First things first: how did I manage to spell incorrectly the greatest of Sicilian varietals in my first Sicilian post? I wish I could blame it on the wine, but I hadn’t had any when I started spelling Nero d’Avola with an “i.” Many apologies, but I’m sure my credibility has been shattered in many minds. I will work to restore it.
Meantime, let’s check in on the assortment I picked up in my recent quest for easily accessible Sicilian wines.
Notalusa — not-a bad-a! This inexpensive BevMo! (a big box beverage store in the western USA) selection was what you might expect for under $15, but not undrinkable. For the price, it’s not a bad choice, and it is from Sicily.
Villa Tonino — An excellent value at around $10 from our local wine merchant Du Vin Wines. This agreeable Nero d’Avola brings the full experience of the varietal out, without bitterness or blandness. A full, complex wine for the price, and an excellent introduction to Nero d’Avola.
Morgante, Gina, and Vino dei Fratelli — sorry, dear reader, but I couldn’t make myself open these wines to try them. Just not worth the calories and my meager weeknight alcohol allowance. If anyone out there has tried them, please let me know what you thought. I’m afraid I may not be up to the task of assessing the offerings at BevMo! in the future, so you’re on your own. Costco is another story, of course, but there isn’t a Costco near us, so for now you’re on your own there too.
Planeta La Segreta — a very appealing $10 Sicilian with good heritage — the Planeta name means dependable wines for the price.
The other two wines pictured I will write about soon.
At the end of the day, if you’re trying a recipe from Sicily, try a Sicilian wine! They’re not impossible to find, and one of the great lessons of Italian cuisine is that the wines of a particular region pair perfectly with the food of that region. Nero d’Avola is a wonderful varietal, and while it works best with bigger foods, the flavors of Sicily are big themselves. So pair up and enjoy!