Thank you Sotto (Los Angeles) for such a great evening and event!

Last month, the ever popular southern Italian restaurant Sotto in Los Angeles hosted Paolo Cantele for a dinner entitled “The Magic of Salento.”

For the occasion, the restaurant brought in Pugliese pasta maker Francesco Allegro to cook side-by-side with the restaurant’s resident chef Craig Towe: Together, they created a classic Pugliese menu to pair with the Cantele family’s wines.

Paolo spoke about the native grapes of Puglia and chefs Francesco and Craig talked about the richness and depth of classic Pugliese gastronomy.

It was an extraordinary evening of wine and food. And it was yet another example of the excellence in Italian cooking that you can achieve when you have such a brilliant and thoughtful team.

Paolo and the Cantele winery were thrilled to be part of it.

For more than six years, Sotto has stood apart as one of the best Italian restaurants in Los Angeles, in California, and in the country. We couldn’t be more proud to be part of the wine program there.

Thank you, Sotto!

Sotto
9575 W. Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles CA 90035
(310) 277-0210

Thank you Houston for a wonderful visit!

Paolo and the Cantele family would like to thank all of our friends — old and new — in Houston, Texas for such a wonderful visit and all their support for our wines!

Paolo leads a staff training at one of the best Italian restaurants in Houston, Mascalzone.

That night, he and Cantele brand ambassador Jeremy Parzen hosted a wine dinner for more than 100 guests! An unforgettable evening!

Mascalzone
12126 Westheimer Rd.
Houston TX 77077
(832) 328-5151
Google map

Earlier that week, Paolo stopped by the Houston Wine Merchant, one of the top retailers of Italian wines in the state.

That’s Italian wine buyer Antonio Gianola, an old friend and a great “Italian wine guy.”

Really awesome shop!

Houston Wine Merchant
2646 S Shepherd Dr.
Houston TX 77098
(713) 524-3397
Google map

And Paolo also met with Italian wine buyer Thomas Moësse, another one of the city’s top wine professionals.

Vinology, where he selects the wines, is a wine bar and wine shop. It’s only been open for less than a year but has already become one of Houston’s top wine destinations and a favorite spot for wine professionals from across the city.

Thomas, so great to connect with you! We love your place!

Vinology
2314 Bissonnet St.
Houston TX 77005
(832) 849-1687
Google map

90 POINTS Wine Spectator for Cantele 2014 Amativo!

We can’t share the entire review “15 Expressive Reds from Southern Italy” (because it’s behind the Wine Spectator paywall).

But we can go ahead and share this snippet from the October 26 article (published online):

Cantele 2014 Amativo
90 POINTS

A balanced, medium-bodied red, offering rich notes of tarry smoke and grilled herb well-meshed with dried black currant and ground anise flavors. Lightly mouthwatering and accessible, with a chewy finish. Drink now through 2022. 100 cases imported.

Alison Napjus
Wine Spectator

Congrats Rossoblu and Chef Steve Samson: One of the Top 10 Restaurants in LA according to Jonathan Gold and the LA Times.

It’s not every day that a Pulitzer Prize-winning food critic calls your restaurant one of the “10 best restaurants in Los Angeles.” But that is exactly what happened this week when Los Angeles Times food critic made Rossoblu, Chef Steve Samson’s new restaurant, number 10 on his list of “101 Best Restaurants in Los Angeles” for the Los Angeles Times.

Click here to see the Pultizer Prize page on Jonathan Gold, including his works of gastronomic criticism that won him the title.

Click here for the preview of Gold’s list.

It wouldn’t be appropriate for us to share Gold’s complete review. For that, you need to visit to the Los Angeles Times website and subscribe to get past their pay all.

But here’s a preview of what he had to say about the restaurant, which Chef Steve launched in the spring of 2017.

“The fresh tagliatelle is thin and floppy, almost alive under a pale, meaty Bolognese sauce. The tortelloni, stuffed with the traditional mixture of ricotta and chard, could illustrate the concept of Italian dumplings in a textbook.”

And he makes a really interesting point. It’s not hard to find great Cambodian food in Los Angeles, for example, because there are plenty of Cambodian “grandmothers” who live there and who teach their children and grandchildren how to make great Cambodian food. They also set a standard for what good Cambodian cuisine is by virtue of their own skill and experience.

But Chef Steve’s cooking, notes Gold, is “Bolognese grandmother cooking introduced into a city with no Bolognese grandmothers.”

Pretty cool stuff!

Congrats to Chef Steve and the entire team at Rossoblu. We couldn’t be more proud or thrilled that our wine is poured there by-the-glass.

Cantele Rosato 2016: 90 POINTS ROBERT PARKER! “Wow, this is excellent value.”

So great to see this wine getting the attention it deserves.

“Wow, this is excellent value,” writes Monica Larner for Robert Parker.

