Today we’re discussing one of the most important wines in Italy, Nero d’Avola. This grape is predominately grown in Sicily and results in a bold, powerful red that combines fruity notes with a spicy, peppery finish. The grape, which thrives in dry and arid conditions is perfectly suitable, for the hot Italian landscape. It is also grown in California and Australia in limited quantities.
Nero d’Avola is a particularly fruit-forward red. Expect bold and intense fruit flavors and an almost complete lack of subtlety. Black cherry and plums are the most easily identifiable flavor notes. Other fruits flavors include cherries, raspberries, and blueberries. Alongside the fruit notes expect to taste hints of liquorice, tobacco, and chile pepper.
Nero d’Avola has a particularly high quantity of tannins, which gives it an intense grippy quality. The wine is also fairly acidic but this is tempered somewhat by its robust body.
With its bold flavors, robust body, and intense tannins, Nero d’Avola is best suited to rich meaty dishes. Gamey meats like venison will really soften some of the harsher elements of this wine and result in a pleasant fruity finish. If you’re in the mode from something quick and easy a nice meaty burger is a perfect everyday pairing for this wine. Another classic pairing is a rich and hearty oxtail soup.
Mushroom is an ideal vegetable to pair with the wine. The salty and earthy notes of the mushrooms will form a beautiful balance with the sweeter notes of Nero d’Avola.
Finally, when deciding what seasonings to add to your food try focusing on pungent herbs and spices such as anise, sage, and coffee.
We have several meat-heavy recipes that will pair beautifully with a bottle of Nero d’Avola. We recommend trying our recipes for Short Rib, and Short Rib Mac and Cheese. If hearty meat dishes are your preference our recipe for Mississippi Pot Roast will really bring out the fruit notes of the wine. Finally, if you prefer a bit of heat in your meals try pairing the wine with our recipe for Beef Chili.
Wines to Try
Donnafugata Mille e Una Notte ($43)
Smooth, juicy and bold with strong notes of black cherry and liquorice.
Tasca d’Almerita Rosso del Conte ($38)
Complex and smooth with a beautiful velvety finish.
Planeta Santa Cecilia Nero d’Avola ($42)
A compelling mix of smoky flavors and a creamy texture.