Tuesday, June 30, 2020

An Easy-drinking Double From Two Of Sicily’s Most Popular Grapes

An Easy-drinking Double From Two Of Sicily’s Most Popular Grapes

Did you know that the the vineyard area of Sicily is among the largest in Italy? It's about 107,000 hectares, about twice the size of a region like Emilia-Romagna or Tuscany. Nero D'Avola is the most popular red grape here while Grillo is a well known white grape.

Zabu Nero D’Avola Sicily (DOC) 2018, 13%, €14.99
Baggot Street Wines, JJ O’Driscolls,  Martins, Drinkstore, Cinnamon Cottage, Power & Co, Red Island and www.wineolnline.ie

The Nero d’Avola grape, sometimes compared to Shiraz, is the most important and widely planted red wine grape variety in Sicily and is called after a town on the island. Importers Liberty Wines tell us the fruit for this wine is grown by Lake Arancio, in Sambuca di Sicilia. The crystal clear water of the lake creates an ideal microclimate for this eminently drinkable red.

A beautiful mid ruby colour. Attractive aromas also, fruity, floral, a hint of herb. Juicy cherries in a warm body, soft tannins contribute to its drinkability, and that juicy plummy fruit takes you through the persistent finish. Aged in stainless steel tanks, the wine is well balanced, uncomplicated maybe, but still an excellent companion for first courses, grilled and roasted meat, good with medium-aged cheeses, also as an aperitif. 

Serving temperature recommended is 16-18 degrees. Not too sure I’ve come across as light an Nero D’Avola as this. Highly Recommended.

Zabu Grillo Sicily (DOC) 2018, 12%, €15.99
Jus De Vine, Cinnamon Cottage, JJ O’Driscolls  and www.wineolnline.ie

Grillo is a Sicilian white grape variety most famous for its role in the island's fortified Marsala wines. Despite Marsala's decline in popularity, Grillo is still widely planted on the island.

Light to mid-straw, with tints of gold. Fresh on the nose, peach and citrus notes. Fruit-driven flavours (peach and citrus again)  on the palate, a refreshing wine with a long dry finish.  A nice light fresh and uncomplicated white wine. Recommended.

Suggested pairings:fish dishes (crab), fresh cheese, light risotto, couscous and fish soup. Great with smoked fish. Serving temperature: 10-12°C.

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