The heart and soul of the wine region, the everyday drink for the everyman, the quotidian quota of red, the tipple of the people. Valpolicella Classico is a drink for all occasions, from the cheeky glass at lunch to the 6pm aperitivo to the second bottle among friends, the true embodiment of democratic wine.

The backbone of this wine is the corvina grape, which must comprise between 45% and 95% of the blend. It’s this grape which provides the trademark bitter cherries flavour for which the wine is so renowned, as well as a good amount of freshness and acidity. The latter is also boosted by the addition of rondinella (5%-30%) and molinara (optional), while corvinone can substitute corvina to a maximum of 50%. Increasingly, international varieties such as merlot and cabernet sauvignon are also incorporated, to a maximum of 25% of the blend. It is corvina that is the star here, however, the main protagonist of wines from rich recioto to these refreshing, lighter offerings.

So think of Valpolicella Classico as the region’s answer to Beaujolais, a summery, properly thirst-quenching light wine, somehow both traditional and modern, rustic and clean, wine to put a smile on your face.

Alcohol: minimum 11%.

Colour: bright, translucent ruby-garnet.

Aroma: bitter cherries, fresh plums, sour red and black berries.

Palate: expect mouthwatering acidity, bursts of fruit and sometimes touches of flinty minerality.

Food Pairing: a dream with cicchetti and antipasti of so many kinds – in addition to all manner of hams and cheeses, it has the acidity to even go with baccalà and some other kinds of fish.

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