A-Mano Primitivo

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I think I may have a house wine. I never intended to have a house wine, but then I bought a bottle of the A-Mano Primitivo you see above and really fell for it. For the price ($10.99), it has a complexity that reminds me of the nicer wines I’ve had at fancy meals out at restaurants but it isn’t so complex that you can’t pair it with robustly flavored food, like my favorite roast chicken. (I know chicken’s supposed to go with white; but this chicken is so heavily seasoned, with fennel seeds and cayenne pepper, it’s totally a match for a powerful red like this.)

In truth, I’m starting to become more of a red guy than a white guy. While a cold white is refreshing on a hot summer’s day, I really enjoy the depth and richness of red wine. And though my preference is generally for French wines (the best wines I’ve had in my life have been at French restaurants), somehow this Primitivo does the trick. And it’s an ideal house wine (defined as: a wine to keep around the house) because it pairs really well with pastas and meats and many other things you wouldn’t expect a red wine to complement; somehow it does.

Wow: I just wrote a whole post about wine. I know some readers have been eager for me to write more about wine and this was the first bottle in a long time–maybe the first bottle ever?–that inspired me to write a post. Though, just so I don’t oversell it, I do agree with this wine blogger that “the acidity [is] a little harsh.” Yet, this write-up uses impressive wine-language to capture what I do like about it: “[It] shows loads of berry fruit, less spice than a Zin, earthiness, a touch of vanilla complemented with pepper….nice acidity and a finish that adds a counterpoint of Italian burnished leather.”

Italian burnished leather! Isn’t that a little extreme? I mean Italian leather, sure, but burnished leather? Methinks these wine bloggers go too far.

13 comments

  1. I, too, think having a house wine is a good idea.

    I’ve always been a white girl, but there are some reds that surprise me. I think I generally like sweeter wine so white is usually my choice. However, I do like Thousand Island Winery Saint Lawrence Red, which is on the sweet side. My favorites are the German Riesling. Whenever hub or I travel to the Rhine region, I stock up my suitcase :).

    I’m not a wine expert so I don’t know how to use fancy words, but all I know is that if I enjoy a wine, I make sure I keep them around the house! :)

  2. I love red wine, especially Chianti. One of my favorites is Conti Capponi Villa Calcinaia — it’s a little hard to find, but absolutely worth it. It might be a little expensive for a house wine (~$22/bottle), but every time I find it i definitely stock up.

    Also, a little disappointed that you liked the Dungeoness crabs more than our Baltimore blue crabs, but what can you do? =)

  3. Our house wine is Rex Goliath Pinot Noir. As you mention, inexpensive, but when decanted properly is a very smooth wine. A good red that can stand up to stronger dishes or compliment a fish or chicken dish as well. Give it a try, just heed my advice on the decant…ment…ing.

    I’ll look for A-mano and give it a try as well!

  4. I’m married to a Frenchman and living in France and was very surprised when first serving roast chicken that they expected red wine to drink with it, not white. I’ve also started putting red wine in the roasting pan when I bake the chicken. It makes a great sauce.

  5. I usually don’t do this, but since I started reading your blog, I’ve noticed that my tastes are often similar to yours as far as wine. So, I picked up a bottle last night. I wasn’t particularly looking for it, but I like Italian reds, especially Sangiovese (Chianti for example), so I was already in that section. My thoughts? I liked it, especially the wonderfully fruity smell. I love a good zin, and that’s basically what this is, but with Italian grown grapes (so the bottle says). I thought it wasn’t overly dry and tannic, so I agree that I can see this being a very versatile wine. Thanks for the recommendation! I’ll definitely pick this one up again!

    Could I recommend a wine for you? Cellar No. 8 zin. Good value. Good taste (albeit a bit more leathery than the Primitivo IMO)

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