Definition - What does Amarone mean?
Amarone [della Valpolicella] is a style of wine made with partially dried grapes from the region of Veneto in Northeast Italy. It is made with the grapes; Corvina, Corvinone and Rondinella. The grapes are harvested and then put through a process called appassimento, where they are traditionally placed on straw mats in an area with good air circulation and left to partially dry over winter.
WineFrog explains Amarone
Amarone is a traditional wine made in the Valpolicella region of Italy which holds a Denominación de Origen Controlada (DOC) status.
The grapes which are picked to make the Amarone style of Valpolicella are harvested in about mid-October from older vines. The later harvest ensures the ripeness of the grapes. Drying the grapes takes up a lot of space and up to about 120 days over the winter period, where they lose up to 30 to 40% of their weight. This drying period concentrates the flavors and sugars. Because of the high sugar content, the resulting wine is around 15% ABV.
This extensive process to make Amarone wine is why it is expensive. A typical bottle will range from $50 to $80 or more.
The signature aromas of Amarone are dried tobacco or cigars and freshly ground black pepper. The taste can be savory, with reminiscent flavors of raisins and plums and a soft tannin structure.
Amarone pairs well with big-flavored dishes like braised beef, steaks, and ribs. For cheeses, pair it with Gorgonzola, Pecorino Vecchio, Cimbro, Danish Blue or Roquefort.