Trader Joe’s exclusive – 2017 Beretta Amarone Della Valpolicella


Regular readers know that one of the prerequisites

of any wine featured on this site is availability. 

I have never understood why any reviewer would laud/gush about/fawn over

a wine that can’t be found. 


What’s the point?


We’ve consistently focused on wines that are available at a number of outlets,

either at conventional retail locations, online wine merchants or (usually) both.  


This week, we’re departing somewhat from the formula. 

We’re highlighting a wine that is available at only one location.   

But when I tasted it, I thought it was too good to pass up…

and worthy of bending the rules. 

Basic RGB

It’s Wine Thursday! 

Again, regular readers know the drill.   

This is where we highlight a good wine that sells at a reasonable price

and is easy to find at brick-and-mortar stores and online.   


You won’t find this week’s wine online. 

You won’t find it at any store other than Trader Joe’s. 

But since there are 564 Trader Joe’s in the U.S.,

you should be able to source it wherever you live. 




Where it’s from

Jump in your Fiat, drive about an hour west of Venice, 

and you’ll find yourself in the Veneto wine region.

Veneto includes a series of scenic vineyards set at the foot of the Dolomites.   

Veneto’s most popular product?  No question.  It’s Prosecco.

But Veneto is also known for a unique, intense red wine, Amarone.


What it is

If you buy into the long-held wine fable,

Amarone is the result of a happy accident. 


The story took place many years ago.

A Veneto winemaker harvested grapes, placed them in a barrel,

then forgot about the barrel for several months. 

The neglected wine fermented much longer than usual. 

The winemaker eventually stumbled across

the long-lost barrel, tasted the juice, loved its

stronger, drier, more powerful flavors and

figured he might be on to something.

He tried it again next vintage, i.e., allowed the grapes

to ferment much longer than normal and he

duplicated his success. 

The process has been repeated in the Veneto region ever since.

That’s the legend of Amarone. 


Wine lovers covet Amarone for its concentration and intensity. 

While Beretta’s version doesn’t have the deep, robust flavors

you’ll find in high-end Amarone, it sells for a fraction of the price. 

With signature notes of ripe berries, hazelnuts and cocoa,

Beretta’s 2017 is a terrific entry-level example of this wonderful wine.


Another unique aspect of this specific Amarone,

while it is high in alcohol content (15% ABV),  

there’s hardly any sweetness.  Instead, it’s dry, well-balanced

and exceptionally smooth. 


A fantastic food wine, Amarone pairs well

with red meat, Parmigiano Reggiano and chocolate.


Where to find it

Beretta’s 2017 Amarone Della Valpolicella can be found

at one place and one place only:  Trader Joe’s. 

The price is $23.99.