I figured that finding an obscure red wine for Wine Blogging Wednesday wouldn’t be too difficult, since most red wine is obscure to me. I nearly went with a Greek wine that I’ve been holding on to since a wine tasting at a Greek festival last year, but I thought I’d venture out into the world and see if I could find anything new.
What I found was a 2002 Primo Amore Primitivo di Manduria, bottled by Cantine Pervini, Manduria, Italy. What caught my attention was not only that I had never even heard of the this Primitivo grape (see above re: it’s all obscure to me), but also that I haven’t seen a lot of red late harvest wines. The red dessert wines I’ve tried have been well-known standbys (and very good with chocolate). But most of the wines I’ve had that have been specified as late harvest have been whites. So, I thought I’d try something a little different.
Of course, after I’d done the tasting and the write up, I looked at the rules again and saw this:
Donâ€™t get me started on Gamay (the constituent of all Beaujolais and the remaining reds from the Loire) or Zinfandel/Primitivo. Both are banned. No arguing at the back there; who said this was a democracy! ;-)
So, I’ve learned something new: that Primitivo is the Italian origin of the Zinfandel grape. And even though I’m completely disqualified for trying a banned grape, I still expanded my knowledge, if only a little bit more, so it was worth it. I don’t even mind my punishment, because the wine was pretty good (unlike my first attempt at WBW with that icky Mad Housewife Chardonnay that we ultimately poured down the drain).
My only defense is that it is obscure to me. European wines and red wines are the areas to which I have been exposed the least and this wine is both! Surely the courts will have mercy on me! (Or at least mock me quietly.)
I paid $8.99 for a 375 ml bottle. It has 4% residual sugar and 15% alcohol. It was very dark red in color, and smelled of berries, possibly rasberries. When I first tasted it, I thought it was pretty good, not anything great, a little bitter in the finish. But then. Then, I tasted it with gorgonzola. I’ve always taken the whole wine/food pairing thing with a grain of salt. Yes, I’ve found some truth to it, but I’ve never noticed a marked change in the taste of either the wine or the food. My view has changed entirely with this pairing. Gone was the bitter finish, gone was the overbearing saltiness of the cheese. It was a perfect match. The blend was an entirely new flavor that enhanced them both.
I think you should go try this pairing right away. Just maybe not for WBW’s missive of trying an obscure red.