Wonderful Italy

Exploring Italy via our travels — places, people, things…

Discover these lesser known Italian Red Wines!!

Odds are you have not heard of Morellino di Scansano (a very drinkable red wine from the Maremma region of SW Tuscany) nor of Nero d’Avola (a great red from Sicily, particularly the western region around Trapani and Marsala). And I could win money betting you’ve not heard a peep about Nerello Mascalese (a characteristic red from Sicily). These are all comfortably drinkable red wines. None of these names are the popular types you’ll find in guides to Italian food and drink — not Chianti Riserva, Rosso di Montalcino, Brunello, etc.

Nope – these are just great local wines you can discover here, the first two in Siena. The Nerello I’ve only seen in Sicily. All have good color and body and have about 12.5 to 13% alcohol content. Prices can be as low as 5-6 Euros for a 1.5 liter bottle IN SICILY, but more likely 4.50 to 6.00 Euros a 750ml bottle here in Siena. With some looking around you should find the first two for sale at some specialty shops in north America. Try them — you are in for a treat.

A note on the grapes. The Morellino (“dark hair”) is a localized variety of the Sangiovese grape, the main grape used in Chianti wines. To my taste, Morellino is less astringent and easier on the palate than many Chiantis. The Nero’Avola is, I believe, an ancient local cultivar found only in Sicily. And the Nerello….well, that remains a Sicilian mystery for now, but if you can find it, it is a nice drinking wine.


April 18, 2007 - Posted by | Food and Drink

1 Comment »

  1. Hey, you are blogging Italy – stupendo!

    Comment by JoeDuck | April 18, 2007 | Reply

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