Bring Me Sunshine
There was a term coined by the Australians for their particular style of wine that burst onto the global wine scene back in the 1980’s: sunshine in a glass. After years of complicated labels that often required a code-breaker to decipher what it was that you were drinking, wines from the New World changed all that by simply putting the name of the grape variety on the front label. Indeed, it so revolutionised the wine market in this country that wines from Australia and the U.S. now outsell wines from France and Italy. However, the Old World can do sunshine in a glass too, often with wonderfully obscure grape varieties that excite and delight the palate and at very affordable prices to boot. You just need to know where to find them, and that is not always an easy task when facing the great wall that is The Supermarket Wine Aisle.
So here are a few of my current favourites:
Fiano is the name of the grape used to make this wine, and it is grown and made in Sicily by one of Italy’s most highly regarded winemakers, Diego Planeta. The wine is beautifully golden in colour and is packed with ripe peach and fig flavours. If you like Chardonnay or Viognier, I think you’ll love this wine. And roast chicken is a brilliant match for it.
This is the red partner to the wine above, again made in Sicily by the same team. Nero D’Avola is the grape variety here and it is a wonderfully ripe style of red with lots of blackberry and black cherry fruit flavours. If you like Australian Shiraz, chances are you will love this Sicilian gem too. It is full-bodied, smooth and screams for food, especially grilled or barbequed steaks or roast lamb.