2016 Tempo Vero Negroamaro

Hey guys, I'm so sorry that I missed Wine Wednesday last week. I had the stomach flu for most of last week, so I wasn't really feeling up to drinking any wine. It's a sad day when the smell of wine makes me sick to my stomach. Luckily I'm totally recovered now and feeling much better. This week's wine is a Negroamaro that I got through my Winc wine subscription*. This wine is from Southern Italy, specifically in Salento, which is part of the heel of Italy's "boot." You may not have heard of the Negroamaro varietal before, because it's more commonly used in blends than used on its own as a single grape wine. It's commonly found in Sangiovese and Montepulciano blends, which are strong, bold, and hearty Italian blended wines.

Negroamaro has an interesting history. It was most likely brought from Greece to Italy in the 8th century B.C., and famous Ancient Greek philosophers, politicians, and writers, including Pliny the Elder, have positively referenced the grape and the wine in their work. Since being brought to the Salento area, the grape has pretty much stayed there are isn't really grown anywhere else in the world. The name Negroamaro translates to black-black, with Negro being Latin and Amaro being Greek. This is likely because it's a very dark grape, and makes dark wine.

This wine was a very bold and rich wine. When I smelled it I got notes of dark fruits, like black cherry and plum, and a hint of a peppery spiciness. How it tasted matched how the wine looked and smelled. It was fruit forward, with blackberry and currant notes in addition to the black cherry and plum notes that I had smelled. The fruitiness was balanced against spicy back end notes. The pepperiness was still there, but there was also a hint of nutmeg and ginger. The wine had medium-strong tannins and it was very well balanced. It had a silky texture in the mouth. I paired this wine with chicken parmesan and grilled zucchini. It went great with the chicken, but the zucchini was a bit too delicate for the wine. It would go better with heartier vegetables, like carrots, tomatoes, or mushrooms. This wine would also go great with prosciutto, or a beef lasagna. It's a bold wine that stands up well to hearty dishes without overwhelming them.

*If you're interested in trying a free month of Winc, leave or email address in a comment, or message me your email address on instagram, and I can give you a code for a free month.

Erik Rehnberg