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Not an ordinary wine: 4 little-known facts about Amarone

Not an ordinary wine: 4 little-known facts about Amarone
  28 January 2019

Amarone is definitely a wine that's out of the ordinary. You'll read all sorts of wild things about this King of the Valpolicella on the Internet, but here and there you come across a few valuable truths. How do you recognize them? Piece of cake. Ask someone who experiences and makes Amarone themselves, like us.

In Valpolicella, Amarone is the friend you bring along in all important moments; at no holiday, happy event, or important dinner is a bottle of Amarone missing from the table—usually that the guests brought as a gift.
So here are four truths that we Monteci would like to reveal to you about Amarone, that which of all wines best embodies the spirit of the fair Valpolicella.

Amarone is a wonderful blunder

Sometimes the best discoveries are made by pure chance; you could say the same about Amarone. There are many legends, but they all start with something that was forgotten.

The first Amarone in history is nothing more than a Recioto that "slipped through the cracks", which continued to ferment undisturbed until all its sugars got used up. Just imagine the expression on the winemaker's face when—after realizing he'd forgotten a barrel—he tasted it and discovered a dry and (at least at first) bitter wine instead of the super sweet Recioto! Some say that the discoverer of Amarone was Adelino Lucchese, others say it was farmers that hid the barrels from German soldiers during World War II. We'll probably never know the truth. The important thing is that someone made this wonderful blunder!

The same grapes for lots of wines

Valpolicella is a land of biodiversity and the same may be said of the grape varieties that grow there. Perhaps the most interesting thing is that the same blends (in different percentages) can breathe life into very interesting wines: it is their processing that changes everything! Corvina, Corvinone, Molinara, Rondinella, and Oseleta are the names of the grapes used for all Valpolicella wines with extremely different outcomes: Valpolicella Classico, Ripasso, Recioto, Amarone, and Rosso Veronese are the voices of a unique territory that expresses itself through its vineyards 

The Rules: all the rules to follow (and there are a lot!)

Such an important wine is also protected by a strict rule set: many are the rules to follow to produce Amarone and the wines of Valpolicella in general. The goal is to always keep quality extremely high. Only the best bunches are chosen to make Amarone, and there's even a maximum amount of grapes that can be gathered and used for Amarone and Recioto. Plus, the makeup of the blends is set within very precise limits: Corvina and Corvinone must be prevalent 

A wine that loves to be pampered

Amarone is an extremely longevous wine that you can keep in the cellar for years if not decades. Before being bottled, the wine rests in oak barrels for at least two years and as the time it has aged increases, so does its shelf life in your cellars. There are bottles of Amarone that are still excellent after twenty years! To properly preserve a bottle of Amarone all you have to do is follow some really simple rules: the cellar temperature must be kept from 11° to 16° degrees, making sure to avoid any brusque temperature changes; constant 50-70% humidity will always keep the cork in perfect conditions and keep air from entering and ruining the precious wine inside. Darkness is the last, important factor to take into consideration: light alters the wine's organoleptic characteristics, which is why the bottles are always in thick dark glass. Lastly, don't forget to keep the bottles horizontal so that the wine is always in contact with the cork.

Now you can forget about the bottle for some years, but you can be certain of one thing: when you pop the cork, what you get will inevitably be grand.

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