It was a strange wine week at Purple Teeth HQ. A migraine, a vodka fuelled dance weekend, a meal of sushi all kept me away from my favourite red potion.
And it was a dry and warm September, so I stayed on white longer than I'd expected. But after a crisp evening walk, crunching through fallen leaves, nothing but a glass of red would do.
Full disclosure - I received this bottle free from WineCellarClub.co.uk (it's normally £9.20)
Italian wine has always been a mystery to me. Lots of cherry flavours that don't satisfy my craving for dark, smoky wine. A multitude of grape varieties and geographies that nearly make sense. And one or two hidden gems such as white Fiano and red Aglianico. There's a lot of great Italian wine out there. I'm sure of it. I just haven't found many that float my particular boat just yet.
But I'm thinking about whether to invest in my next level wine qualification - the dreaded diploma. Just thinking about that, I realise I need to drink more wine from one of the top 2 producing nations in Europe. There's still a lot to learn, regardless, and it's always nice to try something different.
I popped a few Italian wines in my basket and my friends at Wine Cellar Club added this one for my education.
It's a dark purple wine in colour and flavour - smoky and reminiscent of bonfires or sneaky autumnal barbecues. It cries out for chargrilled meat. I'd already eaten but nibbled a little vintage cheddar and it worked a treat.
It's a cuddle up with a warm fire, kind of wine, or in today's centrally heated worldwide, pop on your onesie and relax with a glass.
Medium bodied, medium tannin, and a pleasant medium acidity, it's a well balanced wine which goes down smoothly with or without food, and there's not a tart red cherry flavour in sight, although, yes, there is black cherry. I found Blackberry, smoke, spice and a hint of liquorice adding up to an Italian wine I might spend money on exploring further.
Bored of Shiraz but not ready to go as light as Pinot Noir? This could be your grape.