Amarone - Aging and drinking

Before an Amarone can be sold it has to age for at least 2 years on wood, but many wineries willingly store the wine for 5 years according to older regulations. After this Amarone can age for quite a bit longer in which the taste changes from full fruit to a more deep and slightly bitter taste with a velvet finish. Whether Amarone is drunk young or old is a matter of taste (or mood).

An Amarone from a good vintage and winery can age for 20 years easily and sometimes even longer. But be careful with lesser vintages (like the 2002), these cannot age well and should be drunk when they are still young, which is between 5 and 7 years.

When a wine will be cellared longer than 5 years it is advised to store the wine in a dark environment at a steady temperature, preferably around 17°C or 62°F, but room temperature (between 15°C / 59°F and 22°C / 72°F) will do as well.

Decantation:
Before a bottle of Amarone can be drunk it is best to be decanted using a decanter. A decanter is a glass jug that is wider at the bottom than at the top. The wide bottom ensures that a large part of the wine is in direct contact with the air. This process brings out the flavors better and breaks down tannins, making wine softer and more enjoyable to drink. How to do this and how long before drinking this must happen depends on the age of the wine. For a young wine (7 till 10 years old) you can pour the wine in fast to ensure that the wine comes into contact with air as much as possible. After this you can best wait for about 2 hours before drinking the wine. For an older wine (20 years and more) it is better to put the bottle standing a day before drinking it to enable the grape residue to sink down. Then when decanting the wine make sure to use a decanting glass with limited space (as much space as the wine itself has or slightly more) and pour the wine slowly in it to avoid too much contact with air. With older wines too much air can break down the taste. Taste the wine after half an hour of decanting it, if the flavors still don't come out, leave it for one or two hours.

Always make sure to serve Amarone at the right temperature (cool it down for 30 minutes in the fridge when needed). Too hot or too cool wine can really destroy the taste. The best temperature to serve an Amarone is between 18°C and 20°C or 64°F and 68°F.


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