What is Recioto wine?

Answered by Christopher Steppe

Recioto is a term used in Italy to describe wines that are made from dried grapes. The process of making Recioto wine involves picking the grapes when they are fully ripe and then allowing them to dry out, or “raisin,” before fermentation begins. This method of winemaking is known as appassimento.

The appassimento process is crucial in the production of Recioto wines as it concentrates the flavors and sugars in the grapes. The grapes are typically laid out on straw mats or hung in well-ventilated rooms to dry for several months. During this time, the grapes lose moisture and become partially dehydrated, resulting in a higher concentration of sugars and flavors.

Once the grapes have reached the desired level of dehydration, they are pressed, and the is fermented. The high sugar content in the grapes leads to a longer and slower fermentation process, resulting in a sweeter and more full-bodied wine.

Recioto wines are known for their rich and intense flavors. They often exhibit characteristics of dried fruit, such as raisins, figs, and prunes. The sweetness of the wine is balanced by a good level of acidity, which prevents it from becoming cloying.

One of the most famous examples of a Recioto wine is Recioto della Valpolicella, which is produced in the Veneto region of Italy. This wine is made from the same grape varieties used to produce Amarone, another style of wine made using the appassimento method. However, while Amarone is fermented to dryness, Recioto della Valpolicella is left with a residual sweetness.

Recioto wines are often enjoyed as dessert wines due to their sweetness. They pair well with a variety of desserts, such as chocolate-based dishes, dried fruit, and aged cheeses. The sweetness of the wine also makes it a great accompaniment to foie gras or blue cheese.

Recioto wine is a type of Italian wine made from dried grapes. The appassimento process used in its production results in a wine with concentrated flavors and higher sugar content. Recioto wines are known for their richness and sweetness, making them a popular choice for dessert pairings.