Wednesday, September 30, 2009


A month or so ago, I was re-introduced to one of my favorite Italian importers, Vias Wines, and a red blend from Puglia, the Cantele Salice Salentino Riserva 2006. The Salice Salentino DOC region is one of the most southernly wine regions within the Puglia (the “heel of the boot”). This particular producer’s Salice Salentino is a blend of 85% Negroamaro and 15% Malvasia Nera, and is primarily fermented in stainless steel tanks for a cleaner presentation of fruit. It sees a bit of malolactic fermentation to round off the acidity, lending to plusher presence on the palate.

I love the wines from Puglia, mainly because they are affordable, easy-to-drink, and extremely food-friendly, whether you’re having burgers, pizza, pasta or even some Sweet-n-Sour Pork. By design, they are built for food. The Cantele Salice Salentino is a terrific wine for dishes like the Baked Ziti I made (per my wife’s instruction) over the weekend. There is a bit of rustic, earthy character, yet there are loads of blackberry, mulberry, clove, and roasted herb notes throughout its smooth finish. Give it a try, and become an Italian wine convert tonight!

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