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Amarone: The Wine That’s Worth the Expense

Amarone: The Wine That’s Worth the Expense

iLoveWine Staff

It’s time to look for your next favorite wine, but you’re not entirely sure where you want to turn. While you generally spend your money on less expensive options that still provide excellent flavor you may be starting to look at some of the more costly options and wondering just what makes them worth the price. Maybe you’re considering buying one, but you don’t know if it’s really going to be a good option for your budget and your flavor preferences. Amarone wine may be one that you’re considering, but for the cost, that is.

What is Amarone Wine?

Amarone wine is one of the more expensive options that come in around $50 or even $80 per bottle. This puts it at the higher end of price, but just why is it there? Well, for one thing, it’s the wine that is commonly associated with other high-end options. That’s probably where you’ve seen or heard of it before, but you may never have tried those options either. After all, you’re still not entirely sold on the idea of expensive wines, right? Well, this wine is one that sits at the top of the price list for a reason, and that starts with it being one of the top red wines in all of Italy.

The beauty of the wine begins with the location where it is grown, a beautiful region of rolling hills and sweeping valleys known as Valpolicella. Located outside of Verona, this region is the second largest producer of DOC wines. It’s also dedicated to a total of 4 different varieties of grapes, which are designed for red wines, the Corvine, Rondinella, Molinara, and Corvinone grapes. Each one, however, has its own dedications for future wines, with some being slightly more basic and others, like the Amarone, being at the top of the list.

The Flavors of Amarone

If you’re looking for flavor, then you definitely will love this deep red wine. It gives you the fruity and rich flavors of cherry, raisin and more, with a dry and low acid result. Released only after five years from the date it’s been produced; this is a wine that will give you a depth of flavor and a full-bodied texture and aroma. It’s an excellent pairing for a number of different dishes that are local to the region and other areas around the world.

Italian food is one of the best ways to pair off Amarone, so having a traditional meal that highlights the complexity and the earthiness of the black cherry and plum will give you even more of the accents you’re looking for. It also gives you a hint of the fresh fruit while giving you an aroma of dried and even a little vanilla. Foods like lamb, veal, poultry, fish and pasta are an excellent option to pair with Amarone, as are rich cheeses and even fruits. You’ll have the healthy balance that you’re looking for with any of these.

The Expense of the Wine

But with all of this history and the beauty of the region, we still haven’t really explained what it is that makes this wine so expensive, right? Well, the first step is that the grapes are harvested in the region. They are crushed and fermented immediately to create a light wine that has a high acid content. There is no real aging, but the wine produced is an excellent pairing for local cuisine. This is the lowest level of wines created with these grapes. They’re quick to make and inexpensive from the start, making them cheap to purchase.

An Amarone, however, is entirely different. The grapes must be picked later in the season, which means less time to work with. They are then left through the entire winter so that they dry, which means a longer amount of time spent caring for them. As they sit for over 100 days (approximately 120), they start to shrivel up, which means that you have even less left at the end, but a higher concentration of sugar. This results in approximately 15% alcohol content. The larger amount of fruit required the longer amount of time needed, and the higher level of alcohol content all add up to one thing, a higher price.

In fact, when we look at the fact that an Amarone requires twice as many grapes and the space for long-term aging, plus add in the fact that it takes at least 45 days to ferment you’re actually getting a bargain when it comes to the price that you pay. But of course, you don’t really want to spend that much on a single bottle of wine very frequently, do you?

Getting the Discount

If you’re interested in trying out Amarone without having to shell out more money, you can always take a look at one of the lower level options that’s grown in the same region. Known as Valpolicella Ripasso, this wine mixes low-level Classico with high-level Amarone to create a blend. It uses leftover wineskins that have a higher concentration of flavor and creates a medium body and a dry texture that has just the right hints of the Amarone you’re looking for. Plus you can get it for less than 1/3 of the cost of a bottle of the high-quality stuff.

No matter what type of meal you’re planning to have, spending a little more for a bottle of Amarone will not be a bad way to go. The wine is one that will make you think twice about buying something a little more expensive in the future because you’re going to know that it’s worth it. This wine, grown in a region that is beautiful from every angle, is definitely similar in some respects. That beauty is reflected in the way that it feels and tastes each time you take a sip. All you need to do is choose your favorite dish and offer it for that next dinner party.

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