Taurino Winery was the first winery in Puglia to import to the United States. It has been a symbol of the somewhat unknown and sometimes mistrusted region, standing for reliability. Its most basic red, the Salice Salentino Riserva, is an amicable tablewine. Notarpanaro, on the other hand, makes people sing, and it runs for about $19-22. This, in my opinion, is a seriously under-priced fine wine.
If you're having a tough time finding this wine, there's good news. The winery has picked up a new distributor, IMA Imports, and its wines are now being distruted in areas of the U.S. that haven't seen it in years. IMA Importants has recently given me a list of stores and winebars offering Notarpanaro in northern California, particularly around San Francisco. I've also seen the wine in stores throughout New England. New York City obviously has it covered. Please write in with any specific questions or opinions.Retail:
Piedmont Grocery, 4038 Piedmont Ave (between 40th St & Glen Ave), Oakland, CA
Unwined, 6946 Almaden Expressway, San Jose, CA
Coach House Wine & Spirit, 1655 S. De Anza Blvd., Cupertino, CA
Caffe Venezia, 1799 University St., Berkeley, CA
Bubbles Wine Bar, 17105 Monterey Street, Morgan Hill, CA
As always, if you really want a wine but don't see it on the shelves, make sure to mention it to one of the wine store employees. They can at the very least order it.
When I visited Cosimo Taurino winery, it was 2009 Cantine Aperte. It was a burning hot day in the south of Italy, and the winery provided its wines as well as traditional Pugliese food, including delicious polpette, aka mini meatballs.
I was very happy to see all of its wines being liberally poured, including its Patriglione (the next step up from Notarpanaro, it runs 28 euro a bottle in Italy and hasn't made a dent on the American market).
There was a band playing the pizzica (click here to hear the real deal).
And they tried to make us dance.