- 2016 Ruggero de Bardo, Susumaniello Puglia, Italy ($9.99 @Trader Joe’s, California)
- 2016 Caves du Fournalet, Cotes du Rhone ($6.99 @Trader Joe’s, California)
It’s Thirsty Thursday – and time for this week’s Vinopointer post!
As you can see from the photo above, we have begun decorating the Penthouse Suite here at the Vinopointer Tower in giddy anticipation of the upcoming holiday season. Our first of many holiday parties is this coming weekend, and we plan to wow our guests with some of the best wine finds from – you guessed it – Trader Joe’s and Costco.
Speaking of wine finds from Trader Joe’s. As I was perusing the European wine section at my local TJs, I couldn’t help but notice how these two wines featured a similar unconventional bottle shape. While they are not exactly identical (one has sloped shoulders and one has the more muscular high shoulders) both have a lower center of gravity than traditional 750ml wine bottles. Since they remind me of Sumo wrestlers, I thought I would “put them in the ring” together and see which one would win!
Beyond their similar stout shape, I thought it would be interesting to see what else they might have in common. For starters, they are both 2016 red wines from “old world” wine producing countries. In this case, Italy and France. Both are priced under $10, which more often than not, gets a wine “invited to the dance” here at Vinopointer. Once poured into a glass however, these two wines actually have very little in common.
The Italian – after 25 years in the wine business I must say that I had never heard of the grape Susumaniello, let alone tasted a wine made from this grape. The relentless search for new and interesting wine grapes is what initially drew me to the wine business, so I was intrigued. This one turns out to be really obscure. Apparently, the grape is found only in Puglia, the heel on Italy’s boot.