The red wines of Southern Italy do not have a great reputation. The hot climate and old winemaking practices made decades of poor-quality wine.
Recent improvements have started yielding rich wines made mostly from Aglianico and Primitivo. These wines have strong fruit flavors and pair very well with Italian meat dishes.
Primitivo is the most famous wine of the area and it has been found to be genetically identical to the grape Zinfandel. It makes wines that are very similar to that Zinfandel. The best versions of these fruit-forward wines come from the Puglia region.
Just south of Puglia in Campania, winemakers have been finding success with the grape Aglianico (pronounced “ahl-YAH-nee-koe”). This grape produces wines that are garnet-colored with high tannins and acidity. Harsh when young, but after some aging they soften and reveal lovely plummy flavors with a hint of chocolate.
Aglianico is famous for being great when paired with the local favorite dish of lamb.Read more
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