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Nero d’Avola is one of Sicily’s Most Food-Friendly Wines

For a long time, Sicily was known as the home to bulk-produced wines that were pleasant to drink but not necessarily worthy of the sort of respect and veneration that so many of Italy’s other most famous wines commanded. That’s all changed within the past 20 years, and now, led by the great Nero d’Avola, Sicily is one of the most exciting regions in the entire country.

What is Nero d’Avola?

Nero d’Avola is a red wine produced by the grape variety of the same name. It is indigenous to Sicily, where it produces wines that typically showcase dark berries, plums, chocolate, spice, and a hint of tobacco. And because they are often beyond reasonably priced, you don’t have to spend a fortune to find a fantastic bottle of Nero d’Avola.

Where does Nero d’Avola come from?

Nero d’Avola is one of the most famous red grapes from Sicily. It was historically grown and produced mainly in the southern part of Sicily, but as its popularity has surged, it continues to be planted and vinified in the rest of the island too.

What food does Nero d’Avola pair with?

Nero d’Avola tends to be a rich wine, but it also has a smoothness that its fans love. That textural aspect of Nero d’Avola means that it pairs well with steak and ground meat—it’s incredible with hamburgers—as well as dishes that feature reduced berry sauces. Alongside, say, a pan-roasted duck breast with a blueberry reduction, it’s spectacular. But you don’t have to go that elaborate with the food you enjoy alongside Nero d’Avola: It’s just as pleasurable to pop open a bottle and drink it with nothing more than your favorite TV show and a big plate of cheese or chocolate.

How do you serve Nero d’Avola?

Like most red wines, you don’t want to chill your bottle of Nero d’Avola too much, but serving it at room temperature (70 to 72 degrees) will often result in a wine where the fruit tastes overripe, and the alcohol is a bit out of balance. Your best bet is to chill the bottle in the fridge for 5-10 minutes before opening it. This will allow the fruit to express itself as freshly as possible, without making the tannins in any way gritty or overwhelming, which tends to happen when a red wine is served too cold.

What are popular brands of Nero d’Avola?

There are many excellent brands of Nero d’Avola, including L’Auratae, NeroOro, Terramore, Villa Pozzi, Cusumano, Casale Burgio, and Regalaeli, among many others.

Browse our full selection of Nero d’Avola online or check out our selection of highly-rated Nero d’Avola for a great new Nero d’Avola to try this week!

Want to learn more about Nero d’Avola?

Visit our Guide to Sicilian Wine to learn more about Nero d’Avola.