Tag Archives: Calabria

Liber Pater Cirò Rosso from Ippolito 1845

Cost: Average price $14

Where buy now: Solo Vino, Zipp’s, Sentyrz, Sunfish Cellars, France 44, Premier Liquors

Grapes: Gaglioppo

Region: Italy

Vintage: 2011

Liber Pater Cirò Rosso

I’m not going to grumble about how this was the worst winter in the history of the world and I’m on more meds now than ever. What I’ll do instead is recount how I made it through the doom and gloom: by finding comfort.

In times of strife, we look for a comfort zone, that place of stability often called a “happy place.” My “happy place” happens to snuggle between a good bottle of red wine and a delicious hand made pizza.

I found nirvana, if for only an hour, with a bottle of Ippolito Liber Pater Cirò Rosso. Why was it so comforting? So familiar? So enjoyable? Could it be that this wine hails from Calabria where half my maternal ancestry is from?

When referring to Italy as boot-shaped, Calabria is the region in Southern Italy that forms “the toe”. This red wine is 100% gaglioppo (gah-L’YEE-OHP-poh) hand harvested grapes that are locally grown. Liber Pater (meaning Free Father in the fancy, dead language that is Latin) Rosso includes flavors of smoke, earth and sour cherry hitting your tastebuds with soft herbs and lingering tannins haunting you after you’ve swallowed.

I was recently tipped off to St. Paul’s Morelli’s Market. Have you been? http://www.morellismarket.com/Morelli’s Market Morelli’s isn’t going to blow your mind. it’s nothing much to look at on the outside nor the inside. It’s not full of sexy gimmicks, or newfangled splendor. It’s a no frills, get in and get out kinda haunt. But, they’ve been doing it for decades and that’s gotta count for something. From what I could tell, it does. Likely (and appropriately) it was grandfathered in as both a deli and a liquor store, fully equipped with an old man delivering your libations to the car. [Oh, and did I mention this place is cash ONLY?] I walked up to the freezer “aisle” and saw made-in-house frozen pizzas. I grabbed a sausage and mushroom topped pie, probably a vino of some kind, and off I went.

To home I sped, sliding along the frosty roads, to find my happy place. Turned on the oven to preheat, and cracked open the Liber Pater Rosso so it could breathe a bit. When the pie finally finished, I pulled it out of the oven, and, it was kind of, well, beautiful. The crust crisped to perfection and oozed creamy mozzarella over the sides. Homemade sausage and plump mushrooms glistened as if proud to be on this masterpiece. One sip of the Liber Pater Rosso to marry the flavors in my mouth made me want to get down and thank God for my taste buds. I was home, I was comfortable and I was whole.

If you’re looking for a dose of comfort and stability, or your boss is being a dick and you need an omni-pleasing, hit the spot sensation, grab a bottle of Ippolito’s Liber Pater Cirò Rosso and a Morelli’s pizza. Even if you’re not Italian, you can take their (our?) cue to eat, drink and enjoy life like one.

I Greco Savu Rosato

Cost: Average price $19

Where buy now: Zipp’s Liquor Store

Grapes: Gaglioppo

Region: Calabria, Italy

Vintage: 2011

i Greco Savu Rosato

Savu in my heart

Calabria I listen

My mouth awakens

I present Savu, the Calabrian wonder Rosé. Well, I don’t think that’s how they market their wine but that’s how I’m describing it. It had been a couple months since my last haiku, but this was plenty enough to inspire me.

Why am I gushing about Calabria, well it’s simply a matter of history. My history, yes, but I’m selfish like that. My Grandma’s side of the family comes from Calabria so therefore, it instantly peaks my curiosity. Calabria is the “toe” of the Italian boot. It’s a region that has been raped and pillaged by several different warring conquerors. It’s rough terrain, wrought with earthquakes, and due to a long standing feudal system, people weren’t able to own land and suffered from poverty. Hmm, sounds great! No wonder there was a mass exodus in the late 19th-early 20th century to the new world, mainly the United States, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Australia.

Times, they are a-changing. Calabria is becoming more of a travel destination as is the rest of Southern Italy. They are exporting delicious olives, olive oils, figs and what’s this. . .wine? The main grape indicative to Calabria is called Gaglioppo (gah-L’yee-OHP-poh). It is used to make Ciro, probably one of their more popular wines. The grape is known to provide a full-bodied red wine that is rich in spices, smoke and tannins. This is indicative of Calabrian wines made with grapes grown toward the bottom of the mountains. They grow in warmer temperatures near the sea which bring out the grapes’ intensity.

The Savuto wines are made with Gaglioppo grapes grown at a higher altitude. This creates a little more balance, the wines are softer and lighter in that the grapes get the warmth of the sun during the day but in the evenings, it cools off. Tis what’s happened with the grapes used to make the I Greco Savu Rosato (Rosé in Italian). This Rosé isn’t that bright pink color like we’ve been seeing in other Rose’s. This one has an orange-pinkish hue. It’s interesting, not in a Yoko Ono-odd kind of way. But it’s mildly complex and delicious! It’s wine you’ll drink in and feel transported to the Calabrian hills.

Unlike some Rosé’s that have that strawberry fruit forward taste, this one does have red fruit character but it’s layered with a floral, salty and spicy quality.

If the price was lower, I’d cellar up with this baby for the Summer. Alas, it does toggle my $15 price point so I Greco Savu Rosato is my Snob Wine of the Month. I’m glad to have enjoyed it and hope you’ll give the Calabrian wine a chance to wet your whistle!