Velvety, ripe blackberry and plum fruit with a touch of vanilla spice.
Primitivo is a grape native to southern Italy and well-known as a variety that produces generously full-flavoured, juicy reds with a spicy edge to them.
Drink now + 2 years
The Puglia region of Italy
Fast gaining a reputation for quality wines is the heel of Italy’s boot, Puglia.
This reputation is on the increase thanks to a commitment from producers to focus on quality rather than quantity (as has been the case in the past) and partly thanks to the increase in popularity of wines made from native grapes.
Puglia has a wealth of native grapes in this historically poor and remote (in fact still comparatively remote) region. Most of these are red grapes that can withstand the heat of this hot and reasonably flat region have to offer.
Nero di Troia, Primitivo and Negroamaro, are not exactly shy red grape varieties, and make no apologies for their dense plum fruit, and tannic structure. They make rich red wines for sure, but can also craft fruity rosés when done carefully.
There’s a growing interest from abroad, so it’s not uncommon to see the odd international flying winemaker making a trip to Puglia these days either.
Thought to be also Zinfandel, the red varietal that is planted across California, under its Italian name it is grown throughout the region of Puglia, the “heel” of Southern Italy.
This grape produces a big, robust red wine that has lots of natural sweetness which can give it very high levels of alcohol, up to 15%. It is also used in California to make a semi-sweet rosé more popularly known as White Zinfandel.
As a red wine it tastes of red and black berry fruits – raspberry and black berry – it is a dense, rich wine that has good levels of acidity which means it is not too heavy as long as the levels of alcohol are managed well.
What We’re Drinking: Ben & Blackstone Chardonnay 2010
In addition to our considerable commitments with CellarVie Wines, we also run the RFU Wine Club. At a recent tasting event at the Westbury Hotel, attended by none other than World Cup winner Richard Hill and current bastions of English rugby, Andy Farrell and Graham Rowntree, we tried the Blackstone Chardonnay 2010 from Monterey County, amongst a host of other wines.
A personal travel guide to Sicily
Christopher Carson has spent many years promoting and selling some of the best Italian wines on the UK market and Sicily remains one of his favourite spots. Here CellarVie Wines’ Managing Director gives an insight into some of the best places to visit on this beautifully iconic Italian island...
Recipe: Spiced Sicilian Pumpkin
This spiced pumpkin recipe is normally served as an antipasti or a side dish in Sicily and is great as an accompaniment to grilled fish or chicken.
Southern Italy and Sicily: Food and Wine of the region
They are not household names like their Piedmont or Tuscan cousins, but the wines of Southern Italy are bold, full-bodied, and satisfying. Southern Italy has been producing wine for over 4000 years. The wine business here was already booming in 2000 B.C. when the Phoenicians arrived. The Greeks dubbed southern Italy "The Land of Wine".
Southern Italy and Sicily: The region and places of interest
While Southern Italy had until recently endured a malaise within the winemaking world before its welcome revival, the region has remained a perpetual hotspot for visitors - albeit perhaps less busy than the more saturated north - boasting an array of enviable destinations and places of interest on the tourism trail.
The Ultimate Sandwich Recipe: Feast your eyes on this!
First things first, the CellarVie Wines team cannot lay claim to being responsible for the making of the ‘Ultimate Sandwich’. This remarkable feat of culinary engineering, complete with the beautiful pictures displayed below, arrived in our inbox courtesy of an anonymous email chain on Tuesday afternoon. Jamie Oliver would undoubtedly and perhaps quite correctly, not endorse this as a healthy meal, and it certainly isn't for the faint-hearted but we thought it was a bit of fun nonetheless. So feast your eyes on the ‘Ultimate sandwich’…
Salads & Vegetables
A good tapas-style dish of chorizo and spicy sausages would work well here, and grilled chicken or beef salad would also be a winner.
Fish & Seafood
This wine is generally too heavy for fish and seafood.
Pasta & Other Sauces
Best suited to cream based sauces like a good white or cheese sauce found in dishes such as lasagne and carbonara.
Best suited to rich flavoursome meats such as duck, goose and venison but would also work well with a roasted or grilled joint of beef or lamb.
Herbs & Spices
Best matched to black pepper, chives, cloves and coriander - big flavours! We would also recommend using sage, but very much in moderation.
A great wine to have with anything with a kick to it, such as Mexican and Indian cuisine - it can handle the lot.
Delicious with creamy blue cheeses and mature Cheddar, it also works a treat with Parmesan!