "Acinatico" produced by drying (dehydration in the air) of the grapes put to rest on racks in the valleys around Verona called "Vallis - polis cellae" by athe ancient Romans, the valley with many cellars. Since then Amarone remains the quality standard in the viticulture of Valpolicella. Each Valpolicella winery right now produces its Amarone and from it comes a different type of wine called Valpolicella Ripasso that we will explain in another post.
Amarone is made by these grapes: Corvina, Corvinone, Rondinella and, in small quantities, other Italian non-aromatic red grapes. All of these fruits have to be the healthiest, cleanest and richest in sugar content of the ones available in the vineyard,
Once collected the grapes are arranged on reed racks (currently in perforated plastic boxes), in the drying rooms (fruittaio) for 3-4 months. For the whole duration of the process it will be necessary to eliminate any bunches attacked by mold or rottenness. At the end of this period the grapes show a decrease of about half of their weight and a strong increase in the sugar concentration. Now the grapes are ready for crushing. The aging of the wine is completed in large Slavonian oak barrels and / or smaller French oak barrels for a faster maturation.
The definition of "premium" wine is therefore clear, keeping in account of all the production costs well above that of a "standard" Valpolicella
What do we like about Amarone della Valpolicella?
First of all its history and its ability to tell all the nuances of "terroirs" of Valpolicella. Once put in the glass we do love its concentration, the intense color and the strong aromas of red fruit: cherry and currant. Amarone must be particularly warm and soft but also long and persistent on the palate. Like many other wines, Amarone della Valpolicella has undergone the influence of two major factors over time: global warming and the influence of the global market.
Temperature rising led it to generally be a "ready" and more "round" wine, characterized by a lower acidity. After the climate change (climate get warmer) of the 90's Amarone is now less "tense" and generally less vertical.
The second trend, dictated by the US and Northern Europe market leads to more "muscular" wines, robust and able to fill the mouth of the consumer.
How Verona people pair Amarone wine? In the local tradition the best way to enjoy Amarone is with the "Pastissada" of Cavallo, a stewed horse meat whose origins sink in the mists of time. Very important is also the "risotto all'Amarone della Valpolicella" a dish loved by both Veronesi and tourists in which the rice, in the cooking phase, is washed by abundant libations of Amarone wine , obtaining purple deep color and irresistible flavor.
We hope you enjoyed this short digression in the world of Amarone and we wait for you every day in Osteria Caffè Monte Baldo with a selection of over 20 Amarone labels available in bottles and more than 10 by glass using the Coravin system.
Now, you dear readers who read all this words, do you like Amarone? And how would you pair it to the table? Write us or send us a video here on the blog or on our facebook page @casamontebaldo