On Christmas day I was invited for lunch by some friends of mine, and I really enjoyed a delicious braised beef with potatoes, masterfully marinated with flavored spices.

As a wine to combine with this really tasty dishes, I chose an Amarone wine of Valpolicella, a wine absolutely special.

With an intense and bright ruby red color, strong aromas of red and black fruit such as cherry and currant, with its typical chocolate and spicy scents and its beautiful structure and body, Amarone wine of Valpolicella is a wine with a great aging potential that can be appreciated even when it is not aged.

Amarone wine is a dry raisin wine that comes from the blend of different native grapes of the Veneto region, with a majority of Corvina and smaller percentages of Corvinone and Rondinella.

The real peculiarity of this red wine is precisely its production method: the withering. In fact the grapes are left to dry for 3 or 4 months and so the strong presence of sugars induces an important alcoholic degree, between 15% and 16%. The wine is then aged in barrel for 2 or 4 years, if a Riserva is to be produced. In any case, before being ready for tasting, Amarone wine is also aged for several years in bottle.

Once Amarone wine is served, the scent of prunes and cherries is intertwined with hints of undergrowth and dried mushrooms. In the best vintages dominates the softness which wraps the palate in a velvety, full, warm, vigorous embrace, with very pleasant round tannins. You can also feel ripe red fruits embellished with cinnamon, vanilla and chocolate. The older it gets, the more it gives way to perceptions of leather, tanned tobacco and roasted coffee. The fruity aromas recall the sour cherry, currant, cherry and wild berries. It can reach an aging of over 15 years, if well preserved, and must be served at an average temperature of 16 °-18 ° C. Before serving, it is best to decant it for at least an hour.

I chose this wine for pairing with braised beef with potatoes because with Amarone wine it is created an excellent contrast between wine and tasty seconds, and in particular with red meat in the form of stew and braised meat and all slow cooking meat in general. The succulent and oily taste of a stew or a braised meat indeed finds an absolutely ideal contrast with an Amarone wine, very alcoholic and with soft tannins. A really well-chosen and highly recommended pairing.

Written by: Diego Vita Sommelier

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