Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Two Sicilian Reds

Martini's Pizza, just down the street from my home in Kalamazoo, is a no-nonsense place offering delicious pizza, pasta and Mediterranean-oriented dishes. You would expect a place like this to have well chosen inexpensive Italian wines on the wine list, and they do--served the traditional way in Italian-style water glasses. Yes, Citra Montepulciano is on the list; it's a reliable standard at the lowest end of the price scale. We chose a couple of Sicilian reds that were only slightly more costly and even more enjoyable.

The 2007 Cusomano Italian Syrah is a far cry from Australian-style Shiraz, and my wife (who likes Shiraz more than I do) turned up her nose. It's as darkly colored as Shiraz and extremely fruity, gushing with blackberries, black plums, licorice and herbs--no oak in sight. It's closer to a Southern Rhone than a New World Syrah but basically it represents a distinct Sicilian style--warm climate and full of ripe fruit tones. I like it.

My wife was happier with the 2007 Feudo Arancio Sicilian Pinot Noir. Again, it's not like any Pinot Noir we've tasted. It may be even riper and fruitier than the Syrah, but the earthy Pinot finish makes it food friendly. Both wines go very well with dishes such as Farcitta (savory crust stuffed with vegetables and sausage) and acorn squash with sauteed vegetables.

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