When I introduce a bottle of wine to a party, my guests immediately begin to smile. It has an instant effect on the mood of the gathering. It also pairs well with food to enhance the enjoyment of the meal.
As George Carlin once said, “What wine goes with Captain Crunch?”
I loved that guy.
But seriously, wine goes so very well with food. Red or white? Both please.
Wine has a prominent place in mythology when Bacchus discovered how to turn grapes into wine. This Roman god of wine (also known as Dionysus) introduced the beverage to the Sicilians.
In Sicily, it is now part of the culture and the most cherished beverage. This is in a large part because those who conquered the land could not do without the beverage that they so loved (Italians, Arabs, and Greeks).
The Greeks began cultivating as early as 1500 BCE. If you are confused with the term BCE, it means before the common era, in other words before Christ, BC. When did they change that?
In 1773 John Woodhouse transformed the Sicilian wine into something that was more enjoyable and less perishable. He introduced alcohol to it.
What a punch that must have given our favorite beverage. It was already pretty strong from its fermentation, but who can resist additional alcohol to a drink they already loved.
What Makes the Wine So Wonderful?
Contrary to what you probably think, the most coveted varieties come from Sicily rather than Italy or France. The weather, the native grapes, and fertile soil combine to create the best growing conditions in the world.
The dry climate keeps mildew and rot to a minimum, especially in well-ventilated areas near the coast. As a result, the growers do not need chemical sprays, so much Sicilian wine is produced from organic grapes.
The modern and up and coming winemakers are now creating organic, bio-dynamic, and natural wines. The following video explains this fairly new phenomenon.
Now you know that the Sicilians are trailblazers in environmental winemaking! For a while, they lagged behind the rest of Europe and the world, but the modern technology and new techniques drove the new generation back to their ancestral vineyards with new ideas and additional enthusiasm.
Why Should I Work in the Vineyards?
In Italy, culture plays a big part in the career path that children in a family pursue. For example, if your grandfather and father were winemakers, then you would naturally take up the winemaking business to carry on traditional wines. Families take pride in their vineyards, the wine, and innovations they can carry out.
Giuseppi Bernardi started his career by doing university studies. After he graduated, he was compelled to return to his family heritage. The family vineyards were on Mt. Etna, where the soil, temperature, and weather combined to help him improve the standards of Sicilian wine.
He and other winery families in his area collaborated to make Sicilian wine stand out from the others. They introduced new equipment and innovative techniques to keep the wine fresh and aromatic.
Donnafugata is one of the labels created in the era of wine evolution. Do you want to try it, then look for the label in fine restaurants and upscale wine stores all over the world.
Michael Madrigale, a former sommelier for an upscale Manhattan bar, went back to Italy to discover quality wines. He stated, “People are now looking for authenticity more than a famous wine region. It took the Sicilians a long time to establish their new reputation for quality wines. Now the market is telling them people are willing to spend more money for quality.”
Where Can I Find Sicilian Wines?
We can now find Sicilian wines all over the world. Here are some of the varieties that you should explore.
- Nero D’avola has a bold fruity flavor.
- Grillo is fresh and easy on the palate and goes great with fish. Grillo is one of the best-known Sicilian grapes. This wine pairs perfectly with the Mediterranean diet that people are enjoying these days. A perfect combination is Grillo with swordfish.
- For a lemony aroma and a crisp taste, try Catterato. It is a white wine and a favorite among the experts.
- Inzolia, a white wine, is crisp and satisfying. It was once an ingredient of Marsala wine, it now stands on its own.
- Marsala is a sweet wine often used in cooking.
- The Moscato grape yields the crisp, sweet Moscato wine.
This article gives an excellent list of the best value in Sicilian wines. Read More.
Sicilian wines are versatile and pair with almost any food.
White wines go with light-bodied foods and cheeses. Grillo complements the entire meal, from pasta to grilled white meats and goat cheese.
Reds pair naturally with richer dishes. Nero d’Avola, matches with everything from antipasti to grilled meats.
When I was about 10 years old, Dot took Aggie and I to Sicily to meet my Grandfather. The culture was very different in the village and it still remains simple and underdeveloped.
I remember that I was poured a glass of wine at dinner. My guess is that either they wanted me to go to sleep or the water was bad. I probably refused to drink milk because I saw that it came from a goat.
I wish I had the opportunity to see my relatives again, but they are all gone. I do remember that the food was delicious, and the wine made me sleepy. Too bad I was only 10 and too young to remember the importance of family.
I found fruit wine recipes that I think are really cool. Read More.
Everyone has been in the position of having a great bottle of wine, and no wine opener. Look at these methods. You’ll love them.
Writer, course developer, and children’s book author are among her many accomplishments She has always been interested in health and cooking. As she retired from corporate America, she developed a new pastime. What better time than to start a blog and share her knowledge of the world of culinary arts Mediterranean style.
Many of her recipes are handed down from generations and molded to her taste. Adventures in cooking are her favorite way to wile away the day.