Taste of Italy for the fall

I’ve been impressed with some recent Italian wine purchases I’ve made. The new wines arriving from Sicily are particularly intriguing, inexpensive and mouth-watering. I’ve tried two that standout: 2010 Stemmari Pinot Noir and Stemmari Nero D’Avola.

The Stemmari Pinot Noir was lighter colored in the glass than most others I’ve tried. Normally, I look for a heavier Pinot, like the Kathy Hall Talbott Pinot Noir or Cambria Vineyards, both from the West Coast. I like it with veal and burghers off the grill, or a nice blackened salmon dish. I was ecstatic to find the Sicilian pinot to be filled with delightful cherry and strawberry flavors. There was also a hint of orange on the palate, which seems to be a Stemmari trademark. It’s likely from the soil in southern Sicily where the wine is produced. I picked up two bottles of this for $15.98 or $7.99 each. You can find the Stemmari brand in most local wine stores, and the new releases have just arrived at the N.H. State Liquor Outlets.

My second good buy is the Stemmari Nero D’Avola, also selling for $7.99 a bottle. The Nero D’Avola grape is bold,with a big, dry, berry taste. You can sense the old world minerality in the warmness on the tongue. Regardless, it is pleasant, fulfilling and pairs well with pasta and meat sauces. I thoroughly enjoyed it with a cheese and mushroom pizza.

Three other Italian wines that were purchased but I’ve yet to uncork are: Corvo Red from Sicily, a nice table wine; Villa Pozzi Nero D’Avola from Sicily; and a Veneto Pinot Noir by Angelini. They all were on sale in the $10-$13 range.

It’s always good to try a few bottles of something new and see if you like them. If you do, you should stock up these everyday drinking wines that deliver great taste and value. You’ll save a lot of money in the long run and surprise dinner guests too with the fine selection.