Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Wine-O Wednesday: Cesari Amarone

Last week I had the good fortune to head to Ocean in Birmingham for a fabulous meal.  Awesome seafood - which totally does not go with the wine we paired with it, but honestly when you order a really good wine... who the hell cares?

We were looking for a bottle of Zinfandel that was no longer available, and the waiter suggested we take a look at an Amarone.  My ears perked up!  Let's .be serious, they perk up with any mention of wine... but especially one I've only had a handful of times and first in Italy.

I was introduced to Amarone by my very wonderful bestest bestie of the best, Theresa, who lives in Italy and is all things fabulous.  [And just married a hottie local Italian Stallion who is the sweetest man ever, and makes some ridiculous ridic risotto... and drives a vespa...  Besides the point...] I visited her in Verona a little over a year ago and one of the fun things we did was go on an awesome winery tour of a local vineyard where they make all their wine in an underground cave,  Zýmē.  Ok, ok, that link is in Italian.  V
oglio vino dio bon!  Literally my only Italian language take-away... Babblefish it. 

Zýmē in Verona, Italy

I too always forget monstrous bottles of vino in 
wall-nooks in my hobbit-home.

I smuggled back some of this amazing olive oil 
they make there too!

Enough wine for at least a week!
Side note: T is the middle hottie
One each, please!
I smuggled the mix of all their babies (graffiti Kairos one) and the second from the right- the Valpolicella Classica. Amarone was not in this gringo's price range after the damage I did to their meat and cheese industry.  And by "their," I mean Italy proper
Still waiting to drink the Kairos- occasions never seem special enough to toast to Theresa and her tour guide hubs, Andrea!

But back to this bottle: Cesari, Amarone della Valpolicella Classico, Veneto ‘07

91 Points
If you don't know about this amazing style of wine, it's a super intense flavor similar to a Zinfandel, made from dried grapes in the Valpolicella region in Veneto, a north-Eastern part of Italy.  The grapes are dried between 3 weeks and 3 months, then pressed and aged in barrels for at least 2 years.  

I stole this from the website, obvi: "Amarone della Valpolicella Classico wines are rich, red amarone wines from the traditional classico viticultural zone of Valpolicella in Veneto, north-Eastern Italy.One of Veneto's most famous and prestigious wines, Amarone della Valpolicella has played a vital part in boosting the region's status in the wine world ... The early amorone wines were seen as mistakes – reciotos left to ferment for too long – but eventually the style gained recognition and respect.  Amorone comes from the Italian word amaro (bitter), completed with the –one suffix which denotes impressive size or volume.  When compared to the sweet recioto which the early amarones were supposed to be, it’s a logical translation."
It was just great.  It's so intense, so rich and fruity.  Some very earthy tones that the waiter described as tobacco leaves, but that seemed like a stretch - pretty sure it was just a Birminghamian southern addition.  Regardless, if you like big and bold with a lingering finish and a fully velvet mouth-feel (that will never seem appropriate), definitely give this bad boy a chance.

Or go visit my bestie Theresa in Verona; she'll give you the good stuff.  :)


  1. This looks delicious! I love a good Zinfandel!


    1. Definitely give it a try! They're so worth it!


Gimme some love!