Cusumano 2001 "Benuara" Sicilia Nero d'Avola, Syrah ($14.99)
This hearty wine is very dark reddish-purple, almost black in the glass, showing only a dusky ruby glow even when it's held close to a light. Its spicy and fruity aromas show the Nero d'Avola component as a characteristic scent of blueberry-compote. Ripe strawberries and a touch of fragrant Syrah pepper join the blueberries in the flavor, juicy fruit framed by tart, lemon-squirt acidity that enhances its palate-cleansing quality as a food wine. US Importer: Vin DiVino Ltd., Chicago. (Mar 30, 2003)

FOOD MATCH: It would be fine with steaks or roast beef, and went very well with a simple pasta dish of chicken sausages and thick, peppery homemade tomato sauce over rigatoni.



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