I used to write a little wine column here on Kitsilano.ca until I got so busy I had to discontinue. But, I’m back! This new weekly wine column will appear every Thursday just in time for the weekend. Wine, for me, is about having fun and exploring. It’s not about snobbishness or pretension. And, if I can offer any lesson, it is simply to trust your own palate and follow what you like, not what others tell you to like.
With that in mind, the wines I will write about in this column are not meant to be authoritative examples of what everyone should like. Instead, I am going to focus on what I think is cool, fun, and worth checking out. My driving principles are that most of the wines I write about should be from small producers, should be artisanal products, and should be unusual or off the beaten path.
Oh, and I’m looking for great wines at reasonable prices. The kind you can be happy to lay about $20 down on knowing that you are supporting passion, craftsmanship and uniqueness. Maybe you won’t love the wine, even though I aim to recommend only wines of quality, but that’s all part of the journey.
Today’s wine – the Cantele Salice Salentino Riserva 2004 – is from the producer Cantele in southern Italy. Salice Salentino is just a designation for a certain kind of wine from the Puglia region in the heel of Italy’s boot. This wine is cool not just because it is made with grapes most people don’t know about (Negroamaro and Malvasia Nera), but because it’s a big flavourful red wine that isn’t sweet or super fruity. I love wines with savory earthy tastes in them because they go so well with classic Italian pastas and pizzas, but are still great to sip as you prepare dinner. Think about foods with herbs like thyme and sage, a little tomato sauce, and some fresh cheese and you’ll get a sense of how this wine tastes. This is an understated wine, but with contemporary sensibilities. Check it out.
$22 at Kitsilano Wine Cellars
Kitsilano Wine Cellars is located on the north side of 4th ave. between Vine and Yew and specializes in wines you can’t find at the government stores. For great service, drop in and ask for Kirk, Matt, or Aron and tell them you read my column. Cheers!
*Shea Coulson is the author of Justgrapeswine.com, a Vancouver based wine blog focusing on wine and beer reviews, education, and wine industry trends and developments.
Last modified: February 4, 2010