FIVE POPULAR GRAPES
Produced from fermented grapes, wine has been loved (maybe a little too much) for thousands of years. A trusty old companion to foods, wine accentuates the tastes of meat, pasta, and seafoods alike. It’s no secret that Sicilians love wine, but which is the best?
While it’s nearly impossible to find the best wine out there, celebrity chef Enzo Oliveri is here to help narrow down the group. Here are five of Italy’s most popular grapes and a little insight into what makes them so amazing!
1. Grillo – a traditional Sicilian grape and one of the best known around. Elegant and aromatic, Grillo wines make lovely aperitifs and also helps to refresh the palate when consumed with a variety of cuisines. Our recommendation: Grillo Cavallo Delle Fate BY TASCA D’ALMERITA.
2. Nero D’avola – the indigenous Nero D’avola grape is an icon of Sicilian oenology and takes the lead when it comes to Sicilian red wines. It is the most widely planted red variety on the island, and for good reason. Our recommendation: TANCREDI BY DONNAFUGATA.
3. Nerello Mascalese – the most highly-regarded Sicilian grape, this red variety has been grown in the Messina Province of Italy for at least 200 years. You know what they say about a finely aged wine! Today it is grown along the slopes of volcano Etna which is where its name “the grape of the volcano” comes from. Our recommendation: BARBAZZALE BY COTTANERA.
4. Inzolia – also known as Ansonica in Tuscany, this white grape variety is cultivated primarily in western Sicily and is the island’s fourth most widely planted grapevine. Known for its notes of tropical fruit and a pleasant nutty character with almonds at the forefront, it’s a tasty wine to say the least. Our recommendation: INSOLIA BY PRINCIPI DI BUTERA.
5. Zibibbo – found on the island of Pantelleria, halfway between Sicily and Tunisia, Zibibbo was likely brought over by Arab conquerors in the late 700s. “Zibib” in Arabic means ‘dried grape’ which is fitting due to the unique production of this wine. Grapes for Zibibbo are left on the vine until they partially ferment in the sun, creating characteristics of fortified wines, but without the addition of brandy and with lower alcohol content. Our recommendation: PASSITO BEN RYE BY DONNAFUGATA.
Tasting Sicily Enzo’s Kitchen brings the best of Sicilian culture to the capital, and not only in terms of cuisine. Stunning artisanal decorations from Sicily decorate the space that recount the cultural heritage of the island, such as the Sicilian cart wheel – famous for powering the carts that carried produce, food and wine to our forefathers across the Mediterranean – and a staircase made with tiles from the Caltagirone lava stone.
Run by Celebrity Chef, Enzo Oliveri. Enzo has cooked for the likes of likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Paul Hollywood, and John Travolta, and has worked on TV shows with Gordon Ramsey.
Tasting Sicily Enzo’s Kitchen is a 3-minute walk from Piccadilly Circus Tube Station and Leicester Square.