Cirò Rosso is no doubt the best known wine from Calabria. The name comes from the main small town where it is produced, in the Province of Crotone, in the east part of the region by the Ionio Sea. The origin of this old wine goes back to the Greeks, who in the VIII century founded on these fertile shores the colony of Cremissa, here a temple devoted to Bacchus, god of the wine, was built. Krimisa was the name of the wine produced in this area by the Greeks, forefather of Cirò. The legend says that this wine was offered as a gift to the winners of the Olympic games. This same tradition was recovered for the Olympiad of 1968 in Mexico, when all athletes were offered Cirò as official wine.
This land is a narrow plane between the sea and the Sila plateau, an Alpine-style mountain. The soil mainly made up of clay and the Mediterranean climate with good temperature range are favourable conditions making this area the best place in Calabria for wine production. Gastronomy in the inland mainly depends on agriculture and farming. We can find here some of the best vegetables of the country, such as peppers, eggplants and the well-known Cipolle Rosse di Tropea Calabria Igp. Unfailing in all the region is hot pepper, a real cult in the cuisine of Calabria, it is used to season many cold cuts as Capocollo di Calabria Dop and the famous spread ‘nduja. Excellent in this area are also cheeses as Caciocavallo Silano Dop, a perfect match with Cirò Rosso.
The main grape variety used for this wine is gaglioppo, probably of Greek origin as well. The colour of Cirò Rosso is intense ruby red, leaning towards garnet or orange with age. The scents have good intensity with highlights of dark ripe fruits and spicy notes of pepper and licorice. The taste is warm, dry, savoury and very soft, generally scarcely tannic. Depending on the ripening it can also be a very structured wine.
The best matches are with savoury meats such as roasted goat and mature cheeses or spicy cold cuts.