Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Yes, we have Notarpanaro

Long ago, when the Hub was a young and foolish bartender, he made the terrible mistake of dumping me. I was devastated. I made as big a scene of handing him back his apartment key as I could, then drove, weeping, to the neighborhood Fresh Plus, to pick a bottle from their modest but eccentric selection. I chose a bottle with a dull but dignified label that had been marked down a dollar and shuffled back to the checkout stand.

When I got home, I lit a fire, made a pity nest on the couch, put on Elliot Smith and popped my bottle, intending to weep and drink until I passed out. What I didn't realize was that I was about to learn what a special bottle of wine can do for a sister shunned.

The bottle was a 1990 Notarpanaro Salento Rosso IGT, and at the time, I had never had anything like it. It was dark, brooding and rich. It kept me company like a plump Italian Nonna. I stopped boo-hooing and was suddenly compeled to watch The Godfather.

Obviously, me and that redheaded bartender patched things up, and recently, I remembered that wine and went on a quest to see if it was still available and still as mysteriously rustic and comforting. Without too much effort, I found it:

1999 Dr. Cosimo Taurino 'Notarpanaro' Salento Rosso, IGT (Winebow Imports)
85% Negroamaro/15% Malvasia Nera

The label is no longer quite as plain; now sporting big gold lettering and a jaunty '1999' below. I was happy to find that the wine is even better than I remember it. Deep ruby color you can get lost in, aromas of stewed black fruit and tobacco, and a palate fat with prunes, raisins, licorice and the ashes of a love affair extinguished. This is what the term 'meditative wine' is all about. It's rustic as all get-out, so it's not for chickenshits, and it will make you hear The Godfather theme in your head when you drink it.

I'm thinking this is so...almost...Amarone-like, that it would pair beautifully with the same kind of cheeses Amarone does. So the next time some heartless prick/bitch leaves you lonely, grab the aforementioned DVD, this wine, a plateful of chunked aged cheese, and forget about him/her.

Oh, and an extra tip: leave off the Elliot Smith.


Blogger berly said...

ah YES, we have NO tarpanaro.
those were the days. spanks for the memories.

5:55 PM  
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