Nerello Mascalese is a red grape grown mostly on Mount Etna in Sicily. Wines from this grape have bright red fruit aromas like cherries. They are medium bodied with soft tannins. Though rare outside Sicily, Nerello Mascalese makes wines that are similar to Pinot Noir but cheaper.

Nerello Mascalese grows very well on Mount Etna’s volcanic slopes. The steep hills have mineral rich soil from eruptions. Even though farming is hard, winemakers make interesting wines from this place. Although not famous, these wines offer value and flavor from this special site.

Nerello Mascalese is perfect for Mount Etna. The volcano’s soil provides minerals while good drainage stops excess rain. This lets the grape grow berries with deep flavors. The wines taste of red fruit with earthy volcanic notes. They show why Nerello Mascalese does so nicely in this place shaped by the mountain’s eruptions.

All About Nerello Mascalese: Tasting Notes

Nerello Mascalese wine tastes of lots of red berries. You also notice spice like cinnamon and dried flowers. The best Nerello Mascalese from Mount Etna in Sicily have a long finish with zingy acidity. There are flavours of earthy volcanic rock and softly gritty tannins. It is light and smooth like Pinot Noir but also energetic like Primitivo.

Nerello Mascalese is pleasurable and easy to enjoy. It explodes with yummy fruit but calms down into complex natural smells from its home on Mount Etna. This special grape grows beautifully in the volcano’s soil, giving wine lovers great taste and value in every class.

What Makes Nerello Mascalese Unique?

Nerello Mascalese is unique in a few ways:

  • It smells of red berries and flowers like Pinot Noir, but there are not many other wines like this.
  • Nerello Mascalese grapes grow really well on volcanoes, especially Mount Etna. wines from these grapes are some of the best volcanic wines in the world.
  • Although Nerello Mascalese wines are lightly bodied, they have enough tannin and acidity to get better with time in the bottle.
  • There are only about 7,400 acres of Nerello Mascalese vineyards. Most are on Mount Etna but some are also in Calabria. This is a small amount compared to other grapes.

Nerello Mascalese has a taste similar to Pinot Noir but grows best on volcanoes. It can also age nicely despite being light. And there are not very many vineyards of this special Sicilian grape variety. Those reasons make Nerello Mascalese unique among wines.

How To Serve And Store The Nerello Mascalese?

Nerello Mascalese is best enjoyed when served a little cool, around 62 degrees Fahrenheit or 17 degrees Celsius. This helps bring out its bright red fruit flavors.

Most Nerello Mascalese wines don’t need much time to open up after uncorking because of their softer tannins. Give them a short decant of 10-15 minutes for the best aromas and tastes. Some bolder wines from certain producers may benefit from 30-45 minutes of air.

When cellaring Nerello Mascalese, it rewards careful storage. Wines from good producers can gain complexity over 5-15 years depending on the vintage. Keeping bottles in a cool, dark place allows their flavors to blend together smoothly as they age. With patience, Nerello Mascalese shows how well it can evolve in the bottle over time just like fine Pinot Noirs. Proper serving and storage helps this graceful wine shine at its peak.

Good Things To Eat With Nerello Mascalese

Good Things To Eat With Nerello Mascalese

Nerello Mascalese goes nicely with food from Sicily where the grapes grow. Sicilian dishes use fresh tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and herbs. Cheeses made from sheep and cow milk also match well.

The people of Sicily often eat fish from the sea around their island. Oily fish like sardines and mackerel pair particularly good. Nerello Mascalese also drinks well with meat dishes like chicken and pork shaped into balls.

This wine has enough fruit to partner fish despite being light. The soft tannins don’t fight the delicate flavours of seafood. Nerello Mascalese also brings out tomatoes and herbs in recipes. Overall it tastes wonderful with traditional Sicilian cooking, especially dishes featuring the region’s tasty fish and vegetables.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Nerello Mascalese age well?

While Nerello Mascalese makes a lightly bodied wine, it has adequate tannin and acidity allowing the wines to improve with cellaring over years. There are approximately 7,400 acres of Nerello Mascalese vines planted primarily on Mount Etna’s slopes in Sicily and some vineyards also exist in Calabria.

What food goes with Nerello Mascalese?

Nerello Mascalese pairs well with mild meats such as chicken and pork accompanied by roasted vegetables like tomatoes and peppers, highlighting herbal notes of oregano, thyme, coriander and sage.

Is Nerello Mascalese sweet or dry?

Nerello Mascalese grapes create lightly fruity yet also mineral-driven wines, balancing red cherry and cola flavors with notes of earth, rose and dried herbs. This preciously balanced variety walks a tightrope, offering sweet berries alongside deeper volcanic soil characteristics.

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