Monday, 16 July 2012

Aglianico - that's amore

"Al-ee-yah-nee-knoe" - the way to pronounce my new favourite wine, Aglianico. Originally from the Campania region, south of Italy, (although really thought to have originated from Greece), this is a really great and exciting red wine.

From medium to full bodied in strength, this wine boasts floral aromatics, firm tannins and acidity, all of which are more or less dependent on the soils they were grown (generally varying from volcanic or limestone). In fact, some of the vineyards are literally grown around volcanoes. Amazing!

So if you're wondering how I know this, well, let me explain. I have just trotted back to my office after my first wine tasting with Sommeliers Australia - an organisation that holds wine tastings for a mix of wine pros and enthusiasts in cities Adelaide, Sydney and Melbourne.

The tasting? You guessed it. It was none other than Aglianico.

The tasting itself was held at the Coffee Branch - a very cosy cafe at Leigh Street, right in the centre of Adelaide. True Italian style. The event sold out; I'm assuming it's indicative of people wanting to cut my lunch with my new love (yes, I'm still talking about the wine).

We started with four wines from Campania, then another four from Puglia, and then the final four from Basilicata. We were even treated to some prosciutto and bread - perfect! Even better when we paired it with our wines; they say cured meats, lasagna and risotto with mushroom or truffle sauce are great food matches for Aglianico.

Apart from learning the history of the variety and appreciating the different flavours it can impart, the tasting itself was actually a super opportunity to meet people also interested in vino. Best of all, though - it's not intimidating. You don't have to be an expert, snob or... 'wineoeverythingologist'. A genuine interest in wine will do and you're in. Cool beans.

My top pick?

Roccamonfina IGT Terre di Lavoro Galardi 2005

This particular wine reminded me of Gamay - a French variety grown in Beaujolais that I'm also somewhat infatuated with. It has smashing floral aromas, silky tannins and an acidity that carries right through the wine to the very end. I envisage this wine as if it were liquid purple streaming down my throat. Oh, so divine. Just don't ask me where you can buy it. I can't seem to find it, anywhere.

In the meantime, have a taste of an Aglianico from an Australian producer. According to Vinodiversity - a virtual blogipedia when it comes to wine - there are many, including:

  • Beach Road Wines Langhorne Creek
  • Brown Brothers King Valley
  • Chalmers Murray Darling
  • Grey Sands Northern Tasmania
  • Pertaringa McLaren Vale

  • But if you happen to be about Adelaide, head over to Cork Wine Cafe on Gouger Street and try the Gamay. It's bliss in a bottle and very comparable to the aforementioned Roccamonfina.

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