We are so thrilled to be welcoming winemaker Paolo Cantele from Puglia and pasta-maker Francesco Allegro from Rossoblu for our Magic of Salento dinner on Tuesday, October 17, when we'll be pairing Paolo's family's wines with classic pastas from Salento.
We'll be pouring 4 of Cantele's wines that night.
The first is one of our all-time favorite wines here at Sotto. The Cantele Rosato from Negroamaro appeared on our opening wine list more than six years ago! And it's always played a starring role in our wine program. There couldn't be a more classic wine from Salento: Bright rosé with vibrant fruit flavors of wild berry and just a touch of eastern spice.
The next wine in our flight is the Cantele Primitivo. Many of our guests know Puglia's Primitivo grape already: It's genetically the same as California's Zinfandel. The difference is that Salento winemakers like Paolo's family tend to make it in a fresher style, with restrained alcohol content and healthy acidity — the way we like it at Sotto, where we favor food-friendly wines like this.
The third wine is the winery's flagship: The Cantele 2013 Salice Salentino, the classic wine from Salento and one of my favorite wines. Negroamaro is a thick-skinned red grape that delivers deeply colored wines with rich dark fruit flavors that are balanced by the grape's natural acidity and liveliness. This is a stunning wine that works brilliantly with a wide variety of foods. (Not that we care about points but Monica Larner, the Italian wine reviewer for Roberto Parker, gave this wine a score of 90).
Lastly, we'll taste Cantele's Amativo, an experimental wine the created a few years back. It's a blend of Primitivo and Negroamaro, vinified in an opulent style that many Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon fans are sure to appreciate. This is the wine we'll pair with Francesco and Chef Craig's orecchiette with polpettine, the only traditional Italian dish that marries pasta and meatballs (polpettine).
We couldn't be more thrilled about the wines and the menu and Paolo and Francesco will both be visiting tableside with our guests, as will I, to trade tasting notes and answer questions.
Looking forward to seeing you there!