Hells Yeah! This Bottle of Pinetti Primitivo Is Cheaper Than a Starbucks Double Grande Caramel Soy Latte

Ilustration by Andrew Saeger, tHE ARTdept.
Hey fellow lushes! I hit the cheap wine trifecta this week. Found a bottle of Italian Primitivo that was $5! It did not suck. And it had a twist top. Score!

I was on the hunt for something to pour for a crowd at my brother's birthday party. I made his childhood favorite, spaghetti and meatballs, so wanted something from Das Boot. That pasta-pounding country makes lots of high-end reds that give wine nerds tremors of pleasure, causing them to spout phrases like: It's so barnyard-y!

Many moons ago, I got so smashed on cheap red, red wine in a trattoria in Rome that I begged the server to sell me the rooster-shaped carafe in which that nectar of the gods was served. Still have it, a very tangible reminder that not all house wines taste like the bottom of somebody's shoe.

I found the Pinetti Primitivo on the bottom shelf at Freddy M's, a surprisingly good place to find good deals. I by that, I mean both the bottom shelf and Fred Meyer, which has an extensive selection. Even if you must dodge the massive carts driven by wild-eyed bargain seekers of Ballard as part of the bargain. It's like NASCAR in there on a Saturday afternoon!

Because I bought six bottles, I got a 10 percent discount, so that $5.99 bottle of Pinetti rang up at $5.39. Or roughly the cost of a supersize big-ass cuppa at Starbucks. (With tip, of course.)

I loved the pop of bright cherry fruit and the spice in this rustic red, the gentle slap of pepper was just about perfect-o with those big, juicy meatballs. Went back and tried it again the next day just to make sure I wasn't swept up in the joy of drinking this while chomping down on some balls of beef and -- damn -- it was still impressive.

The Wino's going to award an unprecedented Golden Brown Bag to this wine. That's five out of five brown bags, plus a bonus bag for providing a headache-free buzz. Go. Get. You. Some.

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