A Wine Lover’s Weekly Review Of $10 Wines – A Primitivo Rose From Italy

Today’s wine comes from Apulia, which is a high-volume region of southern Italy. The producer comes from a 3rd generation wine making family in Veneto, five regions up the Adriatic coast. Founded in 1928, Casa Vinicola Botter sold wine regionally in casks and demijohns and only got into bottles in the 1950s. Now 90% of their production is exported. They also export grape juice, quoting their website “a product unknown in Italy”. Many people think that the Primitivo grape is closely related to Zinfandel. The companion wine is a rose from the famous (but not for high-quality wine) Provence region in southern France, coming in at twice the price.

OUR WINE REVIEW POLICY All wines that we taste and review are purchased at the full retail price.

Wine Reviewed Ogio Primitivo Rose IGT 2010 12.5 % alcohol about $9.

Let’s start by quoting the marketing materials. “Tasting Note: Clear pale coral color; strawberry, raspberry, and cherry aromas; dry, light to medium body; ripe berry flavor. Serving Suggestion: Serve with summer salad.” And now for my review.

At the first sips this wine seemed a bit metallic. Its acidity was too harsh, but there was a tinge of sweetness. I started with Japanese rice crackers that softened the libation’s acidity. And a Wasabi pea made it taste fairly good. The initial meal was an omelet perked up with majoram, garlic powder, dried basil leaves, black pepper, and a Middle Eastern spice mix. The unfortunate result was mouth puckering acidity and not all that much fruit. With hummus the drink was sweet and provided a trace of berries. The other side dish was a Matabucha salad that consisted of tomatoes, tomato paste, onion, sweet red and green pepper. This marriage led to a peppery wine with a smidgen of raspberries.

The following meal centered on sauteed chicken breast cubes that were covered with a mixture of cumin, garlic powder, and black pepper. Now this wine was round and offered raspberries. Perhaps surprisingly, bulgar intensified the liquid’s acidity. Then came a Turkish salad consisting of tomato, tomato paste, onion, sweet red pepper, garlic, sugar, and other spices. The salad muted the wine. And fresh raspberries rendered this Primitivo tasteless.

My final meal was a boxed eggplant parmiagana that I doused with grated Parmesan cheese. The wine started out sour, but did improve although I didn’t notice a lot of fruit. Zinny’s cousin didn’t mesh with dessert, bittersweet Swiss chocolate.

For several years I have been reviewing the wines with two cheeses. No longer; at least not on a regular basis. I am not a big fan of wine and cheese and really don’t feel that I’ll miss it.

Final verdict. This wine did not even come close. The producer makes other similarly-priced wines that are also available in my area. I am not rushing to try them.

Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten computer and Internet books, but drinking fine Iwine with good company. He loves teaching computer classes at an Ontario French-language community college. His global wine website www.theworldwidewine.com features a weekly review of $10 wines. His Italiian  travel website is http://www.travelitalytravel.com .

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