My fair Verona - wine districts

Last week I had the opportunity to travel around two of the most famous Italian wine regions, both located near the city of Verona (yes, the city of Romeo and Juliet).
The Valpolicella region is located at the north of the city of Verona, and produces world renowned Reds like Amarone, Valpolicella Classico, Superiore. Its produces a White called Soave and also the Red Recioto desert wine.
Valpolicella has been for millennia a wine region, as a matter of fact, "Vallis-Polis-Cellae" is Latin for valley with many cellars, meaning since Roman times that wine has been produced there.
Now-a-days, this wine district is more famous for the Amarone wine than for its Valpolicella Classic Reds. Amarone is a very peculiar Red, it is not a every day consumption wine, still amazing.
The story behind this wine is just like any lucky strike moment.  Someone forgot in a baric the Recioto sweet wine for years and once opened the wine changed colour, aroma and taste.
All wines from this region are produced from the grapes: Corvina, Corvinone, Rondinella, Oseleta e Negrar. The differences between the various sorts of wines vary from aging to fermentation technics.
Amarone (bitter good), is a Red wine, full body normally 16° alcohol. It is usually an expensive wine, thus if you came across an Amarone that under €30 a bottle it’s a fake. Prices can reach €200 or more, pay attention to the DOC or DOCG label for authenticity.
In my humble opinion, wines like this must be considered precious and enjoyed in special moments, both with food (red meats, cheese) or also for meditation.

Oh, in Italy, it is considered very rude to open a bottle of Amarone alone. To be opened with close family and friends.
The other region, just next door to Valpolicella is Bardolino Wine district left of Verona by the Garda Lake (Italy’s biggest lake).
This incredible beautiful area produces Bardolino Reds (Rondinella and Corvina grapes), the famous Rose Chiaretto and the White Custoza.
There are many cellars that are open to the public, where you can enjoy wine tasting, talk with the producers, visit the vineyards, learn about wine in the museum and of course purchase directly the wine at very reasonable prices before it enters the market mark-up.
So, my suggestion, next time that you pay a visit to northern Italy, pass through this wines districts enjoy history, taste and take some nice bottle home with you.
Bon Apetit,
Chef Gourmet Du Art

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