I’ve been accused of many things over the years, and forgetful is most certainly one of them. When I am reminded to consider bang for the buck with respect to wine, its almost always by the wine itself. At $7.95/blt, this MezzoMondo Negroamaro Salento 2009 from the very heel of Italy is a true steal!

Sausage and cheese flat-bread pizza is in the oven at the moment, so I only have five minutes before dinner.

I love the label on this bottle – craft-colored paper with a very Galileo-esque design surrounding the year of vintage. Neat-o. The foil was removed to reveal a rather ominous black chugget of rubber stopper.  I thought two things: young/flat or complete plonk.

Four minutes left on the pizza…

Carefully poured some of this garnet-colored stuff into a Bordeaux glass and gave it a slosh.  Medium body appearance with a strangely enticing legging….  *sniff sniff  Hrmm… Very alcohol-forward… Cherry… plum…  hints of white pepper…  but I’ve been at this point before – all worked up for what may very well be anti-climatic.  I glanced at the over timer as I raised the glass to my lips…

Three minutes left.

Ka-POW!!!!  Rustic and fresh tannins with a mild acidity, popping flavors of plums and currants, pleasant linger of raisins and a flick of cedar…

Two minutes left on the pizza.

I’m sitting here staring bewildered into my wine glass!  Really? This?! This is good!! Really Good!!!  If this is the stuff Mama sloshes about with basic, honest Southern-Italian home cooking, I can’t wait until…

*Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep!!!

Ack!  Those two minutes flew by as I was lost in the astonishment of this wine. Pizza is cut, I’m at the table and taking a bite, burning the roof of my mouth, naturally.   A sip of vino to mingle with the sauce and sausage, crust and mozzarella… Awesome. I can almost see the Adriatic Sea off the terrace to the east rather than the Toronto skyline to my south.

MezzoMondo Negroamaro Salento 2009. Great with pizza obviously; I’d say good too with grilled Mackerel in a  Tomato-Cilantro sauce or full-flavored orange cheeses like Colby and Cheddar. I’ll most certainly be picking up a few bottles for my wine rack – at this price its definitely a great budget-priced vino! Yes, that was not a typo: $7.95/btl!

Salute!

~tvb

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