WINES FROM SICILIAN PRODUCER CUSUMANO
A PIZZA PAIRING IN BEVERLY HILLS
BEVERLY HILLS(Spiritsman)7/17/16/–It is always a pleasure to meet visiting winemakers when they visit USA especially in a casual setting like a Beverly Hills restaurant and such was the case with Sicilian winemaker Diego Cusumano. The gregarious and typical Italian has a lot to brag about, as he Is one of the new and up and coming vintners in Sicily, and the dinner at Sotto Restaurant was a pairing with Sicilian style pizza prepared by American chef Steve Sampson.
Sicily produces 78% red wine, and is blessed by so many terrains and micro climates that the wine is hard to categorize. Many of the wines produced in Sicily are consumed locally, although there is a branded wine called “Corvo” that has a significant export presence. The Cusumano winery started in 1993 and the first vintage came out in 2001. Diego runs the operation with his brother, and the wines have important USA distribution through the very established and well respected Terlato Wines.
The Nero d’Avola is 100% grape of the same name and is a deep red wine with a flavor of berries that goes with all meats. 20,000 cases of this wine are produced and it was released in February, 2016. These grapes which are hand picked in a rich. white soil in the area of San Giacomo have lots of spice and are strong in tannins.
The white Alta Mora Bianco wine is 100% Carricante grape and with only 2,650 cases being produced, this is a wine that comes from the volcanic soil on the slopes of Mt.Etna. The semi-active volcano is 11,000 square feet high and the Alta Mora vineyards are 4.000 feet high. The wine is perfect for appetizers, very mineral in taste and is the Sicilian version of Sauvignon Blanc. The winery is also about 7 kilometers from the sea. The Sagana 2013 is another 100% Nero d’Avola grape based wine and this red varietal also has a limited production run of 1500 cases.
The winemaker for all the wines mentioned here is Mario Ronco, and this is probably the best wine to pair with pizza. It has a taste of plums and figs and was released in November 2014. The most complex of the four wines tasted was the 2013 Noa, a combination of three grapes, Nero d’Avola, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon in fairly equal proportion. 1000 cases of this flavorful wine were produced, and a 12 month barrel aging process helps this wine to a new level.
With an aroma of dark berries and citrus, we kept this wine to the end and paired it with the Italian desserts.
287 S.Robertson Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211