Cusumano Nero D’Avola

2009 CUSUMANO NERO D'AVOLA, $10. LCBO#143164.

Italian table wine is always welcome in my house. Some of my $10 or less favourites are produced by Farnese, Ogio and Mezzomondo, who all make reds that don’t disappoint. The Italian section of my wine journal is definitely the fullest, which means two things: First, Italian wine is very affordable and I try a lot of bottles, and second, that not every bottle can be a winner.

I had high hopes for this one. I’ll admit to watching Rachael Ray very occasionally, and she mentioned that this winery is a staple in her house. Although she is sometimes a bit much to take, she does make tasty food and I’m guessing has decent taste in wine- or at least what goes well with pasta. I’m not sure if she recommended the Nero D’Avola, but this was what the LCBO had and also one that Wine Align recommended in their top 50 value wines list. The bottle has a lovely label, and also a nice seal that handily hides the fact that it is a twist cap. Very smart.

We paired it with a simple but delicious bowl of spaghetti. The wine went okay with food, but I have to say it was far too rough to drink alone. It was no good for after dinner sipping, and didn’t even mellow out after an hour or two. It has a lot of flavour, I will give it that. Lots of cherry fruitiness and toasty oak. But the problem with cherries is that sometimes they are tart, and this bottle was just unbalanced. The finish was sour-bitter and not smooth at all. We planned to stretch it from dinner into movie night, and I actually still have half the bottle left, that’s how much we did not like it.

It’s interesting, because this wine has lots of great reviews. It’s just too rough of a wine for me. The three red table wines I previously mentioned are just as flavourful, but considerably smoother, and $2 cheaper. It’s a definite no for me on this wine.

Overall, I give this bottle 7/10 for taste and 3/5 for value.

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