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wines


such as Soave, to the full-flavored, smoky


Amarone, Veneto offers a spectrum of wine flavors unmatched in Italy. Bordeaux-like grape varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc are found here. Corvina grapes also produce several noteworthy wines such as the Bardolino and Valpolicella. Soave is arguably the most famous white wine of


the Veneto, but its reputation has been tarnished by mass-market versions. Soave literally translates to “gentle,” and a few hard-working producers such as ca’ Rugate, do justice to the name. Soave is primarily made from the Garganega grape


with small amounts of Trebbiano, Chardonnay or Pi- not Blanc allowed, as long as Garganega is at least 70 percent of the blend. Soave has a delicate gold col- or with a subtle floral aroma and the light flavor of sweet almond. In 2001, Soave Superiore was awarded DOCG status. Soave makes an excellent alternative to Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc.


AMARONE Amarone is considered one of Italy’s best red wines. To make Amarone, the ripest grapes are selected from each


bunch, and they are spread out on reed mats and left to dry. When fermented to dryness, these super ripe grapes produce a heady, full-flavored wine of 14 to 16 percent alcohol that is velvety and rich with just a hint of sweet- ness. Allowing the wines to “raisinate” produces the higher alcohol percentage and accounts for the slightly sweet, nutty taste. Amarone is an excellent choice for hearty meat and game dishes, and full-flavored cheeses.


VALPOLICELLA Valpolicella is a very important red wine DOC zone located in northeastern Italy’s Veneto region. It is situated between Bardolino and Soave just north of Verona. Valpolicella ranks just after the Chianti DOCG for Italy’s total DOC red wine production. Te wine is made primarily from Corvina, Rondi- nella and Molinara grapes. Valpolicella’s standard DOC wines are rather light, and very fragrant and fruity. Tose labeled “Superiore” have a one percent higher minimum alcohol content and are aged for a minimum of one year. Te best wines are generally those labeled “classico,” which indicates that they come from the inner classico zone with its steeply terraced vineyards.


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