Je t’amarone.

Wine: Amarone della Valpolicella
Winemaker: Raimondi
Vintage: 2004
Grape: blend
Region: Gargagano, Italy

Jason and I like our VD to ooze red hot. Thankfully, we had the perfect meal to do just that. In fact, it wasn’t just red and hot. It was sweet, steamy, and spicy too. We kicked things off with Giada’s bruschetta topped with gorgonzola and drizzled honey. It turns out that this little amuse bouche was pretty much begging for Amarone.

We only bring out the Amarone for the most special of occasions (ie The last time we had it was November 2008 when we fondly renamed it Obamarone). Amarone gets that kind of special treatment because it is special. Made from drying or dried grapes, it has the potent, ripe, raisiny taste you might expect. The fact that you can only squeeze a drop or two of juice out of each grape begins to explain why it’s going to cost you (btw- we are so grateful to have had this one waiting in the wine vault courtesy of Mike and Little Debarone). I would say this one is a little tarter than what I remember of the Obamarone, but it certainly retains all of the telltale signs of an Amarone that make you want to savor every little drop.

Anywho, I digest.  I meant to tell you about the meal.  Cioppino.  It’s kinda like fancy Italian ramen filled with seafood.  The last time we had cioppino was during our honeymoon in glorious Hana, Hawaii.  It’s not a simple meal, so we were reflecting tonight about how awesome we were back then to have made it in a 50% kitchen with ingredients from Hana’s charming flea market of a grocery store.  That night we paired it with a Clos Pegas pinot that we both remembered as being dynamite from our visit to the winery in Napa.   The other thing I remember about that night was how we finished the bottle sitting on our lanai staring at the full, blue Hawaiian moon suspended over our black sand beach.  Tonight is different.  It’s February in Wisconsin, so as we wrap up dinner, we’re thinking cozy pants and a movie.

A parting thought.  The inscription on this bottle reads “Love you most.”  Little Debarone wrote that long before she knew our first dance at our wedding would be Jon Troast’s “Love you the Most.”  Weirder still is the fact that as I was typing this post, that’s the one song that randomly popped up on my itunes out of 3,618.  Our friend Shawn says that there are no coincidences.  Our friend Shawn might be smarter than he looks.

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