The original 1860’s Milano-Torino cocktail mixes Campari and red vermouth in equal measures. Its a drink that eventually led to the development of the Negroni and the Americano. At Bar 300 in Lecce, a delightful town right down in the Italian heel, they add a healthy doze of Negroamaro Rose for their Torino-Lecce version. And […]
The original 1860’s Milano-Torino cocktail mixes Campari and red vermouth in equal measures. Its a drink that eventually led to the development of the Negroni and the Americano. At Bar 300 in Lecce, a delightful town right down in the Italian heel, they add a healthy doze of Negroamaro Rose for their Torino-Lecce version. And a super little cocktail it makes too. The bar, outside of Lecce old town, just to the north of Piazza Mazzini has a mighty impressive shelf-upon-shelf of drinks lining the right hand wall as you enter. The back of the bar is lacking and uninspiring in comparison to be honest, so I sat at the bar.
Over 500 gins and 800 whiskies said the head barman through the wonders of google translate. There was possibly a hint of exaggeration there but the bank of gins right behind my stool was fabulously impressive.
My second aperitif was, if memory serves, their version of a Negroni. The barman spent several minutes picking out a few choice gins; being in Italy I asked for an Italian gin and we eventually settled on Riviera to be added to the Campari, red vermouth and soda water. I’ve since learnt this is gin is based on a recipe created back in the 1940s by a British solider stationed in Rimini. It features juniper, sweet orange, bergamot, cinnamon, elderflower, coriander and ginger. It is also £60 a bottle from Master of Malt!
A nearby restaurant I was recommended seemed closed – I received some odd looks so I suspect I was rattling the wrong door – so I wandered across town in the most glorious of evenings and landed at a little wine bar just behind the Duomo. One advantage Quanto Basta has over Bar 300 is the outside seating; a delight in the early summer warmth. I discovered a little YouTube video (below) by Local Traveller that gives a flavour…
Photo Gallery: Exploring Lecce Puglia
The eastern end of Via Umberto Primo hosts a whole row of bars and restaurants. I offer a recommendation for Mamma Elvira, a wine bar, made even more enjoyable if Past & Fasul do a little busking up and down the street while you relax. The bar lists around 250 wines solely from Puglia, all available by the glass.
“All wines are independently selected by us between those of better quality that offers Puglia. Our wines are accompanied by cold and hot dishes served in small tasting portions to allow the discovery of local ingredients. Our attention in selecting the starting products and fresh ingredients is obsessive.. “
Video: Exploring Lecce Puglia Quanto Basto Video
Recommendations to me came from those masters of all things wine and tourisum in Puglia, Francesco and Angela, operating as Salento Wine Tours.
Five years later and on the 10 year anniversary of the first episode of Wine Library TV, Gary Vaynerchuk is back! On this comeback episode of…
Five years later and on the 10 year anniversary of the first episode of Wine Library TV, Gary Vaynerchuk is back! On this comeback episode of the show Gary tastes some super premium wines from California.
It's officially summer. Unofficially, it's basil season. Right now, I am overwhelmed with the stuff. Pictured to the left is one of my behemoth basil plants. Having a lot of basil isn't exactly a problem, I admit. Who doesn't love basil? But for wine lovers, basil can make for difficult pairings. This is one assertive herb, and you need a wine that isn't going to clash with it, nor do you want your wine to disappear on the palate.
My usual go-to wine when strong green, herbal notes are part of a dish is Sauvignon Blanc. But New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs are often quite citrusy, and US Sauvignon Blancs can be too melony and soft for basil. So I opened a Chilean Sauvignon Blanc--and it was perfect with my linguine tossed with homemade pesto and topped with some heirloom cherry tomatoes.
The 2011 Viña Carmen Sauvignon Blanc Gran Reserva (available for $13-$15 in the market) is made from grapes grown in the Leyda Valley. It has vibrant aromas of grass, gooseberry, and that uniquely weird smell of boxwood that I often smell in Sauvignon Blancs from the southern hemisphere. This wine was green and leafy rather than citrusy, with a backbone of acidity that was neutral in flavor but kept your mouth watering for more. The midpalate was herbal, making me think 'this is what Cabernet Franc would taste like if it were white and not red.' Cool and refreshing, this stood up to the basil. If you have the wine with something less resolutely green, you may find that its assertiveness is a problem but if you have basil, this is a good wine to go with it--and it represents very good QPR.
Full Disclosure: I received a sample of this wine for possible review.