An American love affair with Negroamaro?

“America is falling in love with Negroamaro,” wrote Paolo from Pittsburgh the day after he led a guided tasting of his family’s wines at Lidia’s Italy in Pittsburgh last week.

His note reminded us that we’re not the only ones in love with Negroamaro.

Here’s what Food & Wine executive wine editor Ray Isle had to say about the 2010 Salice Salentino, which in included in his list of this list of “Best Red Wine Values” in December 2014:

2010 Cantele Salice Salentino Riserva

Puglia, the heel of Italy’s boot, produces so many good-value reds that it can be heard to choose among them. All of Cantele’s basic bottlings are good, but my favorite was this Negroamaro-based red, full of smoky dark cherry fruit and brambly spice notes.

Click here for Ray’s article.

best negroamaro harvest 2014

“America is falling in love with Negroamaro”: Paolo at Lidia’s Italy Pittsburgh

lidia bastianich restaurantLast Thursday’s Cantele wine dinner at Lidia’s Italy Pittsburgh was a smashing success, writes Paolo, who’s still on the road in the U.S.

“Everyone loved how clean the wines are, especially the Chardonnay because it’s ‘unoaked.’”

“The Primitivo was also well received because it’s not sweet or overly ripe like so many fashionable wines today. Many Primitivos and Zinfandels have such high levels of residual sugar that they are easy to drink but hard to pair with food because ultimately they are too sweet.”

But it was the Salice Salentino that made the biggest splash of the night.

paolo cantele wine“It seems that Americans are starting to fall in love with Negroamaro,” said Paolo (above, speaking to guests).

A special thanks to Jim Hutton, regional manager for Vias (who imports Cantele wines in the U.S.) and to John Gratner, sales rep for distributor The Wine Merchant, who organized the event.

Please click here for the Lidia’s Italy Pittsburgh website.

Paolo at Lidia’s Italy Pittsburgh Thursday night!

recipe burrata bestHousemade burrata at Lidia’s Italy Pittsburgh (image via the Lidia’s Italy Pittsburgh Facebook).

Paolo will be pouring and speaking about his wines tomorrow night at Lidia Bastianich’s Lidia’s Italy in Pittsburgh.

The event begins at 6 p.m. Click here for details (on Facebook). And please call (412) 552-0150 to reserve.

Lidia’s Pittsburgh
1400 Smallman St
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
(412) 552-0150

Pierce’s Disease Crisis: Italian government declares state of emergency in Puglia

olive trees pierces disease pugliaAbove: Centuries-old olive trees in Puglia are being threatened by an alarming outbreak of xylella fastidiosa, also known as Pierce’s Disease. Olive groves and olive oil production are central to the Pugliese economy.

More than two months have passed since Puglia President Nicola Vendola wrote to Prime Minister Matteo Renzi asking for emergency aid as the region continues to battle an alarming outbreak of xylella fastidiosa, also known as Pierce’s Disease (see our most recent post on the crisis here).

Last week the Italian government’s Council of Ministers finally moved to declare a state of emergency and in doing so created a legal channel for the allocation of funds and emergency services to help combat the disease, which has already affected an estimated 2.5 million olive trees there.

The following statement by Coldiretti Puglia President Gianni Cantele has been translated from a press release issued by the association on its website.

“The current [Italian government] Council of Ministries’ declaration of a state of emergency is the first, however long overdue, concrete act in the battle in the eradication of xylella fastidiosa [Pierce’s] disease. This pathogen need to be quarantined: it has already desiccated thousands of olive trees in the Salento peninsula and it has wiped out the livelihoods of hundreds of olive oil producers, including cooperatives and presses in an area where olive oil production has always been the focus of the economy. In the light of the high risk that this illness will spread, it also represents the Council’s embrace of its responsibility toward the rest of the region [of Puglia], Italy, and Europe. The declaration of a state of emergency will allow the head of the office of emergency planning to nominate a commissioner charged with addressing the current crisis.”

Winemaker Gianni Cantele was elected president of Coldiretti Puglia in January 2013. Coldiretti is the Italian confederation of food growers.

Cantele Master Class in London March 2

fava cicoria recipe londonImage via La Pizzica’s website and blog.

We generally post about U.S. based events here on the CanteleUSA blog.

But wanted to share the following: La Pizzica, a leading London restaurant that specializes in classic Salento cooking, will be hosting a “Cantele Master Class” on Monday, March 2.

Click here for event details and reservation info.

La Pizzica
764-766 Fulham Road
London SW6 5SJ
+44 20 7731 3762
Google map

By the glass at Salumeria 104 in Miami

best italian restaurant miamiIt’s sad but it’s true: So much great imported prosciutto is literally destroyed in this country by inexperienced slicers who don’t know how to work with the products.

Mostly it’s because they slice the cured pork thighs on blades that are running too fast. The friction, however slight, creates heat that then liquifies the prosciutto.

It’s a real tragedy.

But that’s not the case at Salumeria 104 in Miami (Paolo’s currently on the road in the U.S., “working the market” as we say in the trade).

Honestly, I’d never heard of this place. But when I saw Paolo’s photo on Facebook, I checked them out online.

These guys really know their snouts from their tails.

I was blown away by this image from their Tuesday night bollito misto. All old-school, all the way. I love it.

And they’re currently pouring two Canteles by-the-glass. 100% AWESOME.

Check out their Facebook here. It’s pretty amazing.

Salumeria 104
3451 NE 1st Ave #104
Miami, FL 33137
(305) 424-9588
Google map

Cantele featured by Angela’s Pasta and Cheese Shop in Manchester NH

best cheese shop italian new hampshireAbove: Angela’s Pasta and Cheese Shop in Manchester NH is one of those great family-owned and run independently gourmet food stores. Founded by Angela, Elaine, and Linda Falcioni after their father suggested the idea in 1980, the store moved to its current location in 1994 where it’s still going strong. A great Italian-American story (image via their Facebook).

Here’s what the nice folks at Angela’s Pasta and Cheese shop had to say about Cantele wines, one of their featured products for February 2015

Cantele Chardonnay – From the Puglia region of Italy, made from 100% Chardonnay grapes. This wine is straw yellow with hints of green in color. On the nose there are notes of lily, magnolia, juniper, and linden which are followed by ripe fruit and seductive herbaceous aromas. On the palate the alcoholic structure and freshness in this wine reward the wine lover with its drinkability and approachability. Its rich finish mirrors its aromas with great balance. This wine pairs well with seafood, particularly mollusks and shellfish, vegetables, and soft cheeses.

Cantele Salice Salentino Riserva – From the Puglia region of Italy, made from 100% Negroamaro grapes. This wine is intense ruby red in color with streaks of garnet. On the nose there are candied fruits and spices that evolve into clean underbrush, tea, and amber notes. The aromas return on the palate transported by confident but not overbearing alcohol enhanced by notes of red flowers. The tannins and fresh acidity work in counterpoint to create a balanced, soft wine. The wine pairs well with roast veal and beef, game, lamb, and ripe aged cheeses.

From one family owned business to another, we can’t tell you how much it meant to us to find your write-ups! Thank you and stay warm!

Angela’s Pasta & Cheese Shop
815 Chestnut Street
Manchester, NH 03104
(603) 625-9544
Google map