A Wine Book Review: Amarone Confidential – Everything You Should Know About Valpolicella Wines

Amarone Confidential is an e-book written by Elisabetta Tosi that gives you a local’s perspective on Valpolicella, its wine and Amarone in particular. Elisabetta tells the story of Amarone by first introducing you to Valpolicella – the place where Amarone is made. Valpolicella is also where Elisabetta lives, so her account is firsthand. And the question and answer format of her book makes it easy to read and understand. We received a free copy of Amarone Confidential – Everything You Should Know About Valpolicella Wines for review. 

Amarone Confidential featured photo of book cover
Amarone Confidential featured photo

Elisabetta Tosi is an independent journalist who has written for national Italian newspapers, online wine publications in Italy and beyond. And she has won awards for her work. She is a digital communicator, press office journalist, consultant and marketer for wineries. She holds a degree in Philosophy from the University of Padua.

Amarone is undeniably the focus of Amarone Confidential, but before she gets to Amarone, Elisabetta introduces you to Valpolicella, which will help you understand Amarone. The book’s question and answer format gives you information in small amounts so you won’t feel overwhelmed by details. Reading Amarone Confidential is like having a conversation about wine with a friend – a knowledgeable friend who has actually visited Valpolicella’s vineyards and wine cellars to see how the wine is made. Elisabetta’s voice is very much that of a local person sharing first-hand knowledge.

The e-book is divided into five chapters. Amarone Confidential begins with background information about the Valpolicella region: its location, how grapes are grown, how wines are made, its history. Elisabetta explains the difference between Valpolicella, Valpolicella Classico and Valpolicella Superior. She goes on to answer questions about wine styles, food pairings and ageability. Her explanations are straight forward and easy to understand. 

Next, Amarone Confidential moves on to Valpolicella Ripasso before diving on to the details of Amarone della Valpolicella and finally Recioto della Valpolicella. Each chapter includes more information because the winemaking techniques and the wines are more complex. In this way the information you need to understand increases gradually, rather than overwhelming you with too much information initially. Where there are multiple “answers” or points of view, Elisabetta shares them in a very understandable way.

You will notice questions about grape varieties, winemaking techniques, alcohol levels, food pairings, origins of names and history are asked about each wine with answers for each particular wine. In this way, you understand how each wine is unique and what binds them together.

The final chapter is “A Sip of Valpolicella History” and in parenthesis Elisabetta adds “a few curiosities”. The questions asked and answered are wide ranging (and includes a grape fable, unknown wines in Valpolicella and honorary knighthood). It’s very enjoyable reading. 

Because Amarone Confidential – Everything You Should Know About Valpolicella Wines is about a very specific wine topic, it will appeal to someone with a bit of wine knowledge who wants to build on that basic knowledge. Someone who has come across wines of the region and wants to understand what the labels mean, what the wines are like and how they are made will find Amarone Confidential valuable.

The photos are beautiful and the Amarone vintage chart is informative. Also helpful to the reader are lots of links between various parts of the e-book and to external websites. And at the end of the book every section of each chapter is linked by the question so the reader can get to the exact question they want answered. Amarone Confidential is a fun and informative read.

Amarone Confidential – Everything You Should Know About Valpolicella Wines is available for purchase on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. The .pdf version of the e-book I received was 86 pages long. Amazon lists the Kindle version at 102 pages. Either way, you will find Amarone Confidential is a quick read and an informative reference. 

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