The region of Puglia, or Apuglia as it is sometimes written, is mostly on the Adriatic side of Italy stretching from the southeastern bottom side of the boot around to the Gulf of Taranto. With its miles if beaches and seashore, it is a summer refuge for Italians who flee the cities in the hot summer days. But if you visit outside of the months from June through August you will find some beautiful scenery, delicious food and surprisingly good wine.
In late spring I was asked to present and give brief background information for several red wines during a tasting conducted by friends who own a new distributorship in the Austin area. This distributorship, WST Wine, a part of We Select Texas, handles primarily small Italian producers not available through major distributors. For this tasting they featured the wines imported by my friend Joseph Defronzo at SMD Selections .
During the tasting, we tried two surprisingly good wines from Puglia. Before I describe these wines I must digress and explain that before this tasting I was not a fan of most Puglian red wine, especially Primitivo, and expressed this opinion readily. Thus I now eat my humble pie without relish.
The most common red wine found in Puglia features the red grape Primitivo which is a cousin to the US grape Zinfandel. The majority of the Primitivo wine comes from the area around the town of Manduria in the south central part of…
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