The day after Christmas my husband came down with a terrible head cold; he was in bed for three days. It was a quiet day, cold and damp outside, and I wanted to make a warm dinner that was fast and easy. I decided to defrost some of the outstanding meatballs I had from Jimmy’s Dallas in the freezer and throw together a quick pasta dinner. Spaghetti with meatballs is always a hit with my teens and I knew it would be warm and soothing for my husband’s killer cold. Next question: What to drink with the meal? Although 2014 was coming to an end I am still blessed with some media samples of wine to taste and review. I saw a beautiful young woman luring at me from behind another bottle; ah yes, a Nero d’Avola, Sicilian wine, sent to me by the kind people at Banner Media Group. My dinner and wine pairing had been decided!
In case you are not familiar with Nero d’Avola I will provide some brief information on this lovely grape. Nero d’Avola is the most important and widely planted grape variety in Sicily. It is of great historic importance to Sicily and takes its name from the town, Avola, on the southeast coast of the island. Nero d’Avola translates into Black of Avola, due to the grapes distinctively black skin. Nero d’Avola is a flexible grape, it can be crafted into a dark red wine that is fermented in oak and suitable for years of aging, or it can be crafted into a young, fresh wine like the Sicliana 2013. Though the grape is typically high in tannins with medium acidity and a strong body it can also be quite smooth. Historically, Nero d’Avola was a blending grape to add color and body to other grapes producing a more well-rounded wine; however, over the past few decades the grape has come into its own and single varietals of Nero d’Avola are quite popular, providing Sicily with well-earned recognition. Like all Italian wines it is very food friendly.
Siciliana 2013 Nero d’Avola: This wine poured a vibrant ruby red into the glass and opened with fresh aromas of red fruit, tobacco and spice. On the palate it was light and lively with round flavors of concentrated cherries, plums, pomegranate and red raspberries, along with tobacco, toasted cedar and a touch of Asian spices. It was not a complex wine but it was elegant and smooth with well-balanced acidity and mellow tannins that was medium in body and finish. It contained 12.5% alcohol. It paired beautifully with the flavorful meatballs in a light marinara sauce over pasta. Other food pairing suggestions for the lively and smooth wine include pizza, lasagna, steak salad with blue cheese and balsamic vinaigrette, and BBQ. Additionally, this wine is a great value! You can purchase this wine from Wine.com for $12.99; a great price for a wine that is perfect for weeknight enjoyment or to serve to guests.
As you can see from the lovely young lady on the label, this is a fresh, modern wine. As described by the wine importer Curious Cork’s web site:
With striking sophistication, Sicliana, brings you a stress-free wine that celebrates the allure of the modern woman. Sicliana is the wine you share with a trusted friend, catching up over long conversations that move from the silly, to the serious, to the sublime. Siciliana celebrates your ambitions, your struggles and your triumphs, embracing the complexities of today’s world while honoring the best of the past. With wines rooted in the classic Italian tradition from the Sicilian region, Siciliana’s Nero d’Avola is an exciting new interpretation of old world varietals.
To purchase this Siciliana Nero d’Avola for only $12.99, please visit this Wine.com link.
My Song Selection: The song I have chosen to pair with the Sicliana Nero d’Avola is She’s the One by Ray LaMontagne. It is not often you come across a wine label featuring a sophisticated young lady; furthermore, it is impressive that the wine inside matches the sophistication of the label. This song is a perfect pairing with the wine because it is smooth with layers of flavor, but not complex and every bit as sophisticated.
Go to Wine.com and get your own bottle of Sicliana Nero d’Avola 2013 and let me know what song you would pair with it. Cheers!