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1990 Allegrini Recioto della Valpolicella Amarone, Italy, About $30

Although Amarone comes from the same area near Verona as Valpolicella and is made from the same grapes, the two red wines are about as different as Sophia Loren and Julia Roberts. The latter is light and quaffable; the former is deep and profoundly sensual, a wine, as they say, for meditazione. Allegrini’s 1990 is still very much a diva in the making, young and reticent, its power and complexity still somewhat hidden, revealed only in the alluring and haunting scent of black cherries. It’s best as after-dinner wine, fabulous now paired with a great blue cheese such as Roquefort, Bleu d’Auvergne or a creamy Cabrales from Spain.


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