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 that have sleeves for the wine bottles to keep them covered up from the tasters because I didn’t want the label of the wines affecting any of the results.  We all know that if someone recognizes a label as an expensive one that they would score it higher.  I had my wife put the covers on, so that I didn’t know which was which either.   Also I had it setup so that we weren’t drinking the same wine at the same time, so we could avoid any group thinking.  The scoring system was just a simple 1 to 5 with 5 being excellent. 9

We had 9 people tasting the wines, but unfortunately only 5 of the tasters had proper rating results for the scoring.   I think the others were drinking too much or something. 🙂 .

Below are the wines that were in the blind tasting and each of their prices:

  1.  Cusumano Alta Mora Etna Rosso 2013 –  €15
  2.   Tenuta Terre Nere 2014 –  €16
  3.   Graci Etna Rosso 2013 –  €15
  4.   Girolamo Russo ‘a Rina 2014 – €20
  5.   Russo Rampante Etna Rosso 2009 – $15
  6.  Planeta Etna 2014 – $13
  7.   Benanti Serra Della Contessa 2004 – €28
  8.   Vivera Martinella 2010 – €18
  9.   Benanti Rovitello 2010 – €30
  10.   Gambino Tifeo 2012 – €14
  11.   Passopisciaro Contrada C 2010 – €37
  12.   Destro Sciarake Etna Rosso – €20

Here is a snapshot of the results.  The final average score being the column furthest on the right.  The top 3 highlighted in Green and the bottom one highlighted in Red.

Etna Rosso Wine taste test results.
Etna Rosso Wine taste test results.

The results were surprising, since 2 of the 3 top scorers I had never tasted before.

This was a great experiment, which helped us figure out our favorites for purchasing.  Please don’t base your purchases on our taste, but I would definitely give the top choices a try if  you haven’t.  Any personal favorites out there for Etna Rosso?  Mine was the Tenuta Terre Nere.


etna rosso wines


The blind setup
The blind setup
These are the top 6 in order from left to right.
These are the top 6 in order from left to right.
bottom etna rosso wines
bottom etna rosso wines

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