REGIONS & OCCASION
- Regions: Valpolicella, north of Verona in Veneto (Italy)
- Occasion: Most people enjoy the Valpolicella blend, it’s a safe option for a dinner party
- Corvina: main grape, adds acidity, cherry notes, and low tannin to wines (45%-95%)
- Rondinella: light, adds aroma and fruit (5%-30%)
- Molinara: used less today, lower quality than the 2 above (5%-25%)
- Valpolicella Classico
- Valpolicella Superiore
- Valpolicella Ripasso
HOW TO SERVE
- Decant: 30 minutes
- 13 – 15 °C (55 – 60 °F)
- Glass type: Burgundy glass
- Provolone (semi-hard cheese)
- Grana Padano (hard cheese, similar to Parmigiano)
VALPOLICELLA CLASSICO versus SUPERIORE
Valpolicella wine comes from the Italian region with the same name which is located in the province of Verona in Veneto. The Valpolicella blend usually includes Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara however can also include Barbera, Sangiovese and Corvinone, the latter used to replace Corvina in some cases.
The usual characteristics of Valpolicella wine include a cherry flavour, slight acidity and bitterness. The intensity of the color of the wine and the cherry flavour increases from Valpolicella Classico to Superiore. Valpolicella Superiore requires at least one year of aging and a minimum alcohol level of 12% while the Classico has a lower alcohol content and can be consumed young without any aging.
WHEN TO CONSUME VALPOLICELLA
Valpolicella can be a good replacement for Beaujolais and is enjoyed by most people. If you are hosting a dinner party and would like to stick to one type of wine and please everyone, then this is great choice. Go for a Superiore (also called Classico Superiore) for a more intense flavor which will go with burgers, pizza and especially well with dishes with tomato sauce.
Valpolicella Ripasso is where we start talking about very good quality. The difference between the other two Valpolicellas is the method in which the Ripasso is made by keeping the Valpolicella Classico wine in contact with the skins (pomace) of the Amarone for a couple of days where a second fermentation takes place. Ripasso is then aged for a couple of years. The resulting wine is quite complex, medium to full body, and rich yet appreciated by many.
Ripasso is also referred to as “baby Amarone” as it is more affordable yet has great value and is produced by most Amarone producers. The alcohol content is also higher in Ripasso than in Valpolicella Classico and Superiore and can be paired with rich dishes consisting of meat and mushrooms.
In the case of the above mentioned dinner party, choose a Ripasso if you want to impress your company and if you are planning a richer meal which can soak up the alcohol content.
Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore, 2018
- Country and region: Italy, Valpolicella, Valpolicella Ripasso
- Producer: Brigaldara
- Blend: 40% Corvinone, 20% Corvina, 20% Rondinella, 20% other
- Alcohol content: 14,5%
- Tasting notes: dried cherry, vanilla, raspberry, oak, spice, medium to full body, velvet tannins, medium acidity