We've been hearing so much about the wines of Etna, not to mention Sicily's nimble, red-fruited Frappato, that it's easy to forget that the island's most widely planted red grape variety, and the one that dominates its only DOCG, Cerasuolo di Vittoria, is Nero d'Avola.
Like Cerasuolo di Vittoria, La Bella Sedàra is a blend driven by Nero d'Avola, but instead of Frappato there are small amounts of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and a few other varieties in the mix.
They all come together in an approachable but structured ruby-red wine, with concentrated black and red cherry compote fruit, peppery spice, touches of creamy malt and bitter chocolate, light-grained tannins and a lively, spicy finish.
I drank it with chicken livers (sautéd with smoked lardons, shallots, red peppers, tomato, garlic, sage, red vermouth), and with a venison ragù, both of which worked. It would also be good with a classic bolognese or a more tomatoey ragù, with tomatoey fish stews, seared tuna steaks, ratatouille or any good pizza. 13%.
Donnafugata La Bella Sedàra 2019, Sicily, Italy
£14.99, or £11.24 in any 6 bottles in the current '25% off any 6 bottles' offer, Waitrose