Owner Francesca Planeta along with winemaker Patricia Toth and export director Penny Murray recently sat down with The Chicagoist to share six wines paired with six Planeta family recipes.
From the Noto winery, the Moscato di Noto DOC 2013 was described by food write Erika Kubick of The Chicagoist as having a "candy-sweet nose bursting with elderflower, green tea and roses". It was paired with shrimp marinated in olive oil and the zest of three oranges on a bed of arugula, an ideal partner for a wine that is most suited for fresh salads and seafood.
Next was the Frappato DOC Vittoria 2013 from the Dorilli winery, noted by Francesca as being a particularly challenging terroir. Often referred to as the Pinot Noir of Sicily, with a nose of "citrus, roses and a fleeting touch of caramelised sugar", on the palate it was "ripe with flowers, smoke and a light spice" and served along with arancini.
The Cerasulolo di Vittoria DOCG 2011 followed, hailing from Nero D'Avola and boasting a vibrant disposition with "bright cherry and warm fig and sweet flowers in the nose". With such a brightness in the wine, it becomes suprisingly rich in the bottle, with "notes of smoke and tobacco as it ages". It was expertly paired with a dish of busiati, tomatoes, basil and almonds.
The Cersuolo di Vittoria Classico DOCG 2011 from Dorilli, while similar, was notably deeper, with notes of "cherry, both sour and sweet, and pear". It paired beautