I didn’t bring much wine back from my recent trip to Apulia but I did grab this intriguing bottle of beer in the nice Liberrima wine & book shop in Lecce.
Coming from the local B94 brewery in Lecce, this Terrarossa red ale comes in a serious 750ml bottle, and is made in the style of a Belgian double or, better, radieuse. It pours a a nice deep amber reddish colour and is instantly inviting with notes of Christmas spices and red fruits (strawberries, cherries). It is even more convincing on the palate with a very clean, deep, well-defined malty flavour, yet avoiding the excessive caramelly sweetness of many beers in its style. Instead, it finishes with proper hoppy bitterness that make this a very good match with food. I’ve tried it with one of my favourite beer & food matches – a mid-aged Camembert cheese and endive salad.
One more useful detail – at 5% alc. the Terrarossa is lighter than comparable Belgian beers, and so finishing the bottle could be done more or less innocuously. Raffaele Longo makes a few more beer styles and while I’m not sure about distribution, be sure to give him a try when you have the occasion.
Source of beer: own purchase.