This is probably one of the best value wines you're likely to find on the market. A $4.99 steal from Trader Joe's. Salice Salentino is a town in Italy's Apulia region, which is the heel of the county's boot. The wine is 80% Negoamaro, 20% Malvasia, and tastes like strawberry jam with a dose of vanilla extract on the finish. Not too much oak, as this wine was aged in large oak barrels for six months and then stainless steel vats for another 18 months.
It's an easy sipper with 13% alcohol content, and pairs well with food. The reason it stands out so much among other cheap wines is that it has some complexity and is sweet. Almost Kool-Aid cherry drink sweet. I just realized this the last time I had this bottle when I was trying to figure out what I was tasting and not just enjoying it. Most of the cheaper red wines you're likely to come across have some defect to them, which is why their cheap. Especially California wines. A lot of them are overly harsh or out of balance. Occasionally you stumble upon something like this, and if you're like me, you'll keep a bottle or two around for that last minute dinner invitation, wine & cheese get together or just something good and easy to drink on a Friday night.