LIQUOR / Sicily
A mere generation ago, there mightn't have been much to say here about Sicilian wine. Apart from Marsala, the reds were mostly sold in bulk to fatten up pale wines from cooler European vintages, or lost in the production of vermouth somewhere.
But with it's special place at the confluence of Mediterranean and North African cultures, there's been a modern day renaissance in wine and food here that is nothing short of a remarkable. Australians have an affinity for this blend of warm Mediterranean climate, migrant culture and vibrant food. Sicily just makes sense.
Red or white?
Red production is dominated by Nero d'Avola, grown in most regions across the island. Ranging from juicy medium bodied cherry fruited styles blended with the lighter Frappato, to sturdy dark, structured and plummy numbers that will appeal to Shiraz lovers.
Nerello Mascalese is exciting for its structured, fragrant and tannic wines, coming on high from the steep volcanic slopes of the still very active Mount Etna.
Surprisingly, there's also plenty of white planted here, chief among them Carricante. Distinctively refreshing with notes of smoke, cut herbs and lemon tonic.
Carricante, Grillo, Nero d'Avola, Frappato, Nerello Mascalese
Occhipinti, COS, Terre Nere, Tenuta Aglaea, Feudo Montoni, Planeta, De Bartoli, Girolamo Russo, Passopisciaro