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Perfectly Decent $8.25 Italian Red

I’ve tried Farnese’s Sangiovese and Montepulciano d’Abrruzzo and wasn’t crazy about them. But last week I read something saying this 2010 Negroamaro was a great buy.

Negroawhat? To the Googles! Wikipedia says:

Negroamaro, also Negro amaro, is a red wine grape variety native to southern Italy. It is grown almost exclusively in Puglia and particularly in Salento, the peninsula which can be visualised as the “heel” of Italy. The grape can produce wines very deep in color. Wines made from Negroamaro tend to be very rustic in character, combining perfume with an earthy bitterness.

The only description the LCBO site offers for the Farnese version is “Medium-bodied & Fruity” (and the photo doesn’t match the current bottle). Wine Align has “clear garnet colour; floral, blueberry and sweet cherry aromas; dry, medium body; cherry and plum flavours with a touch of spice to finish”

“Amaro” is Italian for “bitter”, but that’s not really what I got from the Farnese version. Comparing it with one of my favourite cheap Italian reds (Montalto N’ero d’avola/Cabernet Sauvignon) it was darker purple and just a tad sweeter, but not jammy sweet. But I have a taste for dry, rustic, food-friendly Italian reds, so you might not taste any sweetness at all. The product sheet from the distributor includes a review comparing it to a California Zinfandel.

Overall, I’d say it’s a perfectly decent red wine to have with pizza or meaty pasta, or some other casual thing that needs red wine. Plus, it gives you another fun Italian word to wrap your tongue around.

(If you have another $0.75 to spare, wine access says the Mezzomondo Negroamaro 2010 is a killer buy at $9.00. I haven’t tried it, but I will!)



4 responses »

  1. Good to know! I feel like a few years ago, that Mezzomondo one was The Wine At Everyone Else’s House — I drank a lot of it, but this was before I came to really enjoy/drink a lot of wine so I think I simply tolerated it. I see it from time to time and am tempted because Familiar but didn’t know if it was worth trying for real. Will do!

    I actually don’t mind the other Farnese wines you mention — though the Montepulciano is almost jammy and will leave your teeth blue in a HEARTBEAT. So I’m sure I’ll try this one as well!

  2. Nice – that’s been on my to-try list for a while now. The other two Farneses were go to cheap reds for a while for me, but this seems like it might be more my taste now.

    And Erin, you’re not kidding about the blue teeth. We had a few bottles of the Sangiovese at a work holiday party a few years back, and we all looked ridiculous after the first 10 minutes.

  3. The blue teeth thing is a total downside to some wines. It actually happened to me last night with a delicious wine that I should post about!

    • It’s such a pain. Though I feel like I’m starting to be able to tell by looking closely at a glass whether it’s going to be a tooth-stainer? Not that that’s a very useful skill in a restaurant or store, but say, at a party or reception, if I see that opaque Welch’s look in someone’s glass, I’m having the white. (Even though it’s going to be a terrible Chardonnay.)


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