In an ongoing effort to introduce us to different wines I have chosen Valpolicella (val-po-la-cella) wines to report on in this blog.
There are five primary Valpolicella wines that are produced in the Vapolicella wine zone in northern Italy’s Veneto region located in the foothills of the Alps. The wines are:
- Valpolicella Classico – largest quantity produced
- Valpolicella Superiore – a simple red wine
- Valpolicella Superiore Ripasso – one of Italy’s best values
- Amarone della Valpolicella – top wine of Italy
- Recioto della Valpolicella – rare dessert wine
Valpolicella wines are regulated by Italy’s DOC and DOCG wine rules. One of the requirements is that Valpolicella wines must be made from one four native grapes:
Italian DOC rules state Valpolicella wines must be made using 45 to 95% Corvina grapes. Corvinone can be substituted for up to 50% of the Corniva. Rondinella grapes must comprise from 5% up to 30% of the blend.
Of the four main Valpolicella wines two of them have aging potential and two are ready to drink in their youth. Amarone and Recioto are age worthy and can stay for 10 years or more in the bottle and improve as they age.
Standard Valpolicella and Ripasso wines should be enjoyed within the first five years of bottling. After five years their flavor has peaked and they don’t drink as well.
This wine is dark in color and full-bodied. The aromas and flavor palate offer hints of dark berries, some cocoa notes and hints of black cherries. The finish can be a little bitter but most Amarone wines are dry and well balanced with mild tannins.
Valpolicella Superiore Ripasso
This wine tends to be medium- to full-bodied. Valpolicella Superiore Ripasso wines are rich and generally offer hints of cherry, black cherry and a hint of green pepper both on the nose and palate. They tend to be medium-bodied with medium tannins and a medium finish.
The wine is dark red in color and offers similar flavor profiles as the Ripasso: Bright red berry fruit, a little earthy, wines can be silky with a medium balanced finish.
This wine is a lighter red in color and is lighter bodied. Flavors can present hints of cherry fruit and an earthy finish of medium length.
The Valpolicella wines offer a wide range of flavor profiles and styles so there is a Valpolicella for every palate. These wines are dry and quite versatile and pair well with a variety of dishes and menus. They pair well with red meats, cheese plates and tomato-based dishes. The important thing is to taste each Valpolicella wine and find the one that is right for you.
Our Italian Wine Dinner at LEX 530 on March 19th
You only have until the end of this week to buy your tickets for the first LEX 530 Wine Dinner which will take place on Tuesday, March 19. The dinner starts at 6 pm at the new LEX 530 event center: 530 E. Lexington Avenue in Elkhart. The theme is Italian and Executive Chef Chad Coryn has prepared an amazing five courses that are guaranteed to delight. The evening is priced at $80 per ticket unless you are a LEX 530 Wine & Dinner Club Member. Click here to take a look at the courses and wine pairings and then go here to buy your tickets! If you are a LEX 530 Wine & Dinner Club Member, reach out to Courtney at email@example.com to get your discounted tickets.
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Until next week,
Calendar of Events
- April 17 – International Malbec Day
- May 3 – International Sauvignon Blanc Day
- May 9 – World Moscato Day
- May 23 – International Chardonnay Day
- May 25 – National Wine Day
- June 8 – National Rosé Wine Day
- June 20 – National Lambrusco Day