eWine of the Week
by Bruce Cochran
Who doesn’t have a favorite spaghetti sauce recipe? And who doesn’t struggle just a little when picking out a wine to go with that spaghetti? I know I do sometimes. Maybe a thin, somewhat overpriced Chianti? Maybe a wine that you opened last week to have with something else? Or, how about a great deal on a perfect “spaghetti red” with depth and character? Keep reading.
Try a new wine this week!
Rudini Nero d’Avola
Few countries are as identified with a dish as Italy is with spaghetti, and maybe no Italian region is as identified with spaghetti and red sauce as Sicily. This has become an American favorite as well, and who doesn’t have their own special recipe for spaghetti sauce?
The problem has been what wine to pour with it. Many people go for Chianti since it’s a famous name. Sadly, so many inexpensive ones (and some that cost quite a bit), are just too thin, and don’t have enough character and flavor to keep up with the sauce. Today there’s a better option — a good quality Sicilian red, a real “spaghetti wine” with depth and quality. Now we have a good, traditional wine to serve with that special spaghetti sauce.
A couple of years ago, in the northern Italian town of Parma (one of the world’s great food towns, now the food capital of the European Union), Nero d’Avola was recommended to me at two restaurants as an accompaniment to the area’s famous pasta (Emilia-Romagna is known as the “birthplace of pasta”).
The first restaurant was Santa Croce, home to some of the town’s most highly acclaimed and most expensive cooking and in some ways my favorite Parma restaurant. The second was a trattoria called Pinocchio, with a working class clientele and well prepared local dishes.
A good Sicilian Nero d’Avola is a deeply colored, warm, generous red, softly dry, loaded with fruit with flavors reminiscent of black cherry, black raspberry and forest floor nuances, with a fairly smooth, lingering finish. It’s a perfect pairing for your homemade spaghetti sauce, Italian sausages or robust cheeses.
I like the Rudini Nero d’Avola that I poured earlier this month at our eWine Sampling. More than 50 other wine lovers seemed to like it, too, including our eWine staff. And, best of all, it’s price is in the $10-$15 category, a great bargain.