Top Etna Rosso Wines Blind Taste Test

I think I was inspired by March Madness.  College basketball at this time of year is impossible to ignore, especially because my Alma mater ( Michigan State) is a regular contender. Except this year!!!  I was thinking to myself there are so many wines from just Etna alone how can we figure out our favorites?  Why not have a bunch of Etna Rosso wines and taste them all in the same day and directly compare to find the winners and losers?  So I started picking up all the Etna Rosso wines I could find.  I thought that at most it would be an “Elite 8”, but all of the sudden I ended up with 12 and still left a couple out!  For the test they had to be true Etna Rosso DOC meaning that they could only contain Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio grapes.  No blends with Nero d’Avola, Syrah, Cabernet, etc.

I brought out these old wine tasting party kits Continue reading “Top Etna Rosso Wines Blind Taste Test”

Antichi Vini di Sicilia Wine Review – No Buono

Had a really bad experience with a few wines that I bought and wanted to share and warn.  Also it has been a while since I have pretended to be a wine expert, but for these wines no expertise was needed.  We ended up dumping most of the 6 bottles that we got.  The winery is Antichi Vini di Sicilia and they have a lineup of whites and reds that are all Sicilian.  They were having a tasting at the wine shop on base and I kind of felt bad for them as I was looking at other wines.  No one was giving them the time of day and that should have been a warning. haha.  I went over and started up a conversation Continue reading “Antichi Vini di Sicilia Wine Review – No Buono”

Cilda – My favorite place to buy wine in Catania

There are a lot of options when it comes to buying wine in Sicily.  Especially for those with access to Sigonella.  For a while I bought my wine at the NEX because I figured it was the best price and it was already in dollars.  My local friend Mario showed me a new option that is cheaper and has a better selection.  Its called Cilda (or C.I.L.D.A) and its on the outskirts of downtown Catania.  Turns out that this place has been in business since the 30s and is known by most Cantanese (or is it Catanianians..not sure on that one 😎

An example of the cost difference is with a typical Continue reading “Cilda – My favorite place to buy wine in Catania”

Firriato Etna Rosso 2009

I had to write about this wine while it was still in my mind here.  We just had this last night and it was great.  This wine woke up my tastebuds with some character.  Lately wines really haven’t been surprising me… probably because we have been playing it safe with the wines we know.  I liked this red a lot and its price was nice at under €10.  Im giving it the Ferrari stamp of approval because its a good representation of the reds from Mount Etna. 🙂





Donnafugata Damarino 2010

Dan Marino?

We have been impressed with Donnafugata wines, so we thought we would give this one a shot and sure enough it was good as well.  I made some chicken piccata using the wine.  Also had most of the bottle left over for dinner and it was great white for the dish.  Light but still had a nice taste to it.   I believe we got the bottle for around $10.


Vespa rating for the Damarino 2010 from Donnafugata

Riparosso Illuminati Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2009 – Wine

Riparosso Illuminati Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2009

It seemed like it has been a while since we had a good wine and this one started off poorly.  The cork was bad and ripped in half from the middle of the cork looking like sawdust.  Luckily I was able to work some magic with a different corkscrew and got it out of there without any shrapnel in the wine.   Once this commotion was over we were able to enjoy the wine and found it to be very good.  It was extremely easy to drink… very well balanced.  Almost too smooth in that it didnt have a big wow factor, but for $6.99 it was impressive.

I did some research on the grape and it turns out to have a lot of the characteristics that we like.  Here is a link for more info on wikipedia.

Rating: Ferrari

Pontormo Chianti 2008 – Wine

We were looking for a good Chianti to go with our steak tonight and this was a bust.  I got this wine as a half bottle to try at $3.00, so I guess I shouldn’t have expected much.  I also like to use the empty half bottles for storing extra wine from normal sized bottles.  This purchase ended up being solely for the half bottle! ha.  Better Chiantis are out there!

Rating: Mini Donkey


Rosso di Montalcino – Castello Banfi 2009 – Wine

Rosso di Montalcino – Castello Banfi 2009

We were looking forward to trying this wine with a great dinner at home.  It’s an 100% Sangiovese from the world famous Montalcino area of Tuscany. The bottle cost $15.99.  It is definitely at the lower end of the price range for wine from this region, but we figured its worth a shot.

Unfortunately this wine just didn’t live up to our expectations.  It was pretty bland.   Im thinking if we aged it for a while we would probably get some different results.

Although this wine fell flat for us we are still looking to try many of the other wines from Banfi.  We have also heard great things about visiting the Banfi winery in Tuscany… sounds like a plan to me!


I feel bad doing this, but this wine gets the Mini Donkey rating