Monday, May 30, 2011

Sicilian Wine Pairings with Sicilian Cuisine, 2nd part

As I promised some days ago here it is the second part of the pairing between Sicilian wines and Sicilian recipes. The article is written by Jacqueline, sommerlier and wine lover. Here you may find her blog.

"It wouldn’t be a proper discussion of Sicilian wine without Nero d’Avola, and one of my favorite Sicilian red wines is the Corvo Rosso, a blend of Nero d’Avola, Nerello Mascalese, and Pignatello. 

Nero d’Avola, quite possibly the most important red grape in all of Sicily, originated in the southeastern part of Sicily as it prefers hot and dry climates, but it is now widely planted throughout the island.  The grape produces wines with characteristics of dark fruit, berries, and plum, and hints of spice and pepper, and a smooth texture. Pignatello, also known as Perricone, is a red grape grown in Sicily and Sardinia, and is used mainly for blending with Nero d’Avola and Nerello Mascalese. 

Corvo Rosso is a very dependable red wine with both red and dark fruit characteristics and a bit of peppery spice to add another dimension to the flavor. The wine is smooth yet a bit on the rustic side, and is best for enjoying with a casual Sicilian dish. The Sfincione (traditional pizza of Palermo) featured in the Sicilian Cuisine Blog is a delicious “pizza” consisting of a soft dough and topped with tomato and onion and caciocavallo cheese, and often enjoyed as street fare. Such a casual dish should be paired with the unpretentious yet equally delicious Corvo Rosso.

One of the most unique and fascinating Sicilian wines I’ve tasted is the Scilio Phiale Etna Rosso. Phiale is a blend of Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio, also known as Nerello Mantellato. Nerello Cappuccio grows in the volcanic soil near Mount Etna, and is known for producing wines with notes of red and dark fruit and a pleasant spiciness. Phiale is a dark and complex wine, with characteristics of the ashy soil where its grapes are grown, as well as very dark fruit, spice, wood, and a slight bitterness. The texture is full and dense with a very long finish.

I believe this wine would be an excellent choice with the Brociolone, a wonderful recipe posted on the Sicilian Cuisine Blog which is a sort of pinwheel of pounded beef, and stuffed with salami and caciocavallo cheese, and cooked with red wine. This hearty Sicilian dish calls for a substantial wine, and the Scilio Phiale Etna Rosso would make for an ideal pairing."

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