O thou invisible spirit of wine, if thou hast no name to be known by, let us call thee devil. – William Shakespeare.
I’m going to level with you: I went to Medicine last night for a couple of drinks. I ended up face down on the ground after breaking into Founders and chucking my guts up. So when the editor of The Founder called me this morning and said: “Hey mate, we need your wine column,” the very thought of booze made me want to curl up and die. But orders are orders: we must soldier on. You will forgive my brevity, I feel horrendous. Anyway, let’s do this, bitches. In last week’s edition we did the big bad boy of Bordeaux (BBBB) – Chateauneuf du Pape. This week, I want to introduce you to the intoxicating, invigorating Italian red: Amarone Della Valpolicella. The name itself warrants drinking. I cannot express enough my love for this one. It really is Chateauneuf’s Italian counterpart- but 5 times better and stronger.
Amarone is a whopping 15%. The grapes are left for days in the sun so they become dry as a crisp, but in turn raise the alcohol content. Chug a bottle of this at dinner too quickly and expect mummy or daddy to do the old lean across the table: “Come on, I think you’ve had enough now”. Christ that brings back memories. However, the alcohol is of such a stellar quality that you will feel nothing except a warm oozing sensation of loveliness as you slowly teeter towards oblivion and beyond. Again, head down to Tesco to grab this one. Alternatively, you can find it online.
This is once again a tad on the expensive side. Next issue (when we’ve all blown our student loans) I’ll be looking at some wines, which are more around the £5-7 mark. But this is a wine to be shared. You can’t drink it by yourself. It’s far too fucking good. So- this Intoxicating, Invigorating Italian Red or IIIR, comes in at £15. I know it’s quite dear, but WOOF BITCHES! Do it. Or split it amongst three of you for £5 each. That’s bloody worth it- fuck the VK bar (queue was horrendous on Tuesday) and buy yourself a bottle of this. Students, don’t forget: it’s 15%, so packs the proverbial punch. Now, what can we expect? Let’s have a gander. Serve it at room temperature, or you’ll ruin it forever. The vintage at Tesco is currently 2008, and delicious.
It’s powerful and thick on the nose. Immediately you are struck by warmth and maturity. It’s thick, almost globular, in it’s viscosity, and a dark seductive ruby colour. I’d open this and leave it for a couple of hours to really get some oxygen into it before drinking. On the nose and palate you’ll experience how heavy and full-bodied Amarone is. Cherry, chocolate and coffee dominate the palate, with a lace and scent of blackberries poking through. Really give it a swirl in the mouth and let it dominate. Note how supple the texture is and how well it sits after you swallow. Try and taste the chocolate and vanilla that pokes through, as well as a very subtle floral element, which works in a delicious synergy. Truly, it’s an impressive and big wine. Try it, buy it, because I doubt many of us will be able to afford it in a restaurant. The fuckers will rob you blind! As I said don’t drink it too quickly… but you do only have so much time to live when wine is in your glass.