I seldom get bored with wine, or drinking wine, writing about wine, doing wine research! But on rare occasions when I have to make an effort to post to the blog or crank out a newspaper column, I scratch my head and wonder why I do all this work for no pay.

Then I discover something new or really good and none of the above matters at all.

It happened tonight after a long work day. I had purchased a bottle of Italian wine on the recommendation of the owners at a Vino 100 wine shop in Columbus, Ohio, – Westerville, to be exact.

It was Aglianico from Ocono Winery, 2003, and it was dynamic Italian wine. Aglianico is grown in Southern Italy and dates back to the 6th Century B.C. Supposedly, I learned, the grape made its way to Italy by the Greeks.

The wine has a nose of dark cherry fruit, a hint of coffee or a musty sense to it. It’s rich but refined. In the glass, it reminded me a bit of a Pinot Noir by its look and well-balanced taste characteristics but its definitely a medium to bigger bodied wine.

This is a big ol’ mouthful of dirt for those who like earthy wines or “terrior.”

I was pleasantly surprised by the balance, the smooth tannins and even a hint of mineral in this luscious red wine.

It is a lighter style wine as the color indicates. But it’s a wonderful change of pace from the standard Sangiovese-based Italian wines.

I paid $17 for this wine but, if you can find it, $14-$19 is the usually range.

Aglianico is a signature grape in Southern Italy. It was wonderful with a mild pasta dish and some chocolate. This is a surprisingly flavorful wine that will let you know it’s Italian but do it with a gentle hand, not a club.

Send comment or questions to: hewitthoward@gmail.com

Advertisements