Tag Archives: Sicily

LAMURA Rosso Terre Siciliane

Cost: Average price $6.99

Where buy now: Stinson Wines & Spirits

Grapes: 100% Nero d’Avola

Region: Sicily, Italy

Vintage: 2013

LAMURA Rosso Terre Siciliane
LAMURA Rosso Terre Siciliane

I’ve been sick all week and with that sickness comes an air of selfishness. You could blame my mom for being the most nurturing of matriarchs. You could blame my birth order and the entitlement I feel as a first child. You could blame an unconditionally loving husband who strives to make me happy. However, it all truly comes down to this fact, I choose to be a big baby.


Zinc lozenges, Generic Dimetapp and nasal spray had my tastebuds all bug-a-boo. I couldn’t taste. My diet consisted of Northern Minnesotan fare: bland, white food. Saltines and chicken noodle soup. I was sad. No wine. No bubbles. No happiness. I consumed Xanax as a way to achieve a wine buzz I so desperately craved.


As the fog slowly lifted, my tastebuds began returning to a normal state. What does any Italian gal do after a diet of bland food? Turn to pizza and pasta. Gimme spice, gimme garlic, gimme pizzazz. To test the tastebud waters, I didn’t want to blow it on some expensive (ie: $15) bottle of wine. Last week I picked up some cheapy bottles (as if I subconsciously knew) for such an occasion.


I picked up Lamura Rosso Terre Siciliane. This one rang up at a whopping $6.99.


“What the fuck am I doing? I’m being cheap. No, I’m being adventurous AND it says Natura Sicilia. Go organic!” I told myself.

Scene from The Savvy Lush research and recovery operation.
Scene from The Savvy Lush research and recovery operation.


So, here I sit. In bed. Dog at my feet. Crappy daytime T.V. on the boob-tube. Me, a pizza and a glass of red wine. It’s fucking awesome. I’m back, baby. Lamura Rosso Terre Siciliane wine is light on the lips. There’s enough cherry-berry fruit to taste, without being jammy and it’s not overly dry or tannic. It’s soft, gentle and thin on the palate. Perfect for this recovering (addict) sick gal.


It’s all working. You can blame my inability to taste fully. You can blame my laziness that is a frozen pizza. You can blame my day-drinking. However, it all truly comes down to the fact that I deserve these just rewards.


Skank wine of the week – one deserving of my selfishness recovery.

Archeo Nero d’Avola

Cost: Average price $5

Where buy now: Trader Joe’s for $4.99

Grapes: Nero d’Avola

Region: Sicily, Italy

Vintage: 2010

Archeo Nero d’Avola

Archeo Nero d’Avola “Neh-roe DAH-voe-lah” by Ruggero di Tasso is a delightful wine that hails from Sicily. Like the dark-black grapes this wine is named after, they have been blasted by the Southern Mediterranean heat providing the wine with a deep, rich crimson hue. It is a fuller bodied wine with lots of juicy flavor. It tastes of black cherry, raspberry and a teensy-bit of sweet baking spices and chocolate to round it out. The tannins are mild as was the acidity.

I know lots of folks love Cabernet, Syrah and Zinfandel, but dammit, give Nero d’Avola a chance!

As it’s a milder Nero d’Avola, this is the one I’d strongly suggest for the uninitiated. Also, it can hang with all three of those varietals, and I bet you’ll find as good [if not better] a bottle for much less dough. I love me some Cab and steak, so, substitute the Cab with Nero d’Avola, and that’s exactly how I enjoyed a home grilled porterhouse the other night.

Dining al fresco

Great thing is, this wine pairs well with grilled meats, but would also go really well with your Tuesday night frozen pizza.

If you’re already making the sojourn to Trader Joe’s (which, if you live near the St. Louis Park location, pack a lunch) to pick up the “Skank Wine of the Month” Primitivo, then grab a bottle of this Archeo Nero d’Avola. Make sure you get the Archeo priced at $4.99, not the Epicuro priced at $5.99! I just don’t care for the taste of the $6 Epicuro Nero d’Avola nearly as much as the $5 Archeo. I just asked a friend to pick up a few more bottles for me because, while my recent vacation was fun, MAN did it kill my vino budget! It’s simply not an option to run short on great, staple wines, now, is it?

