Some meals are more elegant than others but matching a simple pizza with a Nero d’Avola was heavenly. Pulled from the cellar, this Nero d’Avola is “almost black” and considered one of the most important grape in Sicily. The name comes from the town of Avola in the far south of Sicily. It is also known in Italy as Calabrese. This is a blend mostly of Nero d’Avola varietal with some Merlot and Malbec blended into the Cuvee. The grapes were brought in from Sicily almost 18 years ago and planted in Calistoga. On the eyes, this is a dark almost black sea of delight with medium heavy viscosity. On the nose and palate, it parlays one back to old world Italy/Sicily with a dusty and rustic taste with blackberries, plum, cherries and dark chocolate. This is a wine that pairs well with sausage and a simple steak. Pizza with sausage and pepperoni was spot on!