Duck, Amarone and the Zeni wine museum

When scanning through the list of wines I have in my Liebherrs looking for a match for confit duck, I really had in mind a Pinot Noir, Beaujolais or Riesling.  I also fancied that a top Alsace Pinot Gris with good acidity might fit the bill, but I knew I had no such thing.  However, I stopped when I found this Amarone as I thought it would be worth a punt.  I was pleased with myself for being so imaginative – then a bit miffed to find Google telling me that Amarone is quite commonly paired with duck.  I had no idea.

What a match I thought I had discovered!  It is quite rare these days that I am so wowed by a particular wine-food combination.  The hefty body of the wine matched the weight of the duck pound for pound, the intense fruit aromas worked as a cherry sauce for the simply reheated confit duck, and the marked acidity and astringency refreshed the palate admirably.  Here’s my tasting note:

Vigne Alte, Amarone della Valpolicella Classico, Zeni, Museo del Vino, 2004:  Medium garnet.  Intense deep cherries and spice, with a touch of maturity on the nose that came out even stronger on the palate.  There was also an edginess to the nose – it was not soft and round.  On the palate, medium high acidity, and sweet fruit.  More astringent than most wines I drink, but not harsh.  Excellent length, with fruity spicy finish.  The wine carries the 15% alcohol well.  Good now, but I think this might continue to improve for several years.  In all aspects this goes well with confit duck.  The Euro equivalent of £14.00 direct from the producer in 2008, and I see Tanner’s are now selling the 2007 for around £30.  *****

I am not sure why it says “Museo del Vino” on the label, but sure enough Zeni do have a museum at their premises just outside Bardolino on Lake Garda.  Here is an exciting grape drying rack in the museum.
Seriously though, I remember it as being more informative than most wine museums and it is well worth a visit if you are in the area.  They also have a large tasting area in the same building. A prior appointment is certainly not necessary, and when we were there I seem to remember the cheaper wines were free and self-service from a machine, whilst there was a modest fee for the better wines like this Amorone.

Hmm… maybe they put “Museo del Vino” on the label to get some free publicity.

About Steve Slatcher

Wine enthusiast and software engineer
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