Amarone Wine...The name “amarone” is synonymous with quality in the wine industry. Originating straight from the heart of Italy, it's one of the world's most popular and highly sought after red wines. Unfortunately, some people are turned away by the price tag associated with this wine. While prices vary depending on the vintage, winery, and who's selling it, a typical bottle ranges anywhere between $60-$100. If you're still on the fence about spending this kind of money on a single bottle of wine, keep reading to learn more about the unique characteristics of amarone wine that make it well worth the investment.
Amarone Grape Content
Unlike most other varieties of fine red wine, amarone is actually produced using three distinct grapes: Corvina (40-70%), Rondinella (20-40%), and Molinara (5-25%). Mixing these three grapes together creates a distinct combination of flavors and aromas that simply aren't found elsewhere, which is one of the attractive elements of this wine.
Vineyard owners allow the Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara grapes to grow until they've reach their peak ripeness, at which point the grapes are harvested into large bundles. Now here's the kicker: amarone is produced by sun-drying the three grapes previously mentioned, allowing them to turn into semi-raisins. While some wineries use their own production/drying methods, the average length of time it takes for amarone grapes to dry in the sun is roughly 120 days, making its production a lengthy, time-consuming process.
Qualities of Amarone Wine
There are several unique qualities of amarone worth noting, one of which is its high alcohol content. Since the grapes are left to 'raisin' in the sun, much of the pulpy organic matter evaporates, leaving behind more sugar. Of course, this sugar is converted into alcohol during the fermentation process. It's not uncommon for the alcohol content of amarone to exceed 15%, which is actually more Italy's legal limit of 14%.
In terms of flavor, amarone wine is a full-bodied red variety with lots of rich, fruitful characteristics. Some of the most commonly reported flavors of amarone include black cherries, plum, dark chocolate, and raspberries. The sweetness of these flavors helps to balance out its high alcohol content, offering a truly unique and equally pleasurable wine-drinking experience.
It's important to note that qualities and characteristics of amarone may vary depending on the particular brand. Some wineries use a different ratio of grapes, fermenting techniques, yeast, filtration, etc. All of these subtle elements affect the final product.
Pairing Amarone Wine
So, what type of food should you pair with amarone wine? Due to its low acidity and heavy body, it's best to pair amarone with equally heavy foods. Filet mignon and lamb chops are two foods which are frequently enjoyed with amarone . This full-bodied red wine naturally compliments the flavors of red meat dishes such as these. With that said, wine pairing should be done based on your personal preference. If you enjoy the combination of a certain wine variety and food, go ahead and pair them!