Amazing Grapes, an amazing wine store in Southern California

amazing grapes wine storeWe wanted to send a shout-out today to one of our favorite Southern Californian wine shops and wine bars, Amazing Grapes in Mission Viejo (not far from where our blogmaster grew up in San Diego).

The nice folks there recently made our Salice Salentino one of their featured wines and they have already added it to their list of their top wines for 2015.

Here’s what they had to say:

Make no bones about it; Cantele’s 2011 Salice Salentino Riserva will find its place as a finalist on our list of top wines in 2015! With a Gambero Rosso Tre Bicchieri award, and Best Italian Value Wine of 2013 already under its belt, it seems redundant to say that we’re highly recommending this 100% Negroamaro from Puglia. Gambero Rosso is Italy’s most respected authority on wine, and “tre bicchieri” (three glasses) is their highest commendation. This is perhaps the lowest priced wine to ever achieve this prestigious honor!

This little red has food wine written all over it. Savor this affordable gem with your favorite pasta dish, burgers, steaks and chops. Fire up the barbecue and pop the cork on a couple bottles this summer. You’ll be impressed as much as we are!

Juicy flavors of ripe wild strawberry and red licorice mark the start to this light- to medium-bodied red, with supple tannins lending some structure and weight. Savory accents of garrigue, loamy earth and star anise echo on the finish. Drink now through 2020.

Buy this by the case!

Check it out on their site here.

Amazing Grapes
29911 Aventura
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688
(888) 299-9463
Google map

Image via the Amazing Grapes Facebook.

Our new ACCOLADES thread…

Scores, reviews, and tasting notes…

Over the last year, the Cantele winery has been featured in Food & Wine magazine and Wine Spectator and it has received a number of 90-point scores from leading wine reviewers like Wine Advocate and Ian D’Agata.

And a Cantele wine was even named a “best value” by the editors of Wine Spectator.

Click here for all of the Cantele winery’s U.S. accolades.

We know and trust that this thread will serve as a resource for wine professionals and wine lovers across America!

food wine magazine puglia

Wine Spectator names Cantele Salice Salentino 2011 “Best Value”

best salice salentino pugliaHere’s what Wine Spectator Italian editor Alison Napjus had to say about the 2011 Cantele Salice Salentino, a wine she has included in her “best value” round up for the June issue of the magazine.

Cantele 2011 Salice Salentino
89 points

Juicy flavors of ripe wild strawberry and red licorice mark the start to this light- to medium-bodied red, with supple tannins lending some structure and weight. Savory accents of garrigue, loamy earth and star anise echo on the finish. Drink now through 2025.

The wine was also recommended by Wine Spectator senior editor Tim Fish in his recent Memorial Day recommendations for summer grilling. Click here for his article (subscribers only).

A Best Beach Spot in Puglia: Bacino Grande (for those heading to Puglia for summer vacation)

best beach southern italyAbove: yes, it’s true. The water at Porto Cesareo is really that clear. It’s beautiful.

For those of you heading to Puglia for summer vacation this year, we wanted to share these images and notes from Bacino Grande, one of our favorite beach resorts/restaurants in Lecce province, on the western coast of Puglia.

There are a number of great beach spots on both coasts of the Salento peninsula. But this is one of the few that offers full beach cabana services (beach chairs, umbrellas, snack bar, and a wonderful full-service restaurant on the water, with floor-to-ceiling windows that give you a great view of the sea).

seafood pasta recipeAbove: Paccheri ai Frutti di Mare were delicious when we visted Bacino Grande.

The water is warm and clear and even though the waiters can be a little grumpy, the food is superb, some of the best seafood in the province. And they have a fantastic wine list there, too.

We highly recommend it. And it only takes about 30 minutes to get there from Lecce city center.

Bacino Grande
Via Torre Lapillo, 35
73010 Porto Cesareo Lecce
+39 0833 565113
Google map

Ian D’Agata on Italian rosé, rosato, pink, et al.

negroamaro tasting notes“Italy has a long and distinguished history with pink wine production,” writes leading Italian wine authority Ian D’Agata this week for Antonio Galloni’s Vinous, the online wine review portal and magazine. “Rosato production is so well entrenched in Italian culture that Italy offers by far the greatest number of variations on the subject, a fact that shouldn’t surprise, given the flair Italians have for creativity and individualism.”

How can you not love an article that starts out like that?

We were thrilled to read D’Agata’s overview of Italian rosé production and its many shades and nuances.

Click here to read (currently free on Vinous).

Cantele Rosato at Becco, one of the Bastianich family’s original Manhattan restaurants

linguine with fresh clams recipe new yorkPerhaps no family has done more to create awareness of authentic Italian cuisine in the U.S. than the Bastianich family.

From matriarch Lidia’s groundbreaking work on public television (where she first began broadcasting in 1998) to her son Joe’s many books on wine and his own work on the popular show “Masterchef,” the role that they have played in the Italian food renaissance in the United States cannot be overestimated.

Of course, Lidia and her son own and run a number of America’s leading restaurants together — including some of the most exclusive and trend-setting in the U.S.

But we also love their more “down home” restaurant Becco, which they opened in 1993, many years before anyone could have imagined the way that Italian gastronomy would have exploded on to the U.S. fine dining scene.

A favorite among New York City theater-goers, Becco continues to shine brightly as one of mid-town’s best Italian eateries.

It’s with great pride that we learned that they are currently serving Cantele Rosato.

What an honor to be included on the list of a restaurant owned by America’s first family of Italian food!

355 W 46th St
New York, NY 10036
Google map

Image via the Becco Facebook.