I'd love to go, and I've often said, "This year, we'll go to Sicily". But for one reason and another, I've never made it. Maybe 2013 will be the year.
I'll continue by saying I'm not exactly a regular shopper at Tesco as my nearest one is some 6 miles away and the kind of megastore that means popping in for a loaf of bread takes about 2 hours and coming home with a new flat screen TV and enough provisions for a journey to the Arctic.
Yet, fate conspired to bring two Tesco "Finest" wines from Sicily to my table this week so I thought I'd bring them to you. It's unlikely they're the finest Sicily has to offer but until I go there and sample more, we'll have to take Tesco's word for it.
Vermentino is worth having a bottle of in the fridge as it can work quite well with hard to pair foods such as artichoke, pesto, tomato and herby salads. You might encounter it under it's French name Rolle. Though there are a ton of other aliases this grape goes under, most stores now have a Vermentino in stock. It's true "finest" home is most likely Sardinia, with it's own DOC "Vermentino de Sardegna". Nevertheless, at £6.99, there's much to commend starting with this one and working your way around the numerous Mediterranean examples should you take a shine to it.
The wine is medium to light bodied for a red, despite having a dark colour. It's as fruit forward as an Australian Shiraz with lots of flavour of black cherry and black currant, but a little less mouth filling.
You'll struggle to find a cheaper Nero D'Avola out there that's anywhere near as good as this. Many stores only have examples in the £10+ price range, while this is currently on offer at tescowine.com for £6 a bottle (if you buy 6) and regularly falls into the in-store discounted offers on the Finest range such as 2 for £12. You may also find this grape blended with other indigenous Sicilian grapes like Frappato, but to my taste, this one works well on it's on. I hope you'll enjoy it too!
My next travel destination is Iceland. Please don't expect me to report back on undiscovered wine gems from there...