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Two Outstanding Wines – both on offer at £7.

Never heard of Salice Salentino and still judge riesling by its last century reputation? Put both things right with this post.

Something of a “game of two halves” today.

First comes a variety that is well-known but still seems to be scarred by opinions formed years ago – and never fully dispelled.

No prizes for guessing that this a reference to the (in my view) seriously undervalued riesling.

Its companion today is red wine from a region (Puglia) that is seldom underestimated but where the wine zones within it are less well-known.

Salice Salentino is one such DOC and, such are the injustices of life, that even its principal grape – negroamaro – tends to be overshadowed (by primitivo).

But this is an opportunity to check them out as both examples here are excellent wines – and both are on offer until 7 March.

As is normal on this site, pictures and hyperlinks are provided where possible to guide you straight to the right wine on shelf or web page.

At the risk of being a nag ….

2020 The Best Riesling (£7 – instead of £8.50 until 7 March – at Morrisons):

Regardless of my oft repeated advocacy for riesling, out-dated assumptions persist about the variety.

Its alleged sweetness and complaints about indifferent quality at low prices are two frequently expressed objections.  

So, despite the variety’s capacity for versality, nuance and freshness, modern riesling remains a hard sell.

However, this example tells a different story – with straightforward, nicely dry, melon centred flavours accompanied by citrus acidity and touches of peaches and sherbet limes.

There is just a trace of riesling’s trademark kerosene on the nose, but that never seems to reach the palate.

Note: This may be an in-store promotion only so does not appear on the retailer’s website. Hence, no hyperlink – to avoid confusion

And try Southern Italy for this red

2021 Borgodei Trulli Salice Salentino (£6.99 – instead of £8.99 until 7 March – at Waitrose):  

Make sure you snap up this nicely configured red from a highly regarded zone in the heel of Italy while it is still £7.

It skilfully blends the local negroamaro grape with one of its regular companions (black malvasia).

Intense yet brilliantly balanced, the result delivers flavours of cherry, plum and earthy dark fruits.

Fresh acidity then adds vitality to its busy background of tobacco, spice, leather and cocoa.

After today’s exclusive focus on the everyday end of wine world offerings, Thursday’s post brings news of two Sunday Best options that are, however, both amazingly kindly priced.

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