The 2005 Botromagno Primitivo is a great every-day wine.
Don't believe me? Well Gary V. of The Wine Library (yes, my favorite place to buy wine) says it's "the best house wine ever."
Gary V. is promoting it today for $12.99 a bottle.
The wine lover and rabid New York Jets fan says, "I really believe this is one of the best everyday wines I have come across in a long, long time. Primitivo is such an exciting grape for the money and all you Zinfandel fans need to pay attention and make sure you grab a case to have around the house!
Yes: he said Zinfandel. That's because the Primitivo and Zinfandel grapes are clones of the same variety. Hard to believe if you've ever suffered through some of the insipid white Zins favored by the ladies who lunch.
I've written quite a bit about Primitivo since my trip to Puglia last year. That's because in addition to being a great wine, and one I enjoyed in its original, beautiful home, it's much more affordable than a lot of the other Italian wines we can get our hands on here in the States.
And it always reminds me of what my friend Richard said about Chianti when I rented his apartment in Florence for a semester.
"That's the great hoax."
I don't mean to say I don't like Chianti, and I understand some will interpret his remark as blasphemy. But there are many other Italian wines that are really much better.
I've also pushed The Wine Library. Why? Lots of reasons -- including great prices, and a knowledgeable sales staff who don't push you into spending more than you want.
And the store and mini online empire is fronted by a person whom I would like to think is the new face of wine-drinking in America. Gary Vaynerchuk.
Just imagine: your classic American story -- son of a Russian immigrant makes good --combined with your classic New York guy. Not only is he a Jets fan, he's pronouncing the 'r' in coffee like you should.
And he makes these wacky videos about wine for the store's Wine Library TV. So you've got your classic New York wise guy extolling the virtues of a cab franc but sounding more like 'My Cousin Vinny' than some snobby, off-putting wine expert.
This is the way wine is in the rest of the world! Some people cite Robert Parker. I think I'll just cite Gary V.
One of the greatest things I ever witnessed occurred at my birthday party the year I lived in Richard's apartment, which was at the top of a medieval tower in the center of Florence.
At the party was a Florentine nobleman, who was a friend of my roommate, and an Italian friend who was a commercial truck driver. And they lost themselves in deep conversation about wine. They may have come from different walks of life but they shared a love of wine.
And afterwards, the nobleman, whose family's real estate holdings included vineyards that had been in the family for centuries, said he had never met anyone who knew as much about wine as the truck driver.
So check Gary out here: http://winelibrary.com
and here: http://garyvaynerchuk.com
Oh and have some Primitivo! Cin-Cin!