NGW: Sfida 2010   4 comments

Piano strains of As Time Goes By were meshing with the clattering of silver against fine bone china and the droning hum of masticating guests conversing over their hotel scrambled eggs and bangers.

Week Two finds me at the luxurious Peninsula Hotel in Manila.  There always seems to be some live music playing in the lobby.   Bangkok and Manila are quite warm these days, both being at nearly identical latitudes.  And having worn out some shoe leather walking around these cities, I am happy to come back to the “palace” to put my feet up before I head out for some more fun. 

Afternoon tea when I am on the road is one of those little luxuries that keep me sane.  Ms. R tells me am spoiled, but I don’t really see it that way.  When I am home, I treat myself to these luxuries.  I just have other people doing the legwork for me when I travel.  But it can never take the place of what I get when I am home. 

That will come later– for now I’m journeying down this gilded Rabbit Hole:

The table was a large one, but the three were all crowded together at one corner of it: `No room! No room!’ they cried out when they saw Alice coming. `There’s PLENTYof room!’ said Alice indignantly, and she sat down in a large arm-chair at one end of the table.

`Have some wine,’ the March Hare said in an encouraging tone.

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Alice looked all round the table, but there was nothing on it but tea. `I don’t see any wine,’ she remarked.

`There isn’t any,’ said the March Hare.

`Then it wasn’t very civil of you to offer it,’ said Alice angrily.

`It wasn’t very civil of you to sit down without being invited,’ said the March Hare.

`I didn’t know it was YOUR table,’ said Alice; `it’s laid for a great many more than three.’

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One of my wine sellers was pretty high on today’s wine suggesting that it had high QPR.  So I took a bottle home to try.  I am glad I purchased only one.  I have nothing against Puglia.  In fact, I have had more than a few wines from there that I quite enjoyed.  The best of them offset the typically ripe fruit with enough acidity to continue to make for interesting drinking through the last drop of the bot.  Unfortunately, this southern Italian wine does not quite measure up.  I usually try to recommend wines that you should try.  Today, I give you one that you may want to try– to avoid.  And certainly at the price I paid for it. 

A word on retailers– many of them will give you the best price they can for any given wine, but some of them will try to build in an extra buck or four into the price of their bottles.  Do your homework.  With the internet, there is no excuse.  The retailer that I refer to above, I always check on because I know that many of their wines can be had for less elsewhere.  And because of this, they lose part of my business because checking up on them is exhausting.  To quote Alice, “It’s not very civil of you to offer it” at this price unless it really does have high QPR. Seems to me that the only ratio that this retailer was truly interested in was his own gross margin ratio.

Sfida Rosso Puglia 2010 ($14).  A blend of Primitivo (genetically similar to Zinfandel) and Negroamaro.  Overly ripe fruit which made it seem out of balance.  Not my favorite style.  At this price-point look elsewhere.  But if you like this style, it can be had from other retailers for less than $10– but tread slowly.  Rated *1/2

The little guy, at the top of the page, doesn’t have a guilty bone in his body.  Neither should you.  Here is this week’s $15 or less offering. 

No-Guilt Wednesday (NGW) is not about compromising on quality.  It’s all about drinking good wine that does not break the bank, eating good food and of course, it’s about sharing with the ones you love.

Posted May 2, 2012 by Sybarite Sauvage in No-Guilt Wednesday

4 responses to “NGW: Sfida 2010

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  1. A sniff, a swirl, and a spit (and a scintillating story)!
    Sounds like your “sucky wine” quota has been more than met over the last week. I would have rebelled…

    We were in Puglia and Basilicata in September of last year, and certainly did have some worthwhile wines from the region which has been partially transformed by the wine revolution. That being said, there are plenty of monochromatic, boozy and boring wines coming out of Puglia. I would encourage you to experiment further, and try to filter the results by alcohol percentage (I try to stay away from wines bigger than 13.5%, or even 13%), and varietal (the ubiquitous Primitivo bores me to tears, and I go for lesser known stuff like Uva di Troia, or interesting blends.
    If you have a chance, try Alberto Longo Cacc’e Mmitte di Lucera.

  2. Thankfully, I have actually had some interesting wines on this trip including a 2005 Château Branaire (Duluc-Ducru) from St. Julien that was quite tasty with some meat pies. All is not doom and gloom, as you see.

    And here is my dirty little secret. The Sfida was tasted some weeks ago in anticipation of this trip since I am here on business and it’s difficult to go shopping for sub-$15 wines when there are so many work dinners and events to attend to outside of normal business hours. Still, I needed some inspiration to tie the review together– Enter my afternoon tea and the lovely Alice!

    I should also point out that the events described in the post took place during the weekend when I arrived in Manila.

    Thank you for following my posts!

  3. Mr. R. is it?
    Cantele 2006 Primitivo, $14.95 and Layer cake 2007 Primitivo (Zinfandel), $15.99, and Flaio Salento 2008 Primitivo, $7.64 ,are three Puglia wines that I enjoyed, (Most of them are just table wines) but every time I see a Primitivo I buy it, just because there aren’t that many available here.
    May I call you Mr. R?
    I hope that whatever wine you’re drinking or whatever piano strains you’re listening to, that all is well and you’ll return soon to: ” But it can never take the place of what I get when I am home.” And to Ms. R!
    Dennis the menace.

    • Sorry to disappoint, but neither an R nor an S. Though Ms. R will certainly get a kick out of your remark.

      It reminds me of JFK’s remark on a trip to France with his wife: , “I am the man who accompanied Jacqueline Kennedy to Paris — and I have enjoyed it!”

      I will certainly enjoy reuniting with my familly on my return.

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