(2018) The indigenous Nero d'Avola is one of Sicily's most important red wine varieties, here made in the appasimento style. That means a proportion of the grapes were dried before fermentation, and that has resulted in a rich, dark wine with just a trace of sweetness. Bold with a cherry fruited acidity to brighten, its extremely quaffable and the soft finish makes it very crowd-friendly. Watch the video for more information on the wine and the appasimento technique, and for food-matching ideas. The price falls to £8.99 if bought as part of a mixed six from Majestic.
(2017) From Sicily and made from a blend of grapes including the local Insolia and Cataratto, but also a little Chardonnay, this is like walking through a lemon grove into an apple orchard. It's all about filigree lightness and clean, delicate flavours in a light-bodied format, and yet there is some real fruit concentration on the palate and a long, crisp finish as those lemon groves hove into view again. Watch the video for more information and food matching ideas.
(2017) Sicily, the Italian island in the Med just off of the 'toe' of Italy's boot, is home to some very interesting indigenous grapes, and plenty of good, affordable wines. This blends the local Grillo with Viognier to lovely effect, and it is certified organic too. There's a creaminess on the nose - lemon cream - but it's not oak, just some of the ripe fruit character. In the mouth it marries weight and texture, peach and ripe melon fruit, with tangy citrus, dry and quite bracing with a salty edge, but the fruit matches that stride for stride. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.
(2017) Sicilian Zibibbo has been building a bit of a following in recent years. Though it's an Italian synonym for the Muscat grape, the Sicilian version tends to play down the more pungent floral aromatics of the variety, and add a touch of extra weight and texture. This opens with a touch of Muscat florals and exotic fruits, green grape freshness and a touch of lime peel waxiness. On the plate its like crunching a chilled grape straight from the fridge, lots of sweetness and tartness, plenty of verve and citrus tang, in a dry wine with some richness but crispness too. Daily Drinker members buy for £8.10.
(2017) This organic Nero d'Avola from Sicily is immediately striking because it comes in a tall 'flute' bottle more commonly seen on aromatic white wines. It is dark and powerful stuff, almost syrupy and balsamic in its aromas, but a welter-weight of spicy berry and plum fruit too. The palate is bold and ripe, with plenty of tannin and textural fat in the mouth, a wine with a bit of real heft despite that sweet opulence of the fruit. Good value, especially for Daily Drinker members at £8.10.
(2017) A very handsomely packaged wine, there's a dramatic liquorice and graphite darkness to the aromas, a delightfully juicy palate, sparked by some herb and spice notes, but really it is all about savoury and lightly gamy black fruit into a long, energetic finish with excellent acidity and taut tannins.Fine quality at the price for this wine made from the native Sicilian Nerello Mascalese.
(2016) Sicily's Frappato usually delights and so it is with this light, fresh and buoyant red, a touch of ink and earth adding some seriousness, but it's about the wild strawberry lift and freshness. Dry on the palate, there is some intensity here, the finish showing a little more tannin and seriousness than some, but it remains joyous, buoyant and fruit-filled - just as it should be.
(2015) If you haven't yet discovered the bountiful joys of Frappato, this example from Sicily is an excllent introduction to its cherry-fresh style. There's lipstick and a floral lift on the nose, loads of that cherry-cola fruitiness and then so much super ripe and juicy fruit on the palate. Not serious, but a little star, with bucket and a half of pleasure in every glass.
(2015) The cheapest white of this selection and a wine I really enjoyed. From the excellent Mandrarossa co-op, it is bursting with vivacious fruit aromas, lots of punchy lime and little exotic lychee glimpses, before a palate that is dry but suffused with peachy fruit sweetness. Medium-bodied and deliciously balanced with citrus and a lick of saline in the finish, it's a lovely quaffer and general all-rounder and an absolute steal at the price. £5.95, The Wine Society.
(2015) There are a few examples of Sicily's charming Frappato around now, but this bright purple example is a corker - that is, it is so flamboyantly perfumed and exuberantly fruity, which in many ways is what Frappato does best. The nose brims with buoyant, quite Beaujolais notes of summer berry fruits, hedgerow flowers and exotic hints of clove and spices of the Souk, with a fresh and crisp palate, only 12.5% alcohol, that surprises by being bone dry and savoury, light on its feet with a crunch and just a nip of tannic grip. £7.95, The Wine Society.