Friday, October 23, 2020

Tasting Notes: Cantele Negroamaro Rosato 2018 with a Simple Pasta

While it definitely feels like Fall in the mornings, California's central coast is still getting warm enough during the afternoons that it feel like it might be appropriate weather for a pink wine. A few months ago, for the August Italian Food Wine Travel blogging event, I posted: Italian Pinks, Sardinian Native Grapes, and Gamberi all'Aglio.

In the Glass

I initially bought a bottle of Cantele Negroamaro Rosato 2018 (purchased at for $17) to share that month, but then decided to focus on native grapes from Sardinia. So this wine from Puglia didn't fit my theme. I held on to the bottle and have decided to share it with you today. 

map from

Puglia is, if you look at Italy's boot, the heel. A little history: At the end of World War II, most of Puglia's population migrated North to find factory near Milan and Turin. Instead of following the exodus, Giovanni Battista Cantele, a wine merchant living in Imola, in the Emilia-Romagna, moved to Salento. After studying winemaking, Giovanni's son, Augusto, started the winery in 1979 with his father and his brother Domenico. Now the winery is run by the third generation of Cantele - Gianni and Paolo, Augusto's sons, and Umberto and Luisa, Domenico's son and daughter. 

The Cantele winery is located in Guagnano where the Negroamaro grape grows prolifically. Typically used to make rustic red wines, this Rosato is beautifully vivid and food-friendly.

In the glass the Cantele Negroamaro Rosato 2018 poured a bright salmon hue. On the nose, the wine was bright with a mixture of flowers and fruit. On the palate, the wine was vibrant and tangy. One of the things I love about most Rosato wines is their complexity beyond being just a summer sipper. 

On the Plate

The fresh persistence on this made me think of pairing it with a slightly earthy, meaty pasta. So, I whipped up a simple pasta with ground turkey, wilted spinach, and earthy, savory tahini. I did use soy sauce for saltiness and honey for sweetness. But this was an easy dinner at the end of a long workday.

Ingredients serves 6

  • 6 Tablespoons tahini (feel free to substitute any nut butter if you don't have tahini)
  • 4 Tablespoons soy sauce or gluten-free tamari
  • 1 Tablespoon honey (I've also used ginger syrup or maple syrup as well)
  • 1 Tablespoon warm water
  • 1 Tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 Tablespoon rice vinegar -or- freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1" knob fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and pressed

  • 1 package noodles, cooked as directed and drained (I used spaghetti)
  • 1 Tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 2 to 3 cups organic spinach
  • a hard cheese for grating


Put all the ingredients for the sauce into a blender or the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until smooth. Set aside.

Heat 1 Tablespoon sesame oil in a large skillet. Add in the ground turkey and cook until completely browned, approximately 6 to 8 minutes; there should be no pink left. Stir in the greens and cook until just wilted, approximately 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in 1 to 2 Tablespoons of the sauce and set aside.

Place cooked and drained pasta into a large mixing bowl. Add in the cooked turkey and spinach mixture and add rest of the sauce. Toss to coat completely. 

Serve immediately or even at room temperature. Let diners grate cheese over the top to their preference.

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