Monthly Archives: September 2010

Grape Thoughts in London!

Ah, the economy of wine in Europe!

Read on and you might find yourself a new wine to try – that is AFFORDABLE – and ready to drink now!

I just bought a bottle of Negroamaro Zinfadel from Puglia at the grocery store. Cost was 3 bottles for £12 or currently, $18.74 – So, about $6.25 for this bottle.

Dont let the price fool you. It was VERY YUMMY. How’s that for snobby description?

I was curious about this varietal. I had never had it, and it reminds me of an industry wine tasting that I attended last week in San Francisco, Uexpected Grapes from Unexpected Places. More to come on that fantastic affair of interesting grapes from all over California. Spoiler alert – I found a US grown Grüner Veltliner!

So, the first thing I did with this Negroamaro Zinfadel was – open the bottle! A screwcap, and if that bothers you – GROW UP. Plenty of good wines come with screw capped bottles these days. And this was no exception.

This is my first blend that includes Negroamaro and I am impressed!
As the name implies, it is definitely black and inky. So much so that it reminds me of a Petit Syrah I had in Napa. (Can’t wait to tell you about that trip, can you tell?)

I would love to show you this color, but my camera is broken!  But isn’t it pretty?

Broken camera – psychedelic wine
Side note – the psychedellic colors made this 15Meg! Its compressed here.

Luckily – or not – my cameraphone does have a second mode, facing towards me and the bottle. It is reversed, funny to see myself reversed horizontally.

Me, and a yummy bottle of Negromaro Zinfadel

I found it had the nice jamminess of Zin, yet the Negromaro gave it a nice spicy balance. I tasted a 2009, and the tannins were soft and it was VERY drinkable. Dark plummy fruits, and lots of berries. I sensed some chocolate, and was so sad I ate my only London chocolate! (its so different here!). The wine  did not change too much after opening. Recommended cellaring is maxed at 2-3 years, but I would not push it.

So, then I researched the wine.  When I learned that Negroamaro is more commonly used in blends with Malvasia Nera, Sangiovese or Montepulciano I was doubly excited. How often would I find this in Pennsylvania? Never! Although there ARE Negroamaros there, that are INEXPENSIVE! Check it! Hmmm…might have to add this to a September tasting in the works…

If you are able to come across this wine, DEFINITELY give it a try. It is an extremely good value.

Negroamaro is pretty much exclusive to the Puglia region of Italy, specifically Salento, which you KNOW where it is. Its the “heel” of Itlay!

Some say the “Maro” portion means “bitter” but others think the translation is from ancient Greek ‘maru’ also meaning black. This wine may have been brought to Italy 7th century BC!

Another thing this wine taught me, is about the “EU vine pull scheme”.
Apparently, the vineyard area for Negroamaro fell from 31000 hectares in 1990 to just under 17000 in 2000.
This was done to reduce the glut of wine and increase the demand.

How rude!

Or maybe it was a good thing. As inexpensive as this very drinkable wine is, it might lead to binge drinking!

If anyone has any favorite places to get wine in London, or Sweden (next week’s trip), please LET ME KNOW! 🙂