Posted on 30.08.19 Wine of the Week

#WOTW: a blackberry blast from a Sicilian organic pioneer

As anyone who has ever been there knows, Sicily is a wonderful place for eating, with wines to match, thanks to an exciting range of distinctive, indigenous grapes like Perricone, Nerello Mascalese and Grillo.

‘Cerasuolo di Vittoria’ comes from the island’s first DOCG (‘Dominazione Origine Controllata e Garantita’ – the highest category of quality).  Apparently the name translates as “cherry red of Vittoria”, which makes a lot of sense when you taste it.

Vittoria is a town on Sicily’s southern coast and the wine is a blend of two grapes: 70% Nero D’Avola, with the remainder Frappato.  The former is darker, with brooding ripe fruit, where as the latter is light, fresh and playful.  Together, they make the perfect combination.

This wine comes from Feudo di Santa Tresa, an ancient estate dating back to 1697, owned by Stefano Girelli and his sister Marina. If you want to know more about Stefano and his organic philosophy, check out my piece about his latest project, ‘Cortese’, here.

Santa Tresa Cerasuolo is available from Ocado at a promotional price of £8.15 (until 10/9/19, regular price is £10.15) which makes it a real bargain, for a high quality, organic, vegan wine*.  It’s the perfect partner for a pasta supper, with the smooth cherries, wild berries and juicy acidity working really well with a tomato-based sauce, aubergine parmigiana, or, my favourite, a roasted vegetable lasagne.  This was also great with the green olive and red onion focaccia pictured.

*I’m often asked what makes a wine vegetarian or vegan?  It’s to do with ‘fining’ – the process of filtering and clarifying wine.  Sometimes, gelatin, fish, dairy or egg products are used, but vegan wines obviously steer clear of these, using substances like carbon, limestone or clay instead.


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