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
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