Sforzato…Gesundheit! It’s Not a Sound, Sforzato is a Great Italian Wine!

If Amarone and Barolo had a baby it would be Sforzato.  Sforzato is an Italian Red Wine made from the Nebbiolo grape and is from Valtellina.  Valtellina is located in the Lombardia region of Italy.  Just a quick review:  Amarone is an Italian red wine known as “Passito wine” which is created from the Appassimento method.

Appassimento is a winemaking method where the grapes are laid out to dry to about 33% of their original water weight so that the remaining flavors are super concentrated.

Now, in Valtellina the main grape is Chiavennasca which is the local name for Nebbiolo.   Sforzato is named so because it goes through the “Sfursat” process which is pretty much the same process as Appassimento.

If you took all the characteristics of Amarone and Barolo you’d have Sforzato.  Sforzato has flavors of dried cherries, dried roses, baking spice, tobacco, pepper with hints of toasted oak and is wonderfully rich and full-bodied.

Since Sforzato is a powerful wine it should be paired with equally powerful foods:  strong cheese, roasted meats, grilled meats, stews or any rich foods.  It’s very important when pairing wine with food that you make sure the food is up to the challenge.  If the wine is strong and the food is light, the wine pairing will go very badly and overpower the food.

Wine Recommendation:  Nino Negri Sforzato di Valtellina 5 Stelle 2004

Sforzato Food Pairing Suggestions:

  • Roasted Lamb
  • Grilled Ribeye
  • Blue Cheeses
  • Gorgonzola
  • Fontal Cheese
  • Truffles and Polenta

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