Red Wine Pairings

Red Wines

Any tasting in general will be more enjoyable when the wines are accompanied with food that enhances them.

First have wine and food of equal weight and second combine similar aromas or contrasting flavors.

We will be tasting 3 red wines:

Etna Rosso
Nero D’Avola
Cerasuolo Di Vittoria

Made from 3 grapes or blends:

Nerello Mascalese
Nero D’Avola

Etna Rosso

Etna Rosso is frequently a blend of Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio. However, the wine in our tasting is a little different. It is made from 100% Nerello Mascalese, which has low tannin, light body, medium color, noticeable minerality, bright red fruit, and aromas of spice, including anise. It pairs well with roasted red peppers, oily fish, and meatloaf.

Sicilian Meatloaf:

Make the version with veal and/or sweet Italian sausage. (The spice in sweet Italian sausage is fennel which has the same chemical as anise)

More Sicilian Meatloaf:

Another Sicilian Meatloaf (Go easy on the sauce)


Nero D’Avola

Nero d’Avola is the most widely planted grape in Sicily. In Sicily, the grape has three variations; all are full-bodied with medium tannins and acid. All pair well with rich salty food, earthy mushrooms, and meaty dishes – especially one with some fat that complements the tannins in the wine. Meatballs, short ribs, grilled lamb chops, cheese plates, and charcuterie plates are good candidates. Other pairings are dishes with pungent spices such as anise or sage.


Slow cooked ribs:

Slow Cooked Ribs Note: 160ºC = 325ºF

Grilled lamp chops:

After cooking, the meat can be cut into bite sized cubes for serving. Plate with Sicilian cheeses: Pecorino, Salted ricotta, and Aged Provolone. Plate with dry cured meats: Italian Salami and Prosciutto

Cerasuolo Di Vittoria

Cerasuolo di Vittoria is a blend of 70% Nero d’Avola and 30% Frapatto. Each grape adds a major flavor component to the wine. In the blend, Nero d’Avola provides strong dark fruit, full body, and tannins, while Frapatto contributes freshness and light aromas. The Frapatto grape makes a very fragrant, light-colored wine with a thin body. It has low soft tannins with medium acidity. The grape in Sicily has two variations. One is lighter with aromatics of roses, violets, strawberry. The other has black fruit -wild berries, black cherry.

It pairs with lighter versions of items that pair well with Nero d’Avola, such as spicy meat dishes, ricotta filled ravioli, grilled fish, or fennel sausage.

Roast pork tenderloin:

Grilled pork tenderloin:

Ricotta filled ravioli:

Grilled swordfish: