One of the problems with Italian wines these days is that the Italians are so eager to crack the U.S. market that are developing wines to appeal to the U.S. palate. Which means, of course, that they don’t taste very Italian.
Note to Italian wine producers: If the Wine Curmudgeon wants to drink wine that tastes like U.S. wine, he’ll drink wine made in the U.S.
Hence my relief – no, my joy – when I tasted the Maru (about $10). This is Italian wine in all its glory – cheap, quality stuff made with a grape (negroamaro) that most people have never heard of from a region (Salento) that is equally as unknown. It’s dark, earthy, and plummy, with low alcohol (13 percent), trademark Italian acid, and without many tannins to get in the way. This cries out for food -- sausages, ragus, roast pork and the like. Highly recommended, and a candidate for the 2010 $10 Hall of Fame. Availability may be limited (the only reason I got to taste it is that a Dallas restaurateur didn’t use his sample), but don’t let that stop you.