Separated from the peninsula by the narrow Strait of Messina, Sicily sits at the toe of the Italian boot like a crumpled tin can being kicked out into the sea. Wine vines have thrived on this rugged volcanic island since the Greeks first began colonizing Italy about 3,000 years ago. Today, many Sicilian vintners treat their grapes of ancient pedigree to modern, progressive methods of winemaking. Here grapes are grown on volcanic soils under the strong Sicilian sun, producing warm red wines and light, dry whites, along with Sicily's signature fortified wine, Marsala. Some of the best wines are grown from native varieties like the red grapes Nero d'Avola and Nerello Mascalese and from such white grapes as Grillo and Inzolia. But you will also find Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon doing well in the ancient vineyards of Sicily.
Favorite Red Wines of Sicily: Nero d'Avola, Nerello Mascalese, Marsala, Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon
Favorite White Wines of Sicily: Grillo, Inzolia, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay
Regional foods of Sicily
Grapes are not the only fruits that thrive in the warm Sicilian sunshine. Oranges, lemons, figs, tomatoes and eggplants also love the climate and rich volcanic soils. The waters around Sicily provide tuna, sardines, anchovies and swordfish--marvelous matches for Sicilian white wines. Dry pastas come in every shape and size in Sicily. The local olive oil is often poured over pastas and used to marinate fish. Local cheeses include the hard Pecorino Siciliano and creamy ricotta.
Regional Italian Recipes to Pair with Sicilian Wines: