Ripasso: The Little Brother You’ve Got a Shot With….


They actually make wine in Boston. They taste rather deflated. AFC Joke! HahahahahahahaIhateTomBradysomuch…

I know I’ve been away for a bit. But I’ve been pretty busy! Basically eating rotisserie chickens out of the container while Googling which weddings in the Maroon 5 “Sugar” video were real. Its a part of the creative process. Like how Don Draper goes to the movies and emotionally tortures various women to stoke his right brain. But at some point, we all got to get back to work. Sterling Cooper waitresses and various supportive relatives are counting on me!

This is my second installment of the Heard it Through the Grapevine Series, which is a look at wines that utilize dried grapes. And while there are quite a few of them from around the world, we started with the Mack Daddy of them all, Amarone. Today’s wine is from the same part of the Veneto in Italy- Ripasso della Valpolicella.

Ripasso is basically the Casey Affleck to Ben Affleck’s Amarone. And yes, Ben Affleck is a compulsive gambling man whore, but I saw that animal cracker scene from Armageddon during a pivotal point in puberty and I’m really into Mallrats, so Ben > Casey.

So how is Ripaaaaaaaso like these two Bostonian brothers? (See what I did there?) Ripasso is an Italian word meaning “review”. As in, “Gigli got terrible ripassos, driving JLo and Ben Affleck apart.” Actually, no. It means review in, like, “Jennifer Garner is currently ripasso-ing the terms of her pre-nuptiual agreement.”

As you now know from my expert explanation, Amarone is made by drying out the grapes before fermentation, resulting in raisiny flavor profile. The ripasso method takes the pulpy mass of dried skins after the Amarone fermentaion, and throws it in with traditional Valpolicella, the blend of grapes used in “base” Amarone. By letting it saturate it with a little of that yum yum dankiness, it takes on some of that bold raisin and toffee profile. Kinda like when you thought hanging out with the popular girls in high school would somehow make you a size zero blonde. But then you realized you were doing all their Literature homework and your cystic acne was only getting worse. But, this actually works!

The best thing, its way cheaper than Amarone! So its like getting Ben Affleck but for Casey Affleck money! Well, its like getting Casey Affleck for Casey Affleck money. Gone Baby Gone instead of Gone Girl. Whoa. I just realized that. Poor Casey, man. Eli Manning level shit, right there. But then again, he is a rich film actor and director and he got to spank Jessica Alba in that one weird movie, so I’m sure he is feeling fine.

Ripasso della Valpolicella is one of my gateway Italian wines. Its the perfect way to lure 40-something businessmen away from overpriced Napa Cabs and into the Old World. Before you know it, they’re hooked, blowing up my phone at 2AM, looking for Barolos. Messed up, huh? I’ve been in this game for years- it made me an animal. Here are a couple I love, that you can afford, and that you can drink while watching Good Will Hunting… or while you seek out that clip of Jessica Alba being spanked. Ha. I know you so well.

Tommasi Ripasso Valpolicella, 2012


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