Too often, Americans are afraid to buy wines that they don't recognize, or have difficulty pronouncing, so they stick to Chianti, Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet, Pinot such-and-such... and since America is a LARGE wine market, many vintners have tried to label their wines for the ill-informed American masses.
This is not a problem that Italian Wine maker Epicuro has made - thank goodness! I have this habit of trying to hunt out lesser known, under-appreciated gems. All three of these reds are exactly those kinds of finds:
Salice Salentino Riserva
Sicilia Nero D'Avola
The vintages I've gotten from Trader Joes, each for $4, 5, or 6 dollars over the last 2 years, have been consistently good. You can't get a drinkable GLASS of wine in a nice restaurant for $4, but with bottles you've got a wonderful and healthy beverage for several lunches and a dinner or two.
Brought to the US by D'Aquino Importing, I am more than pleased that Trader Joes offers these, and we try to keep a few bottles on-hand for every-day drinking.
The Salice Salentino is composed of 80% Negroamaro and 20% Malvasia Nera. The bottles I've had started off a little harsh on the first day, but after a little oxidation, they mellowed through day 2 deliciously. The Aglianico's, with a majority Basilicata and a somewhat bold, spicy character. The Nero D'Avola (or "Calabrese" to some Italians) has been consistently smooth, full, and complimentary.
Whether you're having an Italian meal, or a spicy dish, or a heavy meat dish, these wines are all excellent choices. Come over to dinner with Dr Desert Flower and I, and I'll open one of these as the 2nd bottle of the night. For an inexpensive and healthy tannin filled glass of Southern Italy, these are 3 of my favorites.
Yeah, and once again, that dern government control and disciplined regulation is rearing it's ugly head, with the Denominazone di Origine Controllata helping to deliver fine products at low prices that international customers want to pay. (leave it entirely to the free market and get a bottle of Yellow Tail's nasty solvent instead, for example).
1 year ago