Primitivo in the Springtime

April 5, 2005

Well, it’s a balmy 13 degrees here in Winnipeg, so it finally feels like spring. And in spring, a young man’s heart turns to thoughts of…wine? Doesn’t sound quite right, but I hope it will do.

April is one of the in-between months in Winnipeg. Right now it’s beautiful. Tomorrow, it could be nice again, or it could snow. You never know. So I try and aim up the middle. Rich whites and medium-bodied red wines are my April favourites. And a safe bet for this time of year is a bottle of Primitivo, specifically the Pasqua “Terre del Sole” Primitivo. Yum. Can’t beat this one for the combination of taste and price ($12-ish at the private stores).

Primitivo has identical DNA to California’s well-known Zinfandel grape, and both are related to an obscure Croatian red grape. But (at least in Winnipeg) Primitivo is generally a much better bargain than Zinfandel. You get the same kind of flavour in the two wines (lots of spicy berry fruit with a long, velvety finish), although the Italian wines have a bit more earthiness and acidity.

But a decent Zinfandel will set you back at least $17-18 in Winnipeg. So I’d recommend a Primitivo any day. The private stores have a good range, and so does the MLCC.

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