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Etna Rosso

Synonyms: Mascalese nera, Mascali, Mascalisi, Mascoli, Negrello, Negrello 39, Nerello, Nerello Calabrese, Nerello Carbunaru, Nerello di Mascali, Nerello Mostrale, Nerello Paesano, Niereddo, Niereddu, Niredda, Nireddu, Nirello, Nirello Mascalese, Niureddu, Niureddu Mascalese, Niureddu Mascalisi

Wine Name: Etna Rosso, Nerello Mascalese

Background: In the Etna Rosso DOC in Sicily, on the eastern slopes of Mount Etna, two grapes are allowed in Etna Rosso, 80-100% Nerello Mascalese and up to 20% Nerello Cappuccio. Vineyards are located at about 2000-3000 feet elevation which preserves acidity of the grapes but also allows for long sun exposure and ripening. By DNA studies, the Nerello Mascalese grape has been identified to be a cross between Sangiovese and some other as yet unknown grape variety. The wine has predominantly red fruit aromas such as strawberry and cherry, with moderately high acidity. Tastes include spices, vanilla, leather and anise. The body can be on the lighter side unless the season is unusually long.

Classic Brands and Sources:    Al-Cantàra, Benanti, Idda, Pietra Dolce, Tenuta delle Terre Nere 


Style #1 – Dry, medium bodied

Body – medium (-) – medium

Acidity – medium (+) – high

Sweetness – dry

Tannins – medium weight fine-grained

Alcohol – medium to high

Wine and food pairing guidelines: The red berry flavors and high acidity with medium tannins makes this wine similar to the lighter bodied Pinot Noirs for the purpose of food pairing. Choose  foods that are light to medium body that are not excessively salty or fatty.
Foods and Entrees that usually pair:  Oily fish such as tuna, swordfish, or salmon , Chicken and pork dishes with acid sauces or marinades.

Cheese Pairings: Epiosses, Feta (sheep’s milk), goat cheese, Gouda, Majorero (Spanish hard goat cheese) Mahon, Bucheron (French goat cheese), dry Jack cheese, cream cheese, Gouda, Neufchatel, Pont-L’Eveque, Raclette, Reblochon, Roquefort, Saint-Nectare, Vacherin

Appetizers Pairings: See also Light red acidic wine appetizers