Valpolicella is a wine-growing region that produces wine for every wine enthusiast. Based on Corvina, Corvinone, Rondinella, and Molinara, Valpolicella makes wines that are simple and fruity, bold and complex, or sweet and worth every last delicious drop.
How to Pair Valpolicella
by Matthew Lorman
The province of Verona is known for more than the romantic tragedy Romeo and Juliet. Located just east of Lake Garda, Valpolicella is a wine-growing region that produces wine for every wine enthusiast. Based on Corvina, Corvinone, Rondinella, and Molinara, Valpolicella makes wines that are simple and fruity, bold and complex, or sweet and worth every last delicious drop.
These different styles mean that there is a Valpolicella for every season. In the warmer months, look for Valpolicella Classico for something light and bright. Once the colder months set in, cozy up with a glass of bold Amarone for the perfect night in. Check out these food and wine pairings and discover a new favorite.
Valpolicella is often very approachable and perfect for easy sipping. Imagine summer fun in a bottle. Bright notes of cherry and mixed berries make for light to medium-bodied wine that is very smooth and drinkable. The soft tannins make it perfect for an afternoon in the park, taking in the sun, and people-watching. These wines are often as easy on the wallet as they are delicious. Pair these wines with outdoor activities, and dishes like stir-fried chicken, grilled cheeseburgers, and roasted summer vegetables.
The grapes used in Amarone receive special treatment before being made into wine. After the harvest, grapes are laid out and dried in order to concentrate their flavors and sugars. The grape juice is then fermented slowly, resulting in a rich wine with flavors of black cherry, dates, and toffee. Try pairing these bold wines with equally bold and flavorful dishes like coffee-crusted rib-eye, glazed country ham, or matured cheese like Taleggio.
This is a happy medium between Valpolicella and Amarone. Some of the pressed grape skins from the making of Amarone and Recioto are blended into Valpolicella to give it additional body and flavor. As a result, the wines develop more character, making for some heartier food pairings. Try pairing Ripasso with red wine braised short ribs, hearty mushroom risotto, or lamb ragù.
Recioto della Valpolicella
If you’re not a fan of sweet wines, Recioto della Valpolicella will convert you. Aromas of dried cherries and cinnamon transition into elegant and luscious flavors of dried maraschino cherries, kirsch, and clove spice. This is a natural pairing for nut or custard desserts like Black Forest Cake, chocolate mousse, or cherry cobbler.
What's your favorite type of Valpolicella? Do you like it big, bold, and beautiful, or sweet and luscious? Take to social media and let us know by tagging @DCanterwines.