After finishing the Abundantly Lush Quarterly Review a couple weeks ago and discussing the potential of more travel in the nearish future and drinking large quantities of wine, I began reminiscing about my most recent trip out of the country. I miss Sicily. It’s beautiful in all ways. The scenery is breathtaking. It’s somewhat similar to coastal northern California, as both have similar climates, but add in the innumerable castles, greek ruins, and hot, olive-skinned Italians everywhere and it becomes another planet altogether. The language is like honey for my ears. Except that honey would clog up the canals and I’d be less likely to hear anything at all, so really it’s like some other sweet liquid that’s not so viscous for my ears. And the food, my gods, the food. There’s seafood for days! Months, even. I fondly recall the lovely platter covered with a cooked squid, whole, eyes and all, coming to the table. So good! And the pasta tossed in squid ink, black as night. Fantastic! But, the wine. That was by far my favorite part of the trip. At dinner the first evening, we ordered a bottle of a local variety that’s grown only in Sicily, Nero d’Avola, and it instantly became a favorite.
Now that I’ve been back in the States for a good six or seven months, I’ve managed to try like four or five different Nero d’Avolas, all of which were good. And most of which are in the $10 to $13 and less range. Get your frugal on and taste you some yummy wine!
The following three examples are the ones that I actively remember as I made a sober (what’s that?) decision to keep their names in my mind.
Marabino Nero d’Avola: I actually had this at a restaurant recently. Park Tavern with a gorgeous view of Washington Square in North Beach. Fortunately for my pocketbook, I was taken out to dinner, as this wine comes in at $9 a glass. And this was the cheapest of the selections of red wine by the glass. Of course, wine is always more costly at a restaurant then when buying it for home use. It’s still probably about $20 a bottle, so it won’t be in my pantry any time soon, at least not regularly. It did go nicely with the bloody-as-hell burger and the brussel sprout chips, though.
Feudo principi Di Butera Nero d’Avola: The wine in the accompanying photo. This bottle was $13 at a local corner liquor store. I just stumbled onto it. Almost really. I might like it better than the more expensive Marabino. Probably because I drank a lot more of it.
Archero Nero d’Avola Ruggero di Tasso: Trader Joe’s carries this at about $5 a bottle. It’s definitely the simplest Nero d’Avola I’ve tried, but it’s very drinkable. An everyday wine. And at $5 a bottle, how can you not. I haven’t frequented the Trader Joe’s too much because it’s slightly out of the way, but I’ll be stopping in now, most likely monthly, just so that I have five or thirteen bottles of this readily available.
My goal, now, is to scope out some more under $10 bottles of my new favorite wine to find that perfect every day and twice on Sunday bottle. This might should be your goal as well. So, if you’re a wino like me and have not yet been introduced to Nero d’Avola, do go find yourself a bottle under $10, maybe even that $5 bottle, and try it. Let me know what you think!
All images are mine! Some rights reserved.