Saturday, August 3, 2013

Sicilian wines: from the pleasure to the healthy properties

What do you know about Sicilian wine? Would you like to discover more? Eve Pierce has written a brilliant new piece for the Sicilian Cuisine Blog about our wines and their superb properties. So if you are a wine lover, or just a curious person, don't miss it! Here she is in her own words: 

"Sicilian wines are having a boom right now so it’s a good time to start sampling the wonderful range on offer not only for pleasure but also for health reasons. According to a new book by Robert V. Camuto the number of commercial wine producers in Sicily has grown from around 60 to nearly 300 since 1990. Palmento: A Sicilian Wine Odyssey (University of Nebraska Press, 2010) attributes the boom in boutique style quality wine production to the rediscovery and appreciation of the unique “terroirs” of Sicilian wine.

There are more vineyards and grapes grown in Sicily than in any other region in Italy. Sicilian vineyards have been producing wine since at least 750 BC. The island’s main wine production focused in recent history on their famous fortified Marsala and cheap blends of wine as a major export. Nowadays their wines are winning awards and turning heads across the world.

What’s making some of the Sicilian wines even more special is the impressive number of biodynamic and organic wines being produced. It is made easier by the amazing farming conditions on the island where around 300 days of plentiful sunshine beams on vineyards and the 90 plus day harvest is one of the longest in the world. Frank Cornelissen who ages his natural wines in clay amphorae on Mount Etna says that “Thanks to our climate, Sicily is ‘organic’ by definition”.

Most wine drinkers will be also pleased to hear that Sicilian wines in particular are providing positive health benefits. The effects of a Mediterranean diet with a little red wine thrown in are widely believed to be beneficial but researchers at the Institute of Clinical Medicine at the University of Palermo in Italy have found some interesting results when testing Sicilian red wines in particular. 
Some Sicilian reds had a positive effect on many risk factors of atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. The University of Palermo has also been involved in a study into why cancer incidence rates in Sicily are 20 per cent lower than the rest of Italy and 33 per cent lower than the USA. The results of the study are found on an Italian cancer website and the significantly reduced cancer rates are being attributed to a substance found only in Sicilian wines called Picetannolo which is commonly used in cancer medicines and treatments. There is a school of thought that also insists washing your hair in wine will reduce hair loss, not to mention make your hair glossier. Red wine is supposed to be more effective than white wine. Whether Sicilian wines will make your hair thicker and shinier we will leave up to you to find out. In the meantime we suggest you taste some of the fabulous Sicilian wines before it potentially goes to waste in the bath.

There is a huge choice of Sicilian wines to choose from. By far the most well known red grape is Nero d’Avola offering flavours ranging from jammy to full and spicy, sometimes blended with the fruity raspberry sweet grape Frappato also lovely on its own. The pinot noir like Nerello mascalese is one of the most appealing reds produced in Etna and Carricante is leading the charge for the whites from the region with a robust flavour.

Whether you choose to sample Sicilian wines for pure and simple pleasure or you want to discover the health benefits for yourself, you certainly won’t be disappointed by the great range and unique local wines of this amazing region."

Thanks again to Eve for her very interesting post. If you want to check also the healthy properties of the Mediterranean Cuisine click

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