Winter has arrived here but … still reluctant to turn up the heating, I pulled out the perfect bottle to warm us from the inside.
There’s just one wine I rely on to do this, and of course it’s Selvarossa … the biggest wine I know.
Not the most alcoholic, but certainly the most concentrated. It comes from Puglia – the heel of Italy’s boot, where, if winemakers are not careful, their wines can indeed end up at 18 degrees, or even more apparently – though I’ve never wanted to try them.
Selvarossa comes in at 14 or so … from a cooperative cellar that is owned communally by 1000 wine producers, and it is their top wine. So Vicenzo – lucky head winemaker – gets to skim the finest cream of the cream from the entire crop … always an excellent crop because even to belong to the cellar a winegrower must prove they have the right varieties (Negroamaro and Black Malvasia being key) and vines of a good age, pruned only in the traditional alberella ‘bush’ way.
Until I got to try Selvarossa myself I would never have thought that one day a wine from the deep south of Italy would outsell every other Italian wine on our list. Now, I’m not surprised at all, and don’t even find it surprising that three thousand customers take a case of this every year.
We had it last night with slow cooked braised ox cheeks in wine – some combination! It was the 2017. I hear the imminent 2018 is even better.
Choosing between thermal underwear and thermal wine … and food is not difficult I find.
And if anyone fancies getting the £22 Selvarossa for £15, check out the Vineyard Partners pages on our website.