2009 Taste the Difference Amarone, Veneto, Italy (£15.89, Sainsbury's).
When I host my Quintessentially wine masterclasses and other events, the most mentioned style of big red wine that keen wine lovers seem to adore is Amarone. This style hails from the Veneto region of northern Italy and it involves partially drying bunches of grapes in order to evaporate water (often 40% of the weight of the bunch) and increase sugar. This results in a strong, lusty, often high alcohol red wine with a touch of sweetness lurking on the finish heaven.
The problem is that the word Amarone alone is no guarantee of quality after all, it is just the name of a winemaking process and there are shockers out there, often with huge price tags, masquerading as sumptuous and true versions of this mystical style of mighty red wine.
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I am ultra-fussy when it comes to this noble creation and I tend to stick to a very short list of trusted wineries, so I was shocked to find this exceptional version on the high street. Made by expert co-op Valpantena, this is a superbly flashy wine and it is much richer and more brooding than the competition. In these cold winter months, this is the red to cuddle up on the sofa with!
Matthew Jukes is a winner of the International Wine & Spirit Competition's Communicator of the Year (www.matthewjukes.com).
Matthew Jukes has worked in the UK wine business for well over three decades and during this time has written 14 wine books.
Matthew regularly lectures, judges, speaks at wine conferences and runs masterclass tastings for both corporate and private clients all over the world. Matthew is also the creator of his ground-breaking initiative, the One Day Wine School, an indulgent day of tasting and learning first performed in 2006.
He has been the MoneyWeek wine correspondent since 2006 and has written a weekly column for the Daily Mail’s Weekend Magazine since 1999. His four highly-acclaimed, annual wine reports – the Burgundy En Primeur Report, the Bordeaux En Primeur Report, the Piemonte Report and the 100 Best Australian Wines – are published on his website, www.matthewjukes.com.
Matthew is one of the world’s leading experts on Australian wine and, with Brisbane-based wine writer Tyson Stelzer, runs an annual competition in Australia to find ‘The Great Australian Red’. He was made Honorary Australian of the Year in the UK at the 2012 Australia Day Foundation Gala dinner.
Matthew is a winner of the International Wine and Spirit Competition's Communicator of the Year Trophy. His thoughts, recommendations and tastings notes are followed very closely by the wine world at large.
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