The method of making Italy's Amarone (ah-mah-row-nee) has not
changed much since Pliny the Elder recorded
the method of making a potent red wine from
semidried grapes stored in covered amphorea.
...Italy's Noble Red Wines, Sheldon Wasserman
The Rest of the Story
Amarone is a classic wine made in northern Italy
west of Venice. The wine later disappeared along with
the Roman Empire. A millennium later, Venice became
a great wine trading center. Then, the Turks
cut off supplies from the sea, so northeastern
Italy turned to producing its own wines. High
strength was coveted; hence the tradition of half-drying
the grapes prior to crushing was revived. It
continues today in...
Our Wine of the Day
1995 Amarone Montresor
Producer—The Montresor family moved from
France's Loire Valley to Verona about the time the
Turks were blockading Venice. Their village and
castle still stand today.
Winemaker—Dr. Giuseppe Longo has seen a few
Amarone vintages...he started making Montresor
wines over 30 years ago!
Winemaking—While harvested in 1995, the grapes
were dried on trays until January 1996, when
they were then crushed and the concentrated juice
fermented. (The vintage indicates the year
the grapes are grown, not when they are processed
Reader's Appraisal—The bottle for today's wine
has a frosted, not glossy, finish. Reader Jim
Pompilio wrote me about an Amarone in a frosted
bottle. He didn't have the name, but said "it's
the nectar of the gods!"
Flavors—The name Amarone comes from "amaro,"
the Italian word for "bitter." You may find a
trace of it in the finish, some raisin-port
richness, and intense alcohol. There is no dish
or cheese that can overwhelm a classic Amarone.
Contact in New York City—Christine Deussen, (212) 979-2700, X-258, FAX (212) 979-2869
Here's another way to taste this Amarone. It's
one of 60 wines I'm pouring in my History of Wine
course, S.F. State University, College of Extended
Education, (415) 405-7700, FX (415) 338-7290.
Why didn't we mention the varietals used in
Amarone? They're hardly household names, but
let's do it: Corvina and Rondinella.
Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history
for 30 years on three continents. He currently teaches wine
courses at San Francisco State and San Francisco City College.
In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored Fred
with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded
to American wine writers.