Negroamaro, another southern Italian grape variety

My husband has been traipsing around the west for potato conferences while I have stayed home, going to school all during January.  So when we have time together we try to maximize the quality of the time.  January/February in Walla Walla can be tough for wine geeks as most of the tasting rooms close shop after the holidays for a much-needed rest and regroup.  Alas, we had a fabulous day at a winery, which will be documented in another blog, and we went to dinner at Brasserie four on Main St.  That was a great decision!

Although there was no bottle, the menu was full of good information!
Although there was no bottle, the menu was full of good information!

Despite not having reservations (we gamble that two of us will be accommodated most of the time) we were treated to a delicious dinner and yet another wine with a new grape variety: Negroamaro!  That wasn’t planned, really.  I enjoy lamb and the meal I chose was the best lamb I have ever had, bar none.  Hubby chose a beef dinner and the 2011 Tormaresa while I chose a local wine that I knew I loved to go with my dinner.  After one sip, I knew I should have ordered the wine he chose… and he felt compelled to drink our local wine with his meal.  Wow, am I lucky!

The menu says ‘swarthy and robust’ and that is a great summation.  Rich, velvety, dark fruits and berries with gentle tannins and pleasant acid to balance the wine.  With the lamb and reduction sauce I knew I found a ‘perfect pairing’.  Upon finding it available for $7.99/bottle on the internet and the shipping about $2/bottle I will be ordering a case soon.  Even though I have never made a meal with lamb at home, I think I could enjoy drinking this wine with just about any of the winter dishes we can think of.

Ok, your turn, share your experiences with this grape or this wine – or if you have been to Walla Walla and eaten at our authentic French restaurant brasserie four.  We have well over one hundred licensed wineries in the valley and the quality of most restaurants is on par with the quality of the wine.  Recently it has been lauded as a great wine and destination place – hopefully this won’t swell the collective ‘head’ and ruin a good thing!  I am enjoying my newly adopted town.

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