From tip to toe, we’ve covered Italy, and with one last two-day stretch, we’ll wrap up with Sicily.
When it comes to making wine, Sicily fell into the same trap many other Southern Italian wine regions did, ‘Quantity over Quality.’ It’s not hard to see why. With a fantastic growing season and all the right conditions for vines to struggle, it wasn’t hard to overproduce. Thankfully, Sicily’s wines have been on the rebound, and offer some great value for some native varietals. Chief among them is Nero d’Avola. The most widely available, this native makes juicy, dark wines with great tannins and acidity. The best examples pull in red fruit, black pepper, spices, and notes of anise.
Chief among them is Nero d’Avola. The most widely available, this native varietal makes juicy, dark wines with great tannins and acidity. The best examples pull in red fruit, black pepper, spices, and notes of anise. Also be on the lookout for Grillo, which makes a kinetic white, and wines from Mt. Etna, which are designed for food with their fiercely earthy and bitter characteristics.
Mia Cantina Nero d’Avola
There’s an adage that suggests if you can’t afford to travel, you can at least travel by bottle. Every time I open a bottle of Southern Italian wine, my head swims with sunbaked country sides, small towns, and Mediterranean seascapes. While I’ve never been to Italy, these wines make me want to go. Mia Cantina Nero d’Avola is no different, and with a smell that takes me away, I wonder if the palate can as well.
Sight: A more moderate rose red with hints of darker red and light edges.
Smell: Black cherry, spice, a hint of grape candy, and strawberries come to the front. A bit of Luxardo Maraschino Liquor comes into the nose with hints of violets and black plums.
Sip: Lively and full-bodied, it laces tannins around the tongue almost immediately. Darker flavors of plum skin, tar, crushed violets, and cedar all make their presence known. Black cherries and herbal tea note join the mix.
Savor: The tannins are king here, with black plum and black cherries laying a foundation for spice, violets, and a hint of menthol. A touch of orange pith adds a zest.
Mia Cantina Nero d’Avola is tasty and more complicated than it appears. The nose conveys a sense of place, but the body carries powerful flavors to back it up. If you haven’t had a Nero d’Avola, Mia Cantina Nero d’Avola is well priced, complex, and powerful.
Verdict: Black Plums, Crushed Violets, Tar, Spice