Amarone Food Pairing: What To Eat With This Italian Red Wine

Amarone food pairing is simple when you start with the right dishes. Wine experts recommend pairing this wine with rich meats (e.g., beef and lamb), aged cheeses (e.g., Pecorino), and dark chocolate.

Why do those Amarone food pairing suggestions work so well? The best way to answer that question is to start by understanding the flavors of Amarone wine.

Amarone Food Pairing

What Does Amarone Wine Taste Like?

Amarone is a red wine produced in the Veneto region of Italy. This red wine is known for its full-bodied and rich flavors.

  • Fruit flavors: Amarone exhibits many flavors, often showcasing dark and dried fruits. Common notes include black cherry, plum, fig, raisin, and sometimes even hints of prune. These fruit flavors contribute to the wine’s richness and depth.
  • Alcohol level: Amarone is renowned for its higher alcohol content. Typical alcohol levels can range between 14% and 16% ABV (alcohol by volume). The elevated alcohol content lends warmth and power to the wine, contributing to its full-bodied nature.
  • Acidity: Amarone tends to have moderate to low acidity. This characteristic adds balance and structure to the wine, preventing it from becoming overly heavy or cloying. The acidity in Amarone is usually well-integrated and complements its robust flavors.
  • Body: Amarone is unquestionably a full-bodied wine. It has a luscious and velvety texture that coats the palate. The wine’s high extract, resulting from the appassimento process (where grapes are dried before fermentation), contributes to its full-bodied nature, providing a luxurious mouthfeel.
  • Sweetness: Amarone is made from dried grapes and is generally considered a dry wine. The fermentation process consumes much of the grape sugars, resulting in a not noticeably sweet wine. However, the residual sugar levels can vary among different producers, and some Amarone wines may exhibit a subtle residual sweetness that balances the wine’s bold flavors.
  • Amarone wine’s bold and robust nature pairs exceptionally well with various cheeses, creating delightful flavor combinations. Here are some of the best cheese pairings that complement the distinct characteristics of Amarone:

Amarone Wine With Meat: A Food Wine Match Made In Heaven

Amarone wine’s bold and full-bodied nature makes it an excellent choice for pairing with various meat dishes. Here are some top recommendations for meat dishes that beautifully complement the flavors of Amarone:

1. Braised Beef: The rich and robust flavors of Amarone find a perfect match in slow-cooked, tender braised beef. The wine’s full-bodied character and intense fruitiness harmonize with the savory, melt-in-your-mouth flavors of the beef, creating a luxurious and indulgent pairing.

2. Grilled or Roasted Lamb: Amarone’s depth and complexity make it an exceptional partner for grilled or roasted lamb. The wine’s bold tannins and concentrated fruit flavors cut through the meat’s richness, while its velvety texture and hints of spice complement the lamb’s natural flavors.

3. Game Meats: Amarone’s intense and complex profile pairs exceptionally well with game meats like venison, wild boar, or duck. The wine’s robust structure and deep fruit flavors stand up to the gaminess of these meats, resulting in a harmonious combination of flavors.

4. Osso Buco: This traditional Italian dish featuring braised veal shanks is an excellent match for Amarone. The wine’s rich flavors and tannic backbone complement the tender and succulent meat, while its fruitiness adds depth to the dish’s complex flavors.

When choosing meat dishes to pair with Amarone, opt for rich, flavorful preparations with a substantial texture. These pairings allow the wine’s bold character to shine, creating a memorable and enjoyable dining experience.

Amarone Wine and Cheese Pairings

Put your cheddar down – Amarone wine is better with different cheese. For a night to remember, seek the following specialty cheeses to enjoy with your glass of wine.

1. Aged Parmigiano-Reggiano: The nutty and salty flavors of aged Parmigiano-Reggiano harmonize beautifully with Amarone. The wine’s depth and complexity complement the rich, crystalline texture and intense flavors of the cheese, resulting in a sublime pairing.

2. Pecorino Toscano: This semi-hard Italian sheep’s milk cheese offers a slightly sharper and tangier profile than Parmigiano-Reggiano. Its savory and robust flavors enhance the fruitiness and structure of Amarone, creating a satisfying combination of flavors.

3. Gorgonzola: The creamy, blue-veined Gorgonzola cheese contrasts the powerful tannins and bold fruit flavors of Amarone. The wine’s richness and sweetness are complemented by the cheese’s tangy and pungent notes, resulting in a harmonious balance of flavors.

4. Taleggio: This soft and creamy Italian cheese has a delicate aroma and a mild yet complex flavor. When paired with Amarone, its creamy texture and earthy, mushroom-like flavors complement the wine’s fruitiness, creating an intriguing and well-rounded pairing.

5. Manchego: The firm and buttery Spanish sheep’s milk cheese pairs wonderfully with Amarone. Its nutty and caramel-like flavors complement the wine’s depth, while the cheese’s creamy texture provides a luxurious mouthfeel, enhancing the overall tasting experience.

Amarone Food Pairing: Vegetarian Options

Rich meat dishes are the traditional pairing for a full-bodied red wine like Amarone. For those who prefer vegetarian meals, use the following suggestions.

Wild Mushroom Risotto: The earthy and savory flavors of a wild mushroom risotto complement the fruitiness and depth of Amarone. The creamy texture of the risotto and the wine’s velvety mouthfeel create a harmonious combination. You can substitute dairy products with plant-based alternatives like vegan butter and nut-based cheeses for a vegan option.

Eggplant Parmigiana: This classic Italian dish features layers of breaded and fried eggplant, marinara sauce, and melted cheese. Skip the cheese and make a vegan version using plant-based cheese substitutes or omit it altogether. The dish’s hearty flavors and textures work well with Amarone’s robust profile.

Lentil Stew: A hearty stew seasoned with aromatic herbs and spices can be a satisfying match for Amarone. The wine’s fruitiness and body complement the earthy flavors and heartiness of the lentils. Plus, it’s a vegan-friendly option providing a balanced pairing.

Grilled Portobello Mushrooms: Grilled portobello mushrooms offer a meaty and savory experience that pairs wonderfully with Amarone. The wine’s intense fruit flavors and velvety texture complement the umami-rich flavors of the mushrooms. You can serve them as a main dish or in burgers or sandwiches.

Want To Try A Different Italian Wine?

Italy makes some of the world’s best wines. After you’ve enjoyed an Amarone food pairing, there is plenty more to try. Red wine lovers should try Italian Merlot or an Italian red blend wine. Or maybe you want to compare Italian wine to another variety like Shiraz? I’ve got you covered with this Shiraz vs Chianti wine comparison.

Amarone Food Pairing: What To Eat With This Italian Red Wine
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