Trying to find wines from Friuli-Venezia Giulia at most wine stores in the states can be a hopelessly frustrating task. Not so Sicily! So, as we turn our regional focus to that wonderful warm island in the south, I thought I would see what I could find around town in terms of Sicilian wine. Did I strike out? That remains to be seen — we will be sampling and reporting over the course of time — but I DID find some wines to buy.
Even at BevMo! Yep, wandering over to the local mass-merchant of beverages this evening, I found six wines from Sicily and bought four. All were under $20 (nearly all under $15).
We’ll see how these inexpensive offerings, all from Sicily’s best-known varietal — Nero d’Avila — actually taste. Sicily, like many regions of southern Italy, for a long time exported mostly inexpensive, mass-market wines. This has been changing over the past couple decades, and Sicily has the potential — being realized more and more each year — to produce wines as fine as any warm climate in the world. But the devil is in the details, and my hunch is that these Nero d’Avilas at around $15 are worth exactly what I paid. . . .
Moving on to my local trusted wine merchant, du Vin Wines on San Vicente Boulevard near Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles, there are even fewer Sicilian options (this small shop specializes in French wines, and while it has an excellent, well-curated stock of Italian offerings, most are from the north). But what a fascinating range — from a $10 Nero d’Avila to the luscious $30 Passopisciaro, which bound a less-expensive and a mid-range offering from one of the island’s best-known producers, Planeta.
So, this post is not about the taste of any of these wines — we’ll get to that — it’s to say that we are now focusing on a region that exports wines you can find locally. So try some! Next time you’re at your local wine shop (even BevMo!), scout out a Sicilian or two to try with the recipes Michele and Joe are posting — and tell us what you think. We’ll be doing the same and I’ll share some of our finds in the hopes that you can find them too.