Here are her tasting notes and score…

Cantele 2016 Rosato
90 points

This is a cheerful rosé from the deep south of Italy that opens to a bright pink-raspberry color. The 2016 Negroamaro Rosato is a distinct wine that boasts high individuality. The bouquet is almost savory in character with wild sage, dried fruit and cherry cola. This is a robust and medium-bodied rosato that stands a notch higher in terms of intensity next to many of its peers. Wow, this is excellent value.

This dynamic winery in the southern tip of Puglia shows some of the best values across the board in this roundup of Italian wines priced under $25. Congratulations to the winemaking team at Cantele for achieving such remarkable volume versus value margins. Case production on the three wines listed here are pretty big, ranging from 100,000 to 300,000 bottles of each wine.

Monica Larner
Italian wine reviewer
RobertParker.com

“The Magic of Salento”: Paolo Cantele in LA on Tuesday, October 17 at Sotto

To reserve, please email the restaurant by clicking here or call (310) 277-0210.

Magic of Salento Dinner 
with Pugliese pasta-maker Francesco Allegro 
and Pugliese winemaker Paolo Cantele 
An evening celebrating the magic of a land where sea, sun, and earth come together to create some of Italy’s most cherished gastronomic treasures.

Presented by Sotto wine director Jeremy Parzen

Tuesday, October 17
7:00 p.m.
$90 per person, plus tax & gratuity
Please email info@sottorestaurant.com.

There’s a saying in Puglia, the region that forms the heel of Italy’s boot: When a son learns how to make orecchiette (the famous “ear-shaped” pasta of Pugliese gastronomy), it’s time for him to leave home.

On Tuesday, October 17 at Sotto, we will be celebrating two of Puglia’s native sons, pasta-maker Francesco Allegro (above), Rossoblu’s resident sfoglino, and winemaker Paolo Cantele, whose family-owned winery (Cantele) makes some of our favorite expressions of Pugliese viticulture. Sotto’s chef de cuisine Craig Towe will be creating a special menu featuring Pugliese dishes for the occasion. And Sotto wine director Jeremy Parzen will present our guests from Italy. It’s sure to be a magical evening of classic artisanal Pugliese pastas paired with native grape varieties grown in Salento, the hub of Puglia’s wheat, olive oil, and wine production.

Both Francesco and Paolo hail from the Salento region of the Pugliese peninsula (and the two of them both attended university in the city of Lecce, where they first met). Salento is a long, narrow stretch of sun-kissed land, bordered by the Mediterranean on either side (it takes about 30 minutes to drive from one coast to the other). It’s limestone-rich soils, constant sea breeze, and sunny climate make it the ideal place to grow wheat for Puglia’s celebrated breads and pastas, olives for Puglia’s famed oils, and grapes for its legendary wines.

On Tuesday, October 17, two of its native sons will share some of the magic of this enchanted land by pairing classic handmade pastas and other culinary delights inspired by Salento foodways with wines raised side-by-side with the region’s wheat fields and olive groves. A marriage made not in heaven… but in Salento.

Thank you, Cantele, for coming to Houston (a note from our U.S. ambassador)

Above: Three weeks ago, downtown Houston was underwater.

For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Jeremy Parzen. I’ve been a U.S. ambassador for Cantele wines and Cantele’s English-language blogger for almost seven years now.

I’m a native California and a former New Yorker. But in 2008, not long before I met Paolo Cantele for the first time, I fell in love with a woman from Texas. In late 2008, I moved to Austin to be with her. We were married in 2010 and began having children in 2011. In 2014, after our second daughter was born, we moved to Houston to be closer to my family there and to my wife’s family, who lives in Orange, Texas about two hours east of Houston.

As you already know, Hurricane Harvey and Tropical Storm Harvey dropped more than 50 inches of rain over southeast Texas during five days of continuous rainfall. It caused catastrophic flooding and damage throughout our city and the Texas coastline.

It was the scariest thing I’ve ever lived through. And I am very fortunate to be able to say that our house didn’t flood. But our neighborhood and our community have been literally devastated by the hurricane. It was a human tragedy of epic proportions.

Paolo was one of my first friends to message me: “How can I help?” he wrote. I’ve always known Paolo to be a gentle and generous soul. I wasn’t surprised that he was one of the first people to reach out nor was I surprised by his offer.

Without missing a beat, I wrote back: “Come to Houston. Come and pour your wines and see for yourself that we are going to get back on our feet in no time.”

And he immediately responded: “I’ll be there.”

On Wednesday, October 11, we will be hosting Paolo for a wine dinner and tasting of his wines at Mascalzone on Houston’s westside.

Thank you, Paolo, for being a great friend and for supporting Houston when we need you most!

Jeremy Parzen
Cantele U.S. ambassador