Cherasuolo di Vittoria

Last night, we used these strawberry tomatoes from the Hollywood Farmers Market to make one of our favorite pasta dishes.

The orecchiette turned out very well, although it took a little longer in the oven to get the tomatoes to break down to a mushable mash.

We’d opened up the Planeta the night before. This is a 2008 Cerasuolo di Vittoria from Sicily. A blend of 60% Nero d’Avola and 40% Frappato. Purchased on a lark at K&L in Hollywood for just under $20, this wine delights the palette without overwhelming the food.

This is produced by Sicilian wine giant Planeta, so it should be relatively easy to find. Did a little bit of reading onĀ Wine Anorak and learned a few interesting things. There’s only one DOCG in Sicily and it’s Cerasuolo di Vittoria. And Sicily has more vineyard acres planted than either Chile or South Africa. Read the article for more on his visit to Planeta.

Similar in many ways to Passopisciaro, it has the same kind of raspberry flavors, a little cherry and nice acidity that makes the Passopisciaro so food-friendly.

In short, this is a very nice wine that may be a stopgap replacement for my favorite Sicilian wine. Excellent with this dish and likely very nice with a lemon-rosemary grilled lamb chop or roasted chicken.