A wonderful romantic sounding name but what about the wine? It completely blew me away the first time I had it. Full of flavour, deliciously smooth and rich. What a treat.

It is the type of wine I would never ever have chosen on a wine list before I learnt a bit about wine.

I wouldn’t have understood that it could be an ideal accompaniment to the steaks my husband and I were having and I wouldn’t have had the courage to try such an expensive wine.

Added to that, it was an Italian red wine which I tended to avoid as I found them difficult to navigate. Too many unfamiliar grape varieties, too many different regional names. It turns out I had been missing out on something wonderful.
The first time I had it was after I had done one of my wine courses. I met my husband for a meal and I spotted the word “Amarone” on the wine list.

 

I had just been learning about the Passito Method where the black Corvina grapes used for Valpolicella are dried after harvesting and used to make the wine once they are like raisins.

The method turns what is the usual simple and fruity Valpolicella red wine into a rich, dry, full bodied intensely flavoured wine. That sounded just the thing to pair with our steaks so, despite costing over £45, we took the plunge and tried it.

My verdict?

Wow!

Deliciously intense aromas and flavours of raisin, spice and red berry fruits.

Rich and full bodied.

A big bold wine that hits your nose then your taste buds but doesn’t knock your head off.

An excellent Treat Wine Best paired with rich food like steak or game.

Two further points to note:

Firstly, make sure you get one that has aged a bit, the one we had was 5 years old and I would certainly look for that as a minimum particularly if I wanted to really treat myself.  The reason you are looking for a bit of age is you want the tannins to have softened. If the wine is young the tannins can be too strong and astringent, what they call “grippy”. After a few years (in the bottle) they mellow and add wonderful texture to the wine.

Second point to note is these wines will be pretty high in alcohol. The one we had was 15.5%.

Why are Amarone della Valpolicella wines more expensive? The simple answer is they take a lot more time and effort to make than the normal Valpolicella wines.
Personally, I am glad there are Italian winemakers who take the time and effort, because they make what has become one of my favourite types of red wine and one of my go-to red wines when I want a delicious treat to accompany rich food.