Monday 5 September 2011


BILL Calabria's full-flavoured red
to try with Southern Italy's oddly-named
"prostitute's spaghetti."


David Ellis

THERE probably wouldn't be more than a dozen Australian makers produce the rare Aglianico, a full-flavoured and elegant red that originated in Greece and found its way into Southern Italy a couple of millennia ago.

The ever-adventurous Bill Calabria at Westend Wines in the NSW Riverina has cleverly mastered Aglianico, just releasing a 2008 that's got black cherry and ripe plum aromas and coffee and smoky notes on the palate, together with what Bill likes to call "Italianesque tannins."

It will be interesting to see how it fares in the market-place here, as even in Italy, Aglianico is not grown much outside the Basilicata and Campania regions, yet being at home in very warm to hot areas it could thrive in several of our such regions.
MIDNIGHT delight when
a party's in sight.

If, like Bill, you too are a bit adventurous, match his 2008 Calabria Private Bin Aglianico (at just $14.95) with one of it's homeland's favourites – spaghetti alla puttanesca (strangely it means "prostitute's spaghetti,") whose flavour-some sauce is made of garlic, olive oil, tomatoes, anchovies, capers and chilli.

ONE FOR LUNCH: WESTERN Victoria's Blue Pyrenees Midnight Cuvee is one of Australia's favourite home-made Methode Traditionelle sparkling wines, and so-named after the Chardonnay grapes used in a trial harvest in the 1980s were picked under a midnight moon to avoid daytime heat, and thus deliver the fruit in optimum condition.

The 2008 that's now available lives up to the label's reputation as a party-room favourite – and like those early experiments the grapes for this were also harvested at night, but under floodlight rather than moonlight.

If you've a party in sight, this one's good value at $30 with its lively flavours and fresh acidity.


No comments: