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Tag Archives: Sicilian wine

Wine of the week: Cantine Colosi Rosso 2012

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Cantine Colosi RossoSicilian wine has made such advances over the past decade that it was only a matter of time until the Wine Curmudgeon found some that weren’t worth buying. You know the kind of wine, one made to take advantage of being trendy, with too much fruit, not enough interest, and an inflated price.

Fortunately, the Cantine Colosi Rosso ($10, purchased, 13%) isn’t one of those. It’s a red blend, mostly nero d’avola, and the kind of wine that has helped make Sicily what it is today. It’s almost certain to go in the $10 Hall of Fame next year, and has been one of the great joys of my wine drinking this summer. Look for juicy, fresh cherry fruit, and drink it by itself (yes, really) or with any kind of grilled food, be it burgers, sausage, or chicken.

The Rosso was missing the Sicilian earthiness that I like and expect, but it didn’t make any difference. This is an Italian wine that’s about fun and happiness and enjoying your food and the people you’re with. The Rosso doesn’t get in the way and doesn’t demand attention the way so many other wines do (and they know who they are). It’s content to complement what you’re eating or what you’re doing, and isn’t that what every great wine is supposed to do, regardless of price? It’s our great luck that this costs $10 and not two or three times that.

Wine of the week: Poggio Anima Uriel 2011

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Poggio Anima UrielThe Wine Curmudgeon always tries to find wine that people who don’t drink much wine would like, all part of my goal of spreading the gospel to consumers near and far. So when I saw the Poggio Anima Uriel ($12, purchased, 13%) on the wine list at a Dallas pizza restaurant, I knew I was in business.

Sure enough, the friends we were eating with loved it, including the non-wine drinker in the group. She pronounced it as well done as pinot grigio — score another victory for Sicily and great cheap wine.

The Uriel is a white wine made with grillo, a Sicilian grape used mostly for marsala until the island’s wine renaissance of the past couple of decades. Since then, a variety of producers have turned it into tasty and inexpensive dry wines, and the Uriel is yet another example. Look for enough white fruit to be noticeable, a bit of almond on the nose, and wonderful freshness and balance. This is the kind of wine, after you take the first sip, that you know you’ll want to drink all night.

How enjoyable was the Uriel? So much so that it was close to the highlight of dinner, given that the pizza was — as happens all too often in Dallas — over-hyped to the extreme. My non-drinking friend had an entire glass, which is like the Wine Curmudgeon drinking an entire bottle.

Wine of the week: Purato Catarratto Pinot Grigio 2010

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PURATO-CAT-PG-2013-okOne day, no doubt, the Wine Curmudgeon will stop writing about Sicilian wine in gushing, rapturous tones. I just hope it doesn’t happen anytime soon.

The Purato ($7, purchased, 12.5%) is a white blend from Sicily that, once again, offers everything a great cheap wine should. It’s interesting, which means it does more than just shove fruit in your face. It provides ridiculous value, even when it’s not a previous vintage (as this is). And it’s a delight to drink, which means the bottle is empty and an hour has gone by before you realize what has happened, and you’re wondering why you didn’t buy more of this when you had the chance.

Catarratto is a grape native to Sicily that has traditionally been used to make marsala, a sweet dessert wine. It’s increasingly being used to make table wines as part of Sicily’s wine renaissance, and blending it with pinot grigio is just another of those things the Sicilians have done that has turned out better than anyone could have imagined.

Look for lots of white pepper and a little pinot grigio fruit (maybe a lemon drop that isn’t sweet?), and without any of the bitterness or boredom that is the hallmark of too many Italian pinot grigios. This is a seafood or roast chicken wine, or even something to drink when you want a glass of wine and you don’t want to be bothered by any wine foolishness. Highly recommended, and if this isn’t in the 2014 $10 Hall of Fame, I should skip doing it.

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