Holiday Wines & Recipes from Verona

13 November 2020 - News, Wine

When magazines write about wines for holidays, it makes us over here at Romeo and Juliet Wine Tour Agency ask ourselves: which holidays exactly? The crazy running around holidays? The endless paper cuts from wrapping unshapely gifts holidays? The celebrate with work friends holidays? Or the sit at home and watch movies with the family holidays? Because they’re all very different, and so too are the wines that suit them. With the help of our Sommelier Sara Valitutto, we’ve compiled 10 holiday wines that actually cover all the aforementioned bases, and more. We’re Romeo and Juliet Wine Shop and we’ve got you covered.

General food pairing suggestions and specific Recipes made by our Veronese chef are also included but don’t make this your bible and feel free to combine the wine with what you like!

Today we have people who can’t eat meat, are vegetarians – does that mean you can’t enjoy a Valpolicella or Amarone wine because traditional pairings are game or roast meats? No! Just make sure you use good ingredients and food you love. And, remember that Amarone is also meditation wine. Drink it alone, relax in front of a fire in the fall/winter.

We’re certainly aware that this year will be no room for big office celebration but we can guarantee this is the perfect wine to share (even virtually) with your colleagues and co-workers right before the festivity pause.

With its intense, luminous garnet red color, Amarone Classico Venturini 2016 (so far one of the best vintages ever for Amarone wines) is concentrated and dense. Amid the sweet sensations of violet and steeped cherries, spicy notes of pepper and cloves are temptingly perceptible. The palate is explosive and warm, well balanced by the pleasantly savory dryness of the strong tannins that add elegance and enhance its enjoyment, with an aftertaste of small, sweet fruits preserved in spirits.

Food pairing: Excellent with aged cheeses, it expresses the best of itself with dishes of game or very elaborate dishes like braised and slow-cooked meats. It is particularly intriguing paired with a platter of pork ribs in barbecue sauce.

  • Recipe Suggested: Braised pork with creamed aubergine, sage potatoes and creamed peppers

Ingredients for 4 people:

  • 1 kg fillet of pork belly
  • 500 g dark purple aubergines
  • 2 red peppers
  • 20 g mustard (cream, not powder)
  • Butter
  • 300 g yellow potatoes
  • 15 g turmeric
  • 2 shallots
  • 1 liter rich meat stock (made via reduction)
  • Mixed herbs
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 200 g celery, carrots and onions
  • Salt & pepper


Sear the pork belly in a pan without oil until it is golden brown then add diced celery, carrots and onions, pan fry all together, then add the stock and braise.

Wash the aubergines well, prick the skin several times and bake them on a griddle, placing a tin underneath to collect the liquid. Once cooked remove the peel, put the pulp with shallots and turmeric in a mixer and blend all together.

Wash the peppers and bake them on a grill. Remove the skins and blend with extra virgin olive oil. Wash the potatoes and cook them in boiling water. Take a few potatoes and use a potato masher to make mashed potato. Cut the remaining potatoes into regular wedges and toss them in a pan with butter and sage until browned.

Slice the pork belly and serve with the 3 accompaniments (mashed potato, aubergine purée and creamed peppers), add the sage potatoes and adjust seasoning to taste. If you wish, add slices of Milano salami fried in oil as a decoration.

This is a limited edition wine, personally created by us! We named it “NOI”, to honor our friendship and our deep determination during this insane 2020.

We considered it an everyday wine but with solid intense structure due to the Amarone like process involved. We can easily manage it like a Baby Amarone perfect for the every day running around holiday situations.

Dense, impenetrable ruby red with garnet glints. Sweet aromas of raspberries, currants and wild strawberries joined by notes of vanilla and floral hints of red roses seduce the nose.

Food Pairing: Excellent with mixed platters of grilled meats, for an original pairing we suggest that you try it with spicy foods like a meat goulash or a spicy vegetable soup.

  • Recipe Suggested: “Pastissada de Caval” (Veronese Horse Meat Stew)

The Pastissada of Verona is the result you get when the kitchen combines tradition and legend. It is said that this dish is dated more than one thousand five hundred years ago, when Theodoric defeated Odoacer, King of the Ostrogoths, King of the Herules, and called the people of Verona to celebrate eating the meat of horses killed in battle.

