Movie & Wine Pairing


Al Hirschfeld ‘Edward G Robinson’ Primitivo 2017
Puglia IGT, Italy

Key Largo (1948)
SATURDAY, MAY 18 @ 12:00 AM (ET)

Edward G. Robinson was a soft-spoken gentleman, but he is most remembered for gangster roles like the one-time crime czar Rocco – modeled after none other than Al Capone, who had died just one year before the film’s release. Based on Maxwell Anderson’s hit play, the movie became a vehicle for Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall and was shot not in the Florida Keys but on the Warner Bros. studio lot. But arguably the film’s most impressive element is the mesmerizing Robinson – a great actor working at the height of his powers.


The fourth release in our exclusive Al Hirschfeld collection pays tribute to Edward G. Robinson, the great gangster of Hollywood’s Golden Age, who looks every bit the part in Hirschfeld’s 1930 portrait. While Robinson is best remembered for his tough guy roles (like Key Largo, see back), in real life, he was a soft-spoken gentleman. From southern Italy’s sun-drenched Puglia region, this rich Primitivo is a fitting red to honor him. With its brooding, blackfruit flavors and velvety-smooth texture, it strikes the same balance of bold and smooth, and will delight with a hearty meal.


Originally from Croatia (where it was called Tribidrag), Primitivo found its way to sunny Puglia in Italy, then later to California (DNA testing has proved that Primitivo is identical to the Golden State’s red star, Zinfandel). As with any globe-trotting grapes though, wines ultimately reflect their origin. True to the ‘primi’ in its name, Primitivo ripens early in Puglia’s hot, dry climate, and the region’s ancient vines produce concentrated flavors.


GI_grapes_reditalyWith plentiful sunshine and well-established plantings of indigenous grapes, Puglia was well-placed for the winemaking revolution that’s occurred here in the last few years. Critics have also been taking notice: “Puglia, the southerly heel of Italy’s boot, excels at producing affordable yet distinct quality wines from its three signature red grapes: Uva di Troia, Primitivo, and Negroamaro” (Wine Spectator).


ital_spaghettimeatballsLike all top-quality Italian wines, this limited-edition Primitivo was made to be paired with food (though fans of bold, sumptuous reds might enjoy sipping it solo). We suggest serving it alongside hearty pasta dishes, from simple spaghetti and meatballs to classic vegetable lasagna. You could also try this with barbecued fare – saucy ribs, veggie kebabs, and more.

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