Rose wine in a beer bottle…from Puglia!

Story and Photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet TM

The irreverent and suave Travelling Gourmet TM tells you about this unique wine from Puglia in the south of Italy, a most…

MARVELLOUS region which I love. On the map it is is the “heel” of Italy. This article first appeared on the website of mio buon amico Davide Gangi aka “Il Cubano”. His website is “Vinoway”.

“Five Roses” Leone de Castris: the first ever rosé wine in a bottle of beer

Born in the dark days of the Second World War…

Thinking about “Five Roses” takes us back to a beautiful family story, linked to historical events and the chances of destiny. Born in 1943, this wine is the first rosé ever bottled in Italy and exported to USA! It is made from local varietals such as Negroamaro (90%) and Malvasia Nera (10% ). Its romatico name comes from the district “Cinque Rose” in Salice Salentino, in the province of Lecce, where the famous Apulian family is the owner of several hectares of vineyards, producing wine since the 17th century. In addition to the fact that Leone de Castris progeny has always been composed of five children, therefore the name “Cinque Rose”. Cinque means “five”

In 1943 during the II World War, Don Piero Leone De Castris sold a substantial supply of wine to General Charles Poletti, head of the American Military Government, who fell in love with the wine but changing the Italian name “Cinque Rose” in “Five Roses” for the new American market.

The story would stop at this point, but there is something more, a detail that should not be overlooked. There was a stumbling block tied to packaging, as it was impossible  to rely on a supply of bottles in wartime. Don Piero was inspired decided to stock up all the beer bottles found in Brindisi, so he bottled his wine in them thus finding an “alternative” way to ship the first Italian rosè to US.

from dsc 1132 w1

from dsc 1132 w1

Since 1943 and until today, the “Five Roses” has consolidated its status as a “legend”, always faithful to his style, always pleasant and surprising. Pink cherry colour, “hot” like the Italian sun and most intriguing; notes of black cherry mixed mixed with strawberry and raspberry, with an elegant finish of rosehip.. Its young but silky tannins gratify even the most demanding connoisseurs. It is a timeless rosè wine. When pouring  into the glass it would be nice to recall the words of Don Piero, the first time he offered Five Roses to his guests: “It is a rosé from Negroamaro and Malvasia Nera, grown in my estate of Five Roses in Salice. A wine produced  in small quantities because it is the favourite to my wife Lisette and her friends. That is why we  never bottled it “…

Every taste reminds one of Puglia where a beautiful Signorina once sang to me in Gravina di Puglia…”When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s amore…” There was a magical full moon that night… 🙂


About thetravellinggourmet

As a renowned Travel, Food & Wine Writer he has travelled the world in a keen & indomitable pursuit of exotic delicacies & fine wines. His articles have been published in over 20 prestigious publications, both local & international. Dr. Lim has toured and trained in Wine Evaluation & Oenology in most of the world's top wine producing areas from France to Australia. The Travelling Gourmet says, "Gastronomy has no frontier. These are the gastronomic voyages of The Travelling Gourmet. My unending mission. To explore strange new cuisines, to seek out new wines and new culinary experiences, to boldly go where no gourmet has gone before...." Have pen, will travel. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any other information storage & retrieval system, without permission from Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet and/or MSN. Material may be works of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents may be true but may also be products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance whatsoever to actual person or persons, either dead or living, events, or locales may be entirely and purely coincidental and unintentional. No part of this website may be used to villify others or for criminal purposes. Interests: Travel, Food, Wines, Cooking, Wine Appreciation, Parachuting, Languages, Music, Reading, Swimming, Hunting, Ballet, Fencing, Archery, Anthropology and more... The Travelling Gourmet is a copyrighted trademark. All rights and photos reserved. No part may be reproduced without permission.
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