Gone are the days when Southern Italian wine was blended with wines from Tuscany and Piedmont. At this point Puglia has no less than 25 DOC (Registered Designation of Origin) wines and 6 with IGT (Typical Geographical Indication) labels. Puglia is the biggest wine producer after the Veneto region. Of course the region of Veneto’s wine is well known by us British, they produce our much loved Prosecco, Soave, Valpolicella, and Amarone to name but a few. Here’s hoping that Puglia, the land of the full bodied red, soon becomes as popular so we can all get hold of these delicious grape varieties down at our local off license.
As you’ve probably guessed by now I love going to visit my family in Puglia, but I also love the ridiculously cheap wine which tastes incredible, even when bought for a couple of Euros in a 5ltr plastic bottle. I’ve also tasted to best red wine I’ve ever had in my life over there, my friends who were with me at the time would agree, the only problem being we never found out what it was. We ordered a carafe of the house red, like nectar from the Gods, we devoured it hastily only later asking what we were drinking. A very Italian and modest reply of “it’s the house wine” almost implying it was homemade. And maybe it was.
Puglian wines are progressively becoming more widely known within the UK with Primitivo now featuring on many restaurants wine lists. The best one I’ve tried is Tormaresca Torcicoda Primitivo del Salento. I remember first seeing Primitivo on the wine list at Jamie Oliver’s restaurant in 2010 – good old Jamie supporting great, undiscovered produce! What’s exciting, is that there are still lots of other wines waiting to be discovered. This makes me extremely happy. Wines from Puglia are beautifully rich, full bodied and underrated. I feel wine from this region maybe on the cusp of breaking through the underground with varieties such as Negroamaro, Malvasia Nera, Aleatico and Nero di Troia becoming increasingly recognised. And there’s also more to Puglian wine than the full-bodied Negroamaro (translates to black bitter) and Primitivo. The region is rediscovering its unique talent for winemaking with whites, roses and even sparkling wine now being produced.
This is what Karl has to say about this delicious wine –
“The Fiano grape conjures up memories of mediterranean holidays in a glass! Fiano’s personality is characterised by appealing freshness combined with a rich, mellow texture. It displays attractive sensations of peaches and apricots as well as of delicately scented flowers. Great with fish and seafood – just think of sun, sand and expensive seafood restaurants!”
Elwood is an independent wine merchant providing great value wines produced by independent growers, allowing us in the UK to taste some delicious wines that we normally wouldn’t be able to because they are from smaller estates. I’ll drink to that!