Just back from an amazing trip to Puglia.  Puglia is the heel of the boot, but it ain’t no heel.  It’s an amazing region that feels like the real Italy you always imagined.  We enjoyed a lot of amazing food and wine, and there are so many great things about Puglia, but the thing that struck me the most were the people.  I can think of very few places I have been where people were so welcoming.  In the small town of Cisternino, for example, people were literally inviting us into their homes.  When we thought we might encounter someone bothered by a group of Americans and Brits, we just found more and more friendly welcoming people.  Maybe being the heel of the boot has kept Puglia undiscovered a bit, but it is a truly special region that has left a lasting impression.  Ciao Puglia…

PUGLIA

One of the most amazing things in a list of amazing things about Puglia, are the Trulli houses in Alberobello, and the surrounding countryside.

Fairytale Trulli roofs in Alberobello, Puglia.

We dined in a Trulli. Sweet...

Big bottles in the local Enoteca in Alberobello.

Okay, anoher amazing thing about Puglia. The endless number of beautiful ancient olive trees.

A room with a view. Borgo Engazia, Puglia

CUCINA

Local Rosato and Olives in the Trulli Ristorante.

Burrata is native to Puglia. This is Burrata before.

This is Burrata after. Yum...

The Puglian Bread Treat: Taralli.

Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale, there is nothing like it. Forget the everyday stuff, this is the real deal.

Zucchini Flowers & Onion Galette.

Dentex, it's a fish, and it's awesome.

There are lots of local pasta shapes in Puglia.

Wheat Pasta, with tomatoes and basil. So fresh...

I love little Italian cookies like nobodies business. Good times...

VINI ROSATO

The Alberto Longo Rosato was my favorite. A dry refined rosé. The color was amazing, bordering on orange/rust.

Rasciantano Rosato, one of the better Rosato's. Amazing Color.

Rosato was a daily occurrence. It's hard to meet a Rosé you don't like in Puglia.

Leone de Castris, Five Roses Rosato. The first of many fine Rosés enjoyed.

Rosato, aka Rosé, is produced abundantly in Puglia. Many fine examples were to be had. The Five Roses is a go to play.

VINI ROSSO

Masseria Maime, Negroamaro. A bit of Super Tuscan character in effect here.

Attanasio, Primitivo di Manduria, not for the faint of heart at 16.5% ABV. Reminded me of a Ridge Zinfandel.

Terredora di Paolo, Taurasi, 2003 Campore Riserva.

No trip to Southern Italy would be complete without a little Taurasi. Terradora di Paulo is one of the best producers to boot.

I had never had the COS Contrada, so we tired. COS is seemingly able to do no wrong. Awesome Nero d'Avola. Sicily is next on my list for Italy.

Livelli, Salice Salentino. The Riserva was an excellent Salice. Very balanced.

The Pezzo Morgana, Livelli, Salice Salentino 2008 Riserva. Negromaro in the house.

Sine Die, Aglianico del Vulture. This was a personal favorite, very pure.

I was introduced to Aglianico del Vuture by Jeremy Parzen at Do Bianchi, and it has proven to be a go to for excellent wines. The Sine Die is an excellent example.

Primitivo di Manduria. This is a luxury bottling, a velvety rendition in fact.

The Primitivo di Manduria was modern and very plush in style.

VIN SANTO

No trip to Italy would be complete without a little Vin Santo.

The Colombini Vin Santo was much loved by all. Amazing stuff...

CIAO PUGLIA

Ciao Puglia...