Sicily, the Land of Baroque ‘n’ Roll, Part 1

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Sicily - Trinacria

Sicily – the Land of Baroque ‘n’Roll, Part 1 This land Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean, symbolised by the Trinacria, representing the island’s triangular shape and fabled fertility. Winegrowing here dates back to the 8th century B.C. by ancient Greek colonies. Sicily has highly visible evidence of conquest by many civilisations. Phonecians, Carthaginians, Greeks, Romans, Normans, Arabs, Germans, …

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Sicilian Wines, My Delightful Dozen. Baroque ‘n’ Roll, Part 2

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Sicilian Wines - delightful dozen

Sicilian Wines, My Delightful Dozen. Baroque ‘n’ Roll, Part 2. Here are wines that I consider to be outstanding examples of Sicilian wines from all over the island. I’ve deliberately restricted the choice to only one wine per producer. I’ve also chosen different grape varieties and styles wherever possible. Hence it shows off the Island’s enormous diversity. Sometimes that’s made …

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Nero Oro Nero d’Avola Appassimento, DOC Sicilia, 2017

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Nero Oro Apassimento Sicilia DOC

Nero Oro Nero d’Avola Appassimento, DOC Sicilia, 2017 Nero Oro comes from the Feudo di Santa Tresa estate in Sicily, in collaboration with a company called The Wine People. It’s intriguing in several ways, and not just because of the taste. Firstly, it’s 100% Nero d’Avola, a grape indigenous to Sicily and one of it’s best varieties. Since the 1990’s, …

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Etna terroir, the Burgundy of the Mediterranean – the Lava Lout Returns, Part 2 of 2

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Etna terroir

Etna terroir, the Burgundy of the Mediterranean – the Lava Lout Returns, Part 2 of 2 The Etna Terroir Part 1 of this article described how a Sicilian volcano bestows natural gifts to create the Etna terroir. But Etna isn’t one terroir; there are many variations. Welcome to the Burgundy of the Mediterranean. Etna’s volcanic soils are free draining, and low …

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Etna, or why I’m a Lava Lout – Part 1 of 2

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Etna smouldering

Etna, or why I’m a Lava Lout – Part 1 of 2 It’s how the Earth was made. At 3,343 metres (10,968 feet), Mount Etna (Mongibello) spits, snarls and smokes. All around is ash, black as death. Above us, the summit has four active craters, caked with yellow sulphur. Etna erupts almost continuously. As we climb to 3,050 metres, it’s …

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Recipe: Spaghetti alla Norma, a real taste of Sicily

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Spaghetti alla Norma, Sicily

Recipe: Spaghetti alla Norma, a real taste of Sicily A big bowl of Spaghetti alla Norma is truly the essence of Sicilian cuisine. I first ate it in Ragusa many years ago. It’s a tomato and aubergine pasta heaven that forms a regular part of my diet. Hearty and healthy, it’s so foolproof to make that even I can do …

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Veeno, an Italian Wine Café in the UK

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Veeno

Veeno, an Italian Wine Café in the UK It’s not every day that you encounter a genuinely different take on Italian food and wine in Britain. That Veeno manages this admirably is down to director Nino Francesco Caruso and his business partner Andrea Zecchino. They set up their small chain of 20* restaurants in 2013, starting with Leeds and Manchester. This …

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Rescue Mission. Palari Faro, a Sicilian Icon

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Palari Faro

Rescue Mission. Palari Faro, DOC Faro, Sicily. 2009. 13.5% This fabulous wine comes from north-east coastal Sicily, on steep volcanic slopes between the towns of Messina and Taormina. It is called Faro after the lighthouse that guards the entrance to Messina’s harbour. Beyond are the narrow, dangerous straights of Messina separating Sicily from mainland Italy. Faro is a shining light …

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