Introducing Salice Salentino, a full-bodied red wine made with Negroamaro grapes

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Apulia is a splendid region in Southern Italy, surrounded by Ionio and Adriatico Seas. A land of sun, olive trees, good food, and of course great wine. The wine of the week is called Salice Salentino, which is also the name of the production site.

We are in the Salento peninsula, at the southern end of Apulia. This is where, In 1979, Giovanni Battista Cantele and his wife Teresa Manara’s children founded Cantine Cantele. Their parents fell in love with this wonderful land and decided to move there.

Salice Salentino is made from Negroamaro, a local grape. Cantine Cantele produces a Salice Salentino “Riserva” that’s vinified in steel tanks and then barreled in oak for six months.

Fun fact: Negroamaro is composed by the word negro, which means “dark”, and amaro, which means “bitter”.

Is it really bitter?

Not exactly. Salice Salentino from Cantine Cantele has a ruby red color with hints of berries. It is a full-bodied wine, not very tannic. In fact, it’s just a bit sweet because of the hot and sunny weather typical of Southern Italy.

One recommendation: Don’t leave it sitting on your shelf for too long! It’s a Riserva, so a little more “important” wine, but it can’t stand many years in bottle.

Salice Salentino is perfect with typical Apulian food, such as lamb, roast pork and aged cheeses. If you want to experience an interesting comparison, try and taste Salice Salentino on the same evening with Barbaresco by Produttori del Barbaresco. You will get an idea of the difference between the North and the South of Italy, and you will appreciate the differences!

Enjoy your wine!

Producer: Cantine Cantele
Name: Salice Salentino D.O.C. Riserva
Region: Puglia
Type: Still red wine
Price: About $10
Grapes: Negroamaro

Working in wineries across Italy, I get to see how much passion goes into each bottle. With the Vino Vino Situation, every week I present a great Italian wine at a reasonable price. These reviews are unsponsored and unsolicited. Salute!