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Wine Review: Overseas wines can keep prices in check

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Has the rapid increase in the price of wine affected you? Does price now determine your choice of wine?

Well, don’t feel that you are alone. Second thoughts about what wine to buy have become commonplace in our current economy. It is always the luxury items that take the hardest hit by a vacillating economy. Wine, which has always been considered a luxury item, is among those at the top of the list.

There are, however, wines in the marketplace that have not totally succumbed to rising prices, many of which come from overseas. These wines should not be sneered at or considered inferior to other wines because of their lower prices. They are made in nations where there is a different standard of living, and thus they can price their wines to be competitive with the wines of other lands by offering good wines at attractive prices.

A popular red wine from Sicily is the Nero D’Avola. The wine is similar to a cabernet sauvignon that has been blended with a bit of syrah. The Nero D’Avola, which is grown only in the mountains of Sicily and takes advantage of the warm Mediterranean breezes that continuously blow across the island, incorporates many of the flavors and aromas that have made red wines so popular.

I was fortunate enough to taste a few of the Nero D’Avola wines that I would like to call to your attention as a possible affordable replacement to your present red wine and perhaps seal that hole in your wallet that your money keeps falling through.

Stemmari 2021 Nero D'Avola ($11)
If you believe that you cannot get a worthy red wine for the price of the Stemmari Nero D'Avola, there is an amazing learning experience awaiting you at your first sip. The aroma of this wine is intense and stresses the cabernet sauvignon signature aroma of currant accompanied by strawberry and pomegranate, which follow through to the finish where they are joined by a raisin-like element. This is a wine that could heal any of the red wine woes that you may have recently experienced. Don't be surprised that after drinking this wine, you start humming Italian opera and have a burning desire for lasagna.

Ferreri 2020 Nero D'Avola Sicilia ($14)
This is a full body textbook example of a Nero D'Avola wine that exhibits all of the flavor and aroma attributes expected of the variety, along with a softness that is obvious and further adds to its enjoyment. The aroma features a fruit basket of red and black berries infused with the telltale black currant, cherry and freshly cut red pepper. These continue on to the finish where the cherry takes over. This wine could easily solve your hunt for a red wine and do so at a reasonable price.

Quattro Quarti 2021 Nero D'Avola Appassimento ($20)
I believe that a bit of translation is needed here. Quattro quarti translates as four quarters while appassimento refers to the passion and effort of the winemaker to produce a superior wine. The aroma is intense and marked by currants and plum with a hint of licorice that continues to the finish. There, it’s joined by the sensation of freshly picked sweet red fruits, plums, cherries, vanilla and the variety’s signature suggestion of fresh- cut red peppers. This wine is an excellent example of a Nero D'Avola wine and a perfect introduction if the reader is unfamiliar with the variety.

Di Giovanna 2019 Helios Sicilia DOC Nero D'Avola ($26)
This wine has been blended with 15% syrah, which results in extra layers of fruit in the aroma, flavor and finish. The aroma offers cherry, violet, blackberry with chocolate, fresh spice and oak residing comfortably in the background. There is also an earthy element that is a sign of a well-made Nero D'Avola. I am positive that if you are a red wine lover, this wine will more than satisfy all of your expectations.

Wine columnist Bennet Bodenstein can be reached at


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