Yes, our latest Trader Joe’s find is a food wine and that’s a wonderful thing.
70% Corvina, 20% Rondinella and 10% Molinara from Valpolicella, Veneto, Italy. The wine is made in the Ripasso style where the the wine is fermented with the leftover dried grape skins from production of Amarone. It is then aged for 8 months in oak barriques and has 9.8 g/L of residual sugar.
In the US, the Pasqua Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore is available exclusively at Trader Joe’s and sells for around $8.99. Readers in other location can search for retailers selling the wine here. Imported by Latitude Wines.
From the bottle:
This wine is obtained from the “Ripasso” technique, a secondary fermentation of the wine on the dried skins of the grapes already used to make appassimento wines. Aged in oak barrels for 8 months before being bottled. A full-bodied wine, with an intense bouquet of wild cherries and redcurrant, well recommended for roast meat and mature cheese. Serve at 18-20C.
Since when did calling a wine a “food wine” become a bad thing? I mean, shouldn’t every wine be good with food? If anything, it seems like the opposite – a wine that is only good on its own – should be the recipient of the snide remarks. In any case, today’s wine is a wonderful one to pair with food and we’re very glad about that. Afterall, if you’re eating Italian food without wine you’re doing it all wrong!
The 2015 Pasqua Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore begins with a pleasing aroma of blackberry, plum and spice with a bit of a raisiny note and a touch of vanilla. Tasting reveals a medium-bodied, smooth and easy to drink wine that went wonderfully with our meat lovers pizza. A round mouthfeel, sweet red fruit tinged with spice and soft tannins lead into the dry, lingering finish. It’s a really nice example of a Ripasso wine at such a low price and a perennial favorite at Trader Joe’s.
As mentioned above, this wine is made in the Ripasso style, a process that has become quite popular in Valpolicella wines. Typically grapes are dried for many weeks allowing the sugars to concentrate and become more powerful. These dried grapes are used to make Amarone wines but then the leftover grape pomace is effectively recycled by re-fermenting it with standard Valpolicella wine. The goal is to add depth and complexity to a wine that is normally quite light-bodied (think Beaujolais Nouveau). To get the Superiore designation like today’s wine, the wine must also be aged at least one year.
Looking for more of The Best Wines from Trader Joe’s? Click the pic below to check our giant listing along with tips and tricks for shopping the store!