Home > Amarone, Daily Glass, wine > Daily Glass: Amarone (Trader Joe’s Amarone, It Is)

Daily Glass: Amarone (Trader Joe’s Amarone, It Is)

October 22, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

I’m continuing the quest for the best bottle of my favorite wine, Amarone (the concept of the “best bottle” also assumes great QPR). Last time we talked about Le Ragose Amarone, where I had big hopes which didn’t materialize (you can find the post here). This time, let’s talk about Amarone from … Trader Joe’s.

In the last post I told you about my discovery of value wines at Trader Joe’s in Massachusetts. Value Cabernet Sauvignon or Chardonnay – of course. But value Amarone? Until now, my idea of value Amarone was Valpolicella Ripasso, the wine made by running juice through leftover grape skins after actual Amarone was already pressed. In general, good Amarone are hard to find for under $40, and typical range is $60 – $100 in a good wine store. And when it comes to price, same as for any other wines, the sky is the limit – the amazing Masi Amarone I mentioned in the post about Wolrdwide Tasting, would cost you about $150 (good luck finding it), and Giuseppe Quintarelli Amarone would set you back by about $350 (however, I found some rave reviews saying that this wine worth every penny).

Now forget everything I told you about the prices. Here are two examples that don’t fit into the ranges I mentioned before, thanks to Trader Joe’s. First, 2007 Pasqua Amarone, $18.99 in Trader Joe’s. While lacking traditional Amarone nose of juicy raisins, this wine exhibited power and balance. Lots of dark fruit, some coffee notes, hint of earthiness,  good acidity – very enjoyable wine. Drinkability: 7+.

I liked 2008 Valpantena Amarone Conte di Bergonzo ($16.99) even more. Bright dark fruit, some jammy notes supported by overall balance, minerality and good acidity – great all around package – very drinkable and leaving you craving for more. And QPR? At $16.99, do I need to even bother? Yep, I thought so. Drinkability: 8-.

Just to conclude – yes, Trader Joe’s is a place for great value wines. Even more importantly, it is a place for excellent Amarone with amazing QPR.

What are you waiting for? Have you being to Trader Joe’s wine department already? You owe it to yourself to find nearest Trader Joe’s with the wine section in it, and go enjoy it yourself – you can thank me later. Cheers!

  1. Emil
    October 22, 2011 at 8:16 am

    This is, apparently, much easier than I thought. Union Square Trader Joe’s has a wine shop, as it turns out. Granted, it’s a stand alone shop, still it is Trader Joe’s and should have the same selection as all the others. I will try to visit next time I am in NYC. Might even double down and pop into Eataly’s wine shop a few blocks away. Astor wines and Moore Bros. are nearby too… Throw in lunch at Casa Mono and dinner at La Pizza Fresca and you got a perfect day out 🙂

    • talkavino
      October 22, 2011 at 8:27 am

      Sounds interesting, even though four wine shops with lunch and dinner might sound a bit single-focused for the City 🙂

  2. Julia
    August 21, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    I must confess, I know very little to nothing about wines, but I have also had an Amarone “experience”. I was at a great Italian restaurant in San Diego last week with a friend who turned away the first bottle of wine that was brought to the table. The next wine was brought to the table when I had left for a moment to say hello to some other friends that were already seated at a nearby table. When I returned to my table, the new wine had been opened and poured. The scent arising from the table was intoxicating! It was exceptional in all of the ways you described, and what made it even more exceptional was that is was just as good with the cheese tray as with each meal ordered at our table and even with our desserts! Unfortunately we were well into the second bottle before I thought, “I need to know what this wine is!”…so my recollections of what the label looked like are a little fuzzy. However, I remembered that it was an Amarone, because it sounded a little like amore (love), which I was in with this wine! I contacted the restaurant who took a picture of the 4 Amarone’s they had in the restaurant, but none of the labels looked familiar. The following week was my parent’s 50th wedding anniversary, so I thought nothing about getting a bottle of Amarone at each of the restaurants we ate at that weekend. None of them compared. I got online and did an image search of Amarone to see if any looked familiar. I came to the same label as in your original post as well as another one, both of which I have on order. This has become a mission for me as well…to repeat that Amarone experience. Because I drink wine so infrequently, the price is not as much of an issue (though the $350 bottle is unlikely). Please think of me and respond if you ever find that unforgettable wine.

    • talkavino
      August 21, 2012 at 6:42 pm

      Thank you very much for stopping by and for your comment! Based on my recent experiences and my search, Amarone is probably one of the hardest to find wines when you are looking to replicate the magical experience. Ever since my “wow” experience with Le Ragose 1997, I kept looking for for that “wow” moment. I was able to find it only once, with the 2001 Masi Mazzano Classico for the image, please scroll through this post: https://talk-a-vino.com/2011/09/30/wine-experiences-from-canadian-riesling-to-cult-californian-and-beyond/. You might be able to find this wine for about $150 or less. And I just have to mention – if money are not an issue, then you can look at Giuseppe Quintarelli Amarone – it exceeds your I-will-Not-spend-that-much limit twice, but it is supposed to be absolutely amazing (never tried that).

      I will actually even write a short blog post on the subject, as it is near and dear to my heart 🙂 Good luck with your search and please share your stories!

  3. Wino
    November 1, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    If you’re looking for Amarone that is exceptional and not too expensive, it’s pretty much impossible to beat the 2005 Ca La Bionda Amarone Della Valpolicella Ravazzol.

    • talkavino
      November 1, 2012 at 2:47 pm

      thank you very much for the comment and for recommendation. It seems that Amarone which you are suggesting is not easy to find in US, and I didn’t see any stores offering 2005 vintage – but I will keep on lookout for this one.

  4. Wino
    November 1, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    talkavino :
    thank you very much for the comment and for recommendation. It seems that Amarone which you are suggesting is not easy to find in US, and I didn’t see any stores offering 2005 vintage – but I will keep on lookout for this one.

    Your welcome. It is not easy to find unfortunately. The producer is one of the best in the world and their Amarone is of exceptional quality. If you can’t find the 2005 then I would recommend the 2007 which should be in better supply than the 2005. If you can’t find that, then go with any year they are currently offering. The fact is, you can’t go wrong with this producer.

    I don’t know where in the US you are, but you should be able to find it in any of the Moore Brothers stores in New York City, New Jersey, and Delaware.

    • talkavino
      November 1, 2012 at 5:48 pm

      Thank you again – I will definitely look for it.

  5. September 10, 2014 at 11:29 pm

    Reblogged this on The Trader Joes Experience and commented:
    2008 Valpantena Amarone Conte di Bergonzo is my wine. I know shopping for wine at Trader Joe’s really gives you “bang for your $4.99” & it becomes easy to find a cheap wine you like [ Cocobon 😉 ] and stick with it. But don’t let this price tag shirk you from the purchase! This wine is worth well over $30 elsewhere.
    ⁂ Excellent Coice ⁂

  1. April 18, 2012 at 8:19 pm
  2. August 21, 2012 at 7:42 pm
  3. September 18, 2012 at 10:17 pm
  4. January 5, 2014 at 12:16 pm

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