Poggionotte 2003 Nero d'Avola Sicilia ($13.00)
Typical of the grape, it's an inky blackish-purple color, showing violet glints against the light. Mixed-berry fruit aromas of blackberries and blueberries are marred at first by an unattractive level of volatile acidity, but this soon blows off to reveal the fruit-forward, "blueberry milkshake" character that's typical in modern Sicilian reds. Big and full on the palate, berries and just-sufficient acidity. A whiff of earthy "barnyard" adds a hint of complexity to what would otherwise be a monolithic "Shiraz-style" Italian wine, but it's still made for those who like blockbuster, fruit-forward reds. US Importer: North Berkeley Imports, Berkeley, Calif. (Feb 28, 2006)

FOOD MATCH: A stereotypically ethnic food choice - Southern Italian-style meatballs with raisins and pine nuts over spaghetti with tomato-sauce "gravy" - serves it well, bringing bold flavors to bear against the wine's ripe and forward fruit.

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