WINE(S) OF THE WEEK-DONNAFUGATA SURSUR AND SHERAZADE 2015 (BOTH $20)
STORY AND PHOTOS BY DWIGHT CASIMERE
PANTELLERIA, SICILY--The wines of Sicily are one of the great undiscovered regional varietals that represent wines with terrific flavor and tremendous value. They are bright, fruity and flavorful, so reminiscent of the beautiful sun-drenched countryside from which they come. Evidence the terrific new releases from Donnafugata, SurSur Grillo Sicilia and Sherazade Nero d'Avola Sicilia, both DOC 2015 and both costing $20. These wines are based on grapes that are native to Sicily, the white grape Grillo and, one and the most important red grape in Sicily, Nero d'Avola.
SurSur is the white wine, which literally bursts with colorful flavors of summer. White peaches, pink grapefruit and pineapple flavors mingle with the lively aromas of wildflowers, fresh sage, rosemary and oregano, recreate a summer garden in your mouth. I loved this wine with grilled white fish marinated in capers, garlic, olive oil and a bit of the wine, shrimp with fresh arugula and heirloom tomato salad, or a simple Cobb salad.
Sherazade 2015 tells us why Nero d'Avola is the most important indigenous red grape in Sicily. Its intense ruby red color is a dead giveaway to what's inside the bottle; flavors of ripe black cherries and blackberries abound with hints of vanilla, white pepper and a certain smoky aftertaste that makes it perfect for the afternoon barbecue. A nice reward at the end is a hint of spice; cinnamon and cardamom that make it a nice match for meats marinated in mediterranean spices, like butterflied lamb seared over hot coals and hickory or mesquite wood. Both wines can be served well chilled. Try mixing them with your favorite fruit liqueur, simple syrup, a sprig of mint and a splash of sparkling water or prosecco to create an innovative summer cocktail refresher.