18 Jul 2024
Wine of the Month: One to Woo With
Wine

Wine of the Month: One to Woo With

Valentine’s Day generally means sweet treats and this extends to wine. Matthias Breitsameter presents a vintage that’s not as famous as German sweet or French Sauterne; in fact it’s a secret tip from YLC’s sommelier.

Whether you’re dressed to the nines in one of the city’s romantic restaurants, watching romantic comedies or even indulging in a solitary romantic read, I recommend that you finish your evening with a delicious red.

Whilst Italy is generally known for its dry or sparkling wines, there are some lovely sweet ones to be found on the peninsula. Our choice for February comes from a well-known region in north Italy, Veneto, home to the vineyard regions of Soave, Prosecco and Valpolicella. It’s the latter that holds our hidden gem: the Recioto, the lowest produced of all wines in the region and a real rarity; perfect for that special occasion.

In this region, the most common grape variety is Corvina.  It has the best personal character and is the most planted red grape, outnumbering the other varieties: the Rodinella (more neutral), the Molinara (high acidic content) and the lesser known Negrara, Barbera or Sangiovese. It’s the first 3 varieties that go into making Amarone, Ripasso and our highlight, Recioto wine.

Romantic as it sounds, Recioto gets its names from the Italian slang word for ‘ears’ (orecchio).

In the original production, only the outside grapes on the cluster (the ears) were picked since they had the most ripeness and direct sun. Nowadays, the whole bunch is picked for the production; they are dried on straw mats, a process called appassimento in Italian, and then fermented and oak barrel aged. The fermentation is arrested prematurely to keep the freshness and the fruit characters in the wine and to keep the sweetness, which can reach up to 250 grammes of sugar per litre. Meanwhile the alcohol is kept to only 12%.

This is a delicious sweet red wine and is recommended to drink with chocolate, desserts or mild blue cheeses like Gorgonzola dolce or Bavaria Blue.

The drinking temperature should be slightly chilled (about 14 to 16°C); in other words, pop it in the fridge about an hour before consumption. I recommend chocolate mousse as the ultimate combination, which will melt in your mouth and give you a taste explosion (although I take no responsibility for the consequences that may occur, be it engagement ring or crib).

I choose this wine because it is a good value and doesn´t have to be ordered.

Name: Domini Veneti Recioto della Valpolicella Classico

Grape Variety: Corvina Veronese, Corvinone and Rondinella

Producer: Cantina Valpolicella Negrar

Region: Valpolicella, Veneto, Italy

Alcohol: 12, 5% ABV

Vintage: 2012

Aging: Stainless steel to keep the freshness in the wine and 4 month in the bottle

Importers: Carovin AB

Price: 150 SEK

The colour is dark Bordeaux red and the viscosity is thick syrupy. The aromas are full bodied associated with sour cherries, blueberries, dried plumps, eucalyptus and a bit of tobacco. In the mouth it confirms the sour cherries, because of the nice but low acidity.  It’s a smooth, velvety sweet wine that fills your mouth completely with flavours of chocolate, ripe raspberries, nuts and cherries. The after taste is looooong with over 20 seconds and a hint of tannins in the end to give a bit of a spice at the end.

 

May your Valentine’s Day be full of sweet things!

 

Matthias Breitsameter

Matthias is a sommelier and has spent the last few years traveling around the globe, working in 5 star hotels and Michelin star restaurants. He is passionate about what impact wine has on both food and culture.

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