Puglia is a major grape production area, for table grapes, for rough wine and for quality wine. Varieties grown tend to be Italian local specialities. Of the black grapes, Primitivo di Manduria is thought to be the Zinfandel of California. Negroamaro and Aglianico also produce big red wines and Aglianico del Vulture from neighbouring Basilicata is well worth looking out for. Nero d'Avola gets here from Sicily and you''l also see plenty of red wine from the well known Italian grapes Sangiovese and Montepulciano. The DOC Salice Salentino (a blend of Negroamara and Malvasia) is considered particularly fine and you can pay a lot of money for the better versions.
Whites are more of a challenge in such a hot climate although Chardonnay is grown in the area (say from Gioia del Colle, and blended with Verdeca in Locorotondo), and also the Italian workhorse grape Trebbiano.
Coffee is taken seriously here, as elsewhere in Italy.
- caffè (espresso) — a small cup of very strong coffee
- caffè Americano — as above but diluted with hot water served in a large cup (can be hard to find in Puglia)
- caffè corretto — coffee with a shot of spirits
- caffè doppio — double espresso
- caffè freddo — iced coffee
- caffè Hag — decaffeinated coffee (again, not always available in these parts)
- caffè latte — espresso mixed with milk and served in a glass for breakfast
- caffè macchiato — espresso with a drop of steamed milk: small version of a cappuccino
- caffè marocchino — espresso with a dash of hot milk and chocolate powder
- caffè stretto — espresso with less water
- cappuccino — espresso infused with steamed milk and drunk in the morning only.
You will find that the locals tip a fair amount of sugar into their espresso to cut the sharpness. The result, a sticky brown treacle, gives them a sugar rush to get through the day.