Hey there, sorry about the radio silence the last couple weeks! I cannot even remember most of April also included is the first two weeks of May. Let’s see, visited my parents stateside for Easter, was home for a week, and then went off to Montreal for Beast of the East 2014, 2 days of roller derby, 16 teams, and a whole lot of awesome. The Luscious Lunch Ladies won their first two games and lost in the semi-finals, our third game, in overtime. That was a first ever Beast of the East overtime, so it was the best kind of win. I got home from that and my in-laws were in town for a week and the night before they left I sprained my ankle at practice. The ankle sprain is what has slowed me down because my office is up a flight of stairs that I currently hate. These are in fact not excuses but me merely catching you up on what seemed to be a cray cray month!
The Wednesday before my ankle sprain, Cody, his parents, and I went out to an Italian place in London and I ordered a flight of Italian wines. I was going to write that up for a fun Wino Wednesday but, alas I did not and I have no excuses, so here it is now.
Note: All the alcohol contents and prices are best guesses because the menu did not have the Vintages listed. I had to ask them to go look which took quite a long time so I am unsure if I was given the vintage that corresponded correctly to the glass of wine that I had just consumed. This was most likely due to the fact that the server had to dig through the recyclables (I sure hope they recycle).
Review: Fondo Antico Aprile
Varietal: Nero d’Avola
Appellation: Sicilia DOC, Sicily, Italy
Alcohol Content: 13.0%
This wine is made from the Nero d’Avola grape, but the end product is a light blush colored wine, called a Rosato. First look many brush off blush colored wine due to the over abundance of “white” Zinfandel, but please stop to inquire because you may be delightfully surprised. This Rosato is a pale strawberry shortcake color that is star bright and beautiful in the glass, even in a dark restaurant! On the nose, light strawberry, pomegranate, and cherry come through alongside a favorite, river rocks, and white flowers. By river rock I mean that slightly chalky, mineral quality that is similar to the aptly named mineral waters. This is a semi-dry, light bodied, and high acidity wine that is balanced perfectly a summer picnic! I was served this particular glass far too warm so I imagine it is better at its appropriate serving temperature, which would be around 10°- 12°C (50˚- 54˚F).
If you are ever unsure about proper serving temperatures be sure to look up the varietal you have in mind just to be sure.
Review: Fondo Antico Nero d’Avola IGT
Varietal: Nero d’Avola — Pronunciation: Nairo Davolah
Appellation: Sicilia IGT, Sicily, Italy
Alcohol Content: 14.0%
Nero d’Avola is usually a deep, almost black garnet color that follows through all the way to the rim of the glass, and this particular Nero does exactly that. On the nose, there is intense dark plum, cherry, and other red berries, but all with a touch of wild. On the palate, the Nero is medium bodied and dry, with the same lush fruit flavors as the nose. This wine ends with slight tannins, but has a balanced acidity that is so chill.
Review: Argiolas Costera Cannonau di Sardegna DOC
Varietal: 90% Cannonau, 5% Carignano, 5% Bovale Sardo
Appellation: Cannonau di Sardegna DOC, Sardinia, Italy
Alcohol Content: 13.5%
Of the three wines in the flight this was the only one that is from Sardegna (Sardinia) and it is mostly made up of Cannonau, a relative to the Spanish grape, Grenache. Cannanau is the local equivalent of Grenache and one of the top varietals on Sardegna. It was only in recent years that this varietal has become more well known and that is due, in part, one of the Dr. (insert name here) TV shows that did a showcase of the islands and this specific type of wine and its “special” qualities. A wine that is a bright, inky ruby red color in the glass with a nose of dark red berries with dulled mulling spices is average but intriguing. The juice itself is very dry with a cashmere like tannins that coat your palate, with all the same dark berries on the palate.
To sum up all that nonsense above, I would totes drink those again because they were lip licking good.
I may not have mentioned earlier but all of these wines have one major thing in common. It is that they are from Southern Italy and more specifically the Mediterranean’s two largest and most centrally located islands, Sicily and Sardinia. Why is this important? It is to me because when we went to Italy two years ago we spent two weeks in Southern Italy and I fell quickly in love with the wines of that region. Southern Italian wines are over-shadowed by the far better marketed and more popular wines of Northern Italy; it also seems to be a more popular tourist destination for North Americans, which makes the Southern Italian wines less known and harder to find on our side of the pond. By now you understand why I jumped at the opportunity to have a flight of three for $15 and the portions sizes did not disappoint.
Tell me about your favorite wine to get when you are out on the town in the comments below! I would love to know.