today is my virgin voyage on wine blogging wednesday, an online flogger event originally proposed by monsieur lenn at lenndeavors. for this 8th installment of wbw, love sicily are the hosts, so quite appropriately, the theme is vini rossi siciliani (sicilian red wines).
so off we went to our local favorite wine bar and bistro that has a fairly decent wine list. (detailed review of the food to come later, of course.) without doing much, and in fact, i must admit i did no, research beforehand, we just crossed our fingers in hopes that sicily was a stop on the restaurant’s global adventure of a wine list. there was, but one: a 2003 morgante nero d’avola for $34. i had neither heard of morgante nor nero d’avola, and our server was not familiar with it at all. wait, isn’t this a wine bistro?! no matter. bring us a bottle!
unfortunately, the restaurant was so dark that i wasn’t able to make out the details of the color, other than that it was red. even up against the tiny little tea light on our table, it was just, well, candle-lit red.
now this is where, in my review, i must admit *sigh* i'm a bit of a wine rookie. perhaps rookie, implying “new,” is not quite the right word, because i’ve been drinking wine since long before i was even legal, thanks to my mother who believes that wine is as important, if not more so, than water. i can’t say that i’m new to appreciating wine, because i most certainly have always appreciated it. i will say that i am not quite (yet) a knowledgeable wine connoisseur. a long time ago i wasted a lot of time learning about wine by reading, but i couldn't figure out how a wine could taste like smoke or grass. i don’t find plum. or peach. wine tasted like, well, wine. i am still learning, and so my comments and notes on wine will be much like the way a kindergarterner naturally reacts to something she drinks or eats. i surfed a bit this morning, and monsieur lenn himself tasted the same wine as me! his review of course, is waaaay more sophisticated than my "it sure tastes yummy!" *giggle*
morgante’s nero d’avola smelled a bit milder and fruitier than what i normally associate with a red wine. i can’t say what kind of fruit, but just “fruitier,” the way i can’t identify the exact scent of the glade plug-in in my living room. i know it’s something fruity, and not woodlands escape or seabreeze spa. i haven’t graduated beyond “fruit” in my wine vocabulary yet.
what a surprise on the taste, because i actually enjoyed it. here again, my wine immaturity is so plainly exposed. it is quite rare that i can find a red that suits my taste, not because i have a high palate for reds, but simply because they generally don’t match my light, sweet, fruity preferences. i don’t love red wine, and i usually stick with a non-chardonnay white (chardonnay smells like feet to me).
the wine didn’t feel tannic (that one i know). i didn’t have the normal *crinkled nose* and *puckered lips* reactions that i often have with red wines. it was easy to drink on its own, before any food came out, and even through most of our dinner of prosciutto-wrapped dates, salt cod brandade, and grilled merguez sausage, there were no obviously strange taste or texture interactions. the only place where it got a bit *pucker* was with a seafood antipasto platter of mostly cold pickled things - too tart all around. we finished up our sicilian red wine, and asked if we could take the bottle home (so i could takes pictures).
at least i’m consistent, because the few red wines i have liked have been chiantis and shirazes, and my post-tasting research says nero d’avola is similar to syrah. at least i know what i like, and for now, that’ll have to do.