Cusumano Insolia

Cost: Average price $13.99

Where buy now: Surdyk’s- $8.49

Grapes:100% Insolia

Region: Sicilia (Sicily)

Vintage: 2010

Cusumano Insolia

This week, my quest was to find a wine that paired well with some classic St. Patty’s corned beef and cabbage [well, Frank’s Bavarian Sauerkraut]. Lunds & Byerly’s has Kobe corned beef on sale, so I grabbed me a juicy one. I threw it in the slow-cooker and away I went to work.

Flash forward in the evening, and I still needed a wine! I picked up a pair of reds: a Gamay and Pinot Noir. I was on the hunt for the perfect red wine to pair. When I got home, I was starving and so I started nibbling on the beef. “This is stupid”, I thought, “just fix a plate, sample the wines, and dig in, already”. I started by sipping on the Gamay, and it was, well, a’ight. [Full disclosure: I was truly pining for a boilermaker of Bushmill’s dropped in a creamy Murphy’s or Guinness. I love beer like the next guy, but that’s too easy. Not to mention, isn’t this supposed to be a wine blog?]. I kept eating and thought, “Well shit, I need a white wine to review this week, anyhow” so I ran to my basement and picked up a go-to white, Cusumano’s Insolia. What the eff was I doing? A Sicilian white wine with Irish fare?

Whatever. I’ve been drinking this wine for years. I honestly don’t know what prompted me to buy it in the first place; I can only imagine it was on sale. I opened it up while fabricating an account of how I enjoyed this wine on an unseasonably beautiful March day frolicking outside with the dog while she chewed on the cork.

I loaded my fork with a mound of beef and sauerkraut. Thank GOD I was alone because it couldn’t have been pretty. I struggled with the delightfully salty moistness, trying to clear way for a sip of white wine. I managed to squeeze a sip into my chipmunk cheeks. Huh? I took another sip, for I had such a mouthful, a couple of sips was required to wash it all down. “Oh, for strange!” (I imagined in my fake Scandinavian Grandmother’s voice). Take two, however, this time I used some discretion. I took an ample, not pornographic, bite of beef and ‘kraut, chewed slowly, then took another sip. I just threw down the silverware. I must not know shit about shit because this tastes pretty damn good!

Cusumano’s Insolia is a pale straw color. On the nose it’s fruity- not dry but not sweet. One can smell a lovely amalgamation of pineapple, citrus peel and soft hints of floral scents floating in the wind. It is mildly acidic with a medium body, tart but not mouth-puckeringly so. There’s a decent finish, but it doesn’t linger for a while. It’s a combination of so many things, much like the storied island of Sicily. If you like Vinho Verde, Sauvignon Blanc or Citrus-forward Chardonnays, you’ll enjoy this. Plus, it sports a groovy glass topper that’s easy to click back on. I usually drink Insolia throughout the Summer so I felt all discombobulated, how is this happening to taste so good together? I ran to the interwebs to find out if there was any history of the Irish in Sicily? Sicily is a melting pot of different cultures, so perhaps someone’s raping and pillaging somehow resulted in a convergence of white wine and corned beef. I came across this: www.medcelt.org/feile-festa/v001-n001/prose/farinella.html

I cannot make this up. My curiosity of wines has certainly helped quench my thirst, not only for the mighty fermented grape but also another love, history. Now, it doesn’t so much talk about raping & pillaging, nor food, but I don’t care, there’s gotta be something to this. I’d bet a dollar to a dime that Insolia would go swimmingly with lots of ethnic cuisines: Middle Eastern, Greek, African & Spanish to name a few. Try it with different foods, or just sip alone on a breezy Summer day.

Oh, and not to fret: I ate some dark chocolate with the opened Gamay, and that was damn good, too.