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A Flavourful Side-Step from Malbec or Shiraz

Wine of the Week: Feb 26. - March 4, 2013

The earliest notations about the wine made from Nero D'Avola are from around 300 BC. The Greeks were in charge of Sicily at the time and they are the ones that named the grape. Instead being named for its flavour or region, it is named by its colour (Nero or Black) and the Sicilian port through which the Greeks would ship the grapes and wine to Greece- Avola. The name is the black grape from Avola; Nero D'Avola.

I love the image of Plato and Aristole, hanging out discussing the nature of the human condition and politics while breaking bread and enjoying a big chalice of Nero D'Avola. 

Cusumano is one of Sicily's foremost wineries and is the largest producer of quality Nero D'Avola. I fell in love with this wine a few years back and I recall thinking how lush, richly flavoured this wine was and that I preferred it to Argentine Malbec, even Aussie Shiraz.

That was at the height of Malbec's popularity, now myself and many others are looking for a new wine experience that shares the best about Malbec and Shiraz, but is different in a very attractive way. 

This Nero D'Avola is inky purple in colour and is a  full fruit forward explosion of black plums, blueberries, cherries, all very similar to Malbec and Shiraz. The difference comes from Sicily's Terroir. There is added complexity through the mid-palate and layers of fresh spices and herbs that have a cascading effect. The finish is juicy, a little jammy but with an elegant kiss of lavender and aromatic herbs.

Let this wine breathe for 30 minutues.

PAIR WITH: Pork, Poultry, pasta Putanesca, rich cheeses, grilled eggplant with Rosemary, even Mousaka.

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