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Drink | Wine of the Week

1996 Cantele Primitivo, Puglia. (About $10)

July 22, 1998|S. IRENE VIRBILA

The wines of Southern Italy have greatly improved in recent years, but prices remain low because the region is still relatively undeveloped. This wine, from the Salento Peninsula in Apuglia, is an example of the sort of bargains you can find. Made from the Primitivo grape (which turns out to be the ancestor of our own Zinfandel), it is a deep ruby red with loads of fruit and an appealing nose of plums and cherries. It has been aged briefly in French oak barrels, making it a country wine with finesse. It would be perfect with pasta in tomato sauce or grilled sausages and ribs.

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