Battle of the Bargain Reds

bargain-redsBoth of these popular reds have recently changed vintage so here’s the scoop on “˜will you still love them’. Fans of soft, smooth and yummy will love the 12 Primitivo. There’s a slight sweetness making it feel more American than Italian.

La Casona has gone in the opposite direction and feels quite tangy dry, and rustic. Lots of vitality and very pure flavours ““ shades of Valpolicella. Very refreshing and a great buy for fans of light reds, especially if chilled.

P.S. Another Spanish value red, Castillo de Monseran, feels tired and dull in the 2012 vintage.

LUCCARELLI 12 Primitivo, Puglia, Italy 253856 $10.45

FAMILIA CASTANO 12 “˜La Casona’, Yecla, Spain 143743 $9.95

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  • With the Duchess pampering herself at the spa, I prepared a candlelit Valentine’s Day. The Primitivo complemented the roast very nicely. A second bottle fireside outlasted the last embers–Sergio Franchi never sounded so good!–and there was just enough for a glass each at lunch (slices of leftover roast piled high on a horizontally-sliced baguette with aioli). There would have been enough for a second glass had the Duchess, showing off her dance moves after dinner, not inadvertently knocked the bottle off the table and onto the Persian rug.

    • Indeed, Billy, when the Duchess had sobered up sufficient to realize the magnitude of what had happened she was horrified at “ruining a family heirloom.” To my mind, the rug simply has a little added character. There’s an old saying that “wrinkles only go where the smiles have been.” I’d like to add a corollary: “wine spills only go where the fun has been.”

      (I should point out that I almost always get two bottles when I buy a new wine that Billy recommends: I’ve never known him to steer me wrong and if I buy one bottle and love it I’m invariably disappointed that there’s not a second.)

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