Drink These Sicilian Reds
Sicily has been winning over wine lovers recently and it’s no wonder. With great values and positively delicious wines, it’s a brilliant region to check out for something a little different. This sunny Mediterranean island is home to food-friendly wines that are both versatile and incredibly affordable. Let’s take a look at some of its top reds, starting off with the major grape varieties.
The ‘black of Avola’ leads the ranks as the most important of Sicily’s reds. Inky black and full of gorgeous plum, black cherry, and berry flavours sprinkled with a dash of pepper, this grape is thought to be native to Sicily. It performs beautifully in the hot, dry climate of the Mediterranean. Nero d’Avola makes its way into the fruity red wines of Cerasuolo di Vittoria DOCG where it is blended with this next grape.
In contrast with Nero d’Avola, Frappato makes light reds which are pleasantly grapey. This variety is believed to be a close relative of Italy’s most famous red grape, Sangiovese. Pretty and floral, Frappato is a wine you can put on ice if you’re partial to chilled reds.
Another light bodied red, Nerello is a strawberry-tinged wine with phenomenal minerality which also shows a slight spiciness. It’s most famous for being a component of Marsala, that sweet dessert wine that first put Sicily on the wine map hundreds of years ago. Today, producers are experimenting with dry versions and you’ll often encounter reds made from Nerello Mascalese in the Etna Rosso DOC.
Sicily may be small, but it has plenty to offer wine lovers. Be sure to check out with Wine Picker some of these wines at an upcoming barbecue or next time you’re dining out at your favourite local Italian restaurant.