Ingredients for 4 persons:

  • 1 kg of horse meat cut into cubes
  • 1 kg of onion
  • 2 carrot
  • bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon
  • 1 L of red wine Valpolicella
  • olive oil, salt and pepper.
Chop carrots, celery, onion, to marinade in the wine with the meat and the other ingredients for a whole day. Then, put it all into a crock pot and cook over very low heat for four, five hours, adding broth as needed. You can taste the pastissada de caval with hot polenta just ladled out, sipping full-bodied red wine, including, by first choice, NOI, Rosso Verona.

These upcoming holidays maybe require an extra boost for those moments during our lunch break or right after work we hardly find for wrapping unshapely gifts holidays. The Organic Valpolicella Classico Superiore from Speri winery is certainly cut for these intense working atmosphere and guarantee no headaches even after a long day.

This wine shows a deep ruby red color with a broad and intense bouquet redolent of fruit and aromatic herbs. There are spicy hints on the firm and forthright – yet rounded and elegant – palate.

Food Pairing: perfect with all grilled red meats, braised meats, roasts and cheeses.

As Amarone wine is considered the “Meditation Winepar excellence, here you are 2 exclusive single vineyard Amarone coming from 2 historical producers (Venturini and Speri) that belongs from generations to the Valpolicella landscapes itself. These wines suit perfectly with “watch movies with the family holidays” and don’t require necessarily a specific food pairing but only relaxing atmosphere with your loved ones.

Both wines have intense, luminous garnet red color, concentrated and dense. Amid the sweet sensations of violet and steeped cherries, spicy notes of pepper and cloves are temptingly perceptible.

Both palate are explosive and warm, well balanced by the pleasantly savory dryness of the strong tannins that add elegance and enhance enjoyment, with an aftertaste of small, sweet fruits preserved in spirits.

Fortunately holidays mean also Party time, even virtual or way smaller than what we used to in 2019.

These four white wines reported in order of intensity and complexity are the perfect companion for those possibly carefree situations we all are looking to experience during holidays without checking alcohol content. Prosecco is the fruity sparkling party wine par excellence, while Pinot Grigio exceptionally aged in amphora can be considered the perfect “Aperitivo” wine or pared with seafood recipes.

The still intense mineral Lugana Riserva and the sparkling Cuvee Saccomani Veneri are the best companion of your fish or cheese based meal. The first one is characterized by hints of citrus fruits, flowers and fine mineral and elegant notes in the nose while the palate is captivating, long and lively. The second one has an intense bouquet of bread crust just taken out from the oven and sun-dried eld herbs. The palate is full, persuasive, with hints of ripe fruit, coffee, almond.

  • Recipe Suggested: Tuna, potatoes and Belgian endive

Ingredients x 4 people:

  • 600 g red tuna
  • 120 g Belgian endive
  • 80 g bacon
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Dill
  • Thyme
  • 4 potatoes
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 shallot
  • Salt and Pepper


Carefully wash the potatoes, bake in oven at 175°C (345°F) until cooked .

Cook the bacon – in julienne strips – in the microwave for a few minutes until it becomes crunchy.

Cut the tuna into rectangular cubes, brush with oil and thyme.

Cook the tuna in a frying pan for one minute on each side, leaving it red on the inside.

Crush the previously peeled potatoes directly on the dish, season with oil, salt and pepper.

Then add the bacon, place the endive on the potatoes and finally add the tuna.

Garnish to taste with cherry tomatoes and dill.

The “end of holidays” wine, this is the best way to get rid of the sometimes most stressing time of the year in which you’re basically never in peace and quite or even simply alone.

Sweet but very well balanced (not sticky) and not very alcoholic (12,5%), this wine is the “father” of all Valpolicella Wines. Generally in Restaurants’ wine lists is called reductively “Dessert wine” but that’s absolutely not its right definition.


In fact there are two main ways to look at food and wine pairings – the compare / contrast method and the enhancement approach. With the first, you are looking at how opposites attract and this is exactly the path must be taken with such “sweet balanced” red wine.

Take your favorite cheese or even blue cheese and you’ve obtained the perfect pairing, guarantee. 😉


Your Sommelier & friend,