With all the mystery surrounding Amarone, you’d expect the wine to be created during the renaissance, and worthy of a Da Vinci code mystery. However, Amarone is a very recent phenomenon.
It really wasn’t commercialized until the 50’s when Bolla, Masi and Bertani introduced it into the market. The mystery comes from the complex flavours and aromas of these wines as they are a balanced and intricate melody of cherry, coffee, tar, spice and almonds. The wine is also balance, while remaining high in alcohol and silky flavours.
To Make Amarone, wine producers in the Veneto region of Italy take their best Corvina, Rondinella grapes (and perhaps along with smaller amounts of Molinara, Croatina, Negrara and Dindareella), and dry them out on straw mats from October to January. This causes the grapes to lose 30-40% of their weight, and you end up with a grape that has a dramatic increase in sugar, without losing any of its acidity. The high acidity leaves the wine dry, and the sugar does not contribute sweetness, but imparts a concentrated fruit reduction on the tongue.
Lush Syrupy Amarone and Food Pairings
Depending on how it’s produced, the styles of Amarone can range from a rich, thick and syrupy port like wines to wines that have more dried fruit flavours,and spicy flavours. For the rich and syrupy Amarone, your safest bet is with stinky cheeses, like Parmigiano Reggiano, Gorgonzola, Stilton, Roquefort and Danish blue, or Recioto.
Dried Fruit Amarone and Food Pairings
With the other style, the dried cherry flavours go great with game birds such as duck or pheasant. Lamb is traditionally eaten with Amarone as well, as the cherry flavours of the wine go well with the meat. Because Amarone is produced in a style where the grapes are reduced by being dried out, they go great with any sort of dish where foods are cooked in reduction sauces. Imagine a roast duck, drizzled with a reduction sauce containing the Amarone, paired side by side with a glass of the Amarone. The food would mirror the wine, and your mouth would be in heaven.