The etymology of the word gossamer originated in Middle English as “goose summer” or “gos mer”, late summer warmth, when the geese where in prime condition to be eaten! Over time it has morphed into an adjective “gossamer” meaning “light, delicate or tenuous” like a butterfly wings. Thus on the bottle of Gossamer Cellars a delicate butterfly or fairy is depicted with butterfly wings. To this end, it is appropriately named as Gary Grant “flitters from varietal to varietal” making unique, high quality and lesser known wines for those open to experience the vast world of wine!
Gossamer Cellars located in Murphys, California is one of the gems of the Sierra Foothills. Their “motto” written in chalk in a very tiny tasting room sums up their goal and lifestyle “Adventure may hurt you, but monotony will kill you” (Anonymous). See the complete story at:
This is about one of their wines called Negroamaro that I pulled from the cellar. Grown in the Sierra Foothills, this grape is a dark-skinned and best known in the Puglia region in Southern Italy (the heel of the boot). The name Negroamaro translates “dark, bitter”. The typical characteristics are red cherry, forest fruits, licorice and tobacco. With aging (5-10 years) the wine can develop aromas of black pepper, prunes, earthy notes, blackberry and dried thyme.
This wine on the eyes was not as dark as some of the Italian Negroamaro’s but don’t let it fool you. It possessed a purple and crimson hue and was medium to medium heavy viscosity. Aromas of plum, dark cherry were prevalent. In the mouth, besides dark fruits, licorice and tobacco, a tinge of green pepper was present along with an almost bitter rhubarb but with food, a latent slight sweetness of the plum & cherry came forward. The finish was dry with both medium to medium-heavy tannins and acid. Definitely an “old world” flavor is what you are left savoring. This is a hearty wine to be enjoy with food not a sipping wine. Price is $28 and you can be transported back to Italy!
The Food & Wine Pairing
Paired this evening with an authentic Creole Jambalaya dish with chicken, shrimp and sausage. Other ingredients included: Slap Ya Mama Cajun seasoning, sliced andouille sausage, sliced chicken breasts, diced onion, diced bell pepper, chopped celery, minced garlic, crushed tomatoes, salt, black pepper, dried thyme, dried oregano, red pepper flakes, hot pepper sauce, Worcestershire sauce, sliced okra, white rice, chicken broth, deveined and peeled shrimp, sliced green onion and chopped parsley. Served with a side of broiled brussel sprouts and fresh sourdough bread. A wonderful and mouth filling meal that packed a “punch of flavors and heat”! The wine was wonderful cutting thru the spices and tomatoes.