Winter Rescue via Tormaresca Primitivo

It’s winter. I’m lying near the Khumbu Icefall on the Nepalese side of the Himalayas, my climbing gear crusted over with blue ice, my body a glacial mass so cold that not even a shiver can issue from my hopeless limbs. All turns to black as I fade deeper…deeper…deeper into my alpine tomb.

winter dog wine

And then, out of the corner of my icy eye, I see them.  A duo of Saint Bernards, yelping and bounding towards me, toting around their necks the ultimate rescue kit: a bottle of rich red wine and a container of steaming pasta with meat sauce.  I am saved…

…Ok, so maybe I’m not on Everest tended to by a pack of connoisseur rescue dogs.  But in the piercing frigidity that has seized New York City, I have discovered an antidote of similar efficacy: Tormaresca Primitivo and Tortellini con Ragu, both of which I wolfed down like a starving rescuee during a recent visit to the East Village’s funky trattoria, Il Bagatto.


Affordable, aromatic, and always a satisfying choice, Primitivo will light your primal fires with soft, spicy fruit and rich, sun-baked flavors.

prim2Producer: Tormaresca (Puglia, Italy)
Wine: Primitivo Torcicoda
Vintage: 2001
Cost: $19

Blood will rush back to your extremities with this wine’s potent, medium to full bodied embrace.  Big, blackberry fruits join with hints of licorice and cedar, followed by an enduring, velvety finish.  As with so many Italian reds, it shows a slight edge of tannin and acidity, but they are well-integrated and help the wine match beautifully with rich winter fare.

Tormaresca is owned by Antinori, the celebrated Italian producer based in Tuscany.