Mmmmmm…. Red wine….
I love wine. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not an alcoholic or anything (honest!) I just really enjoy a glass of wine, with a predilection for anything red and full bodied, in particular in the winter. So yesterday, with the wind and the rain howling outside of the bar, Primitivo di Manduria really hit the spot…
This is a really lovely red wine, with a fruity taste and, just like all good Primitivo’s, a hint of a chocolatey smell. I’m no sommelier, so if you want to look at the tasting notes you can see them at the producer’s site. I can however tell you that this would have worked really well with some strong cheeses and cold-cuts last night if we hadn’t already eaten!
I have actually been to Manduria, which is a small town in Puglia where they make this wine. It is full of little trattorie where they serve plates of local pasta dishes such as orecchiette con le cime di rape, (pasta with sprouting broccoli) and orecchiette con ricotta salata, (pasta with salted ricotta) alongside jugs and jugs of Primitivo… the same stuff as they sell for €18 a bottle in the rest of Italy and Europe for €5 per litre in Manduria. And trust me, it’s the same stuff – I did an extended taste test after all!
While in Manduria we also discovered something rather interesting. The Primitivo grape also goes by another name – Red Zinfandel. Curiouser and curiouser: I love Primitivo, yet i’m not a huge fan of most Zinfandels. Then he explained that this has something to do with the soil, and everything to do with the production process. Apparently, many American producers add saccharin to their wine to make it sweeter. Saccharin? In WINE?!? Sacrilege! I can only hope this is not true.
Someone tell me its a lie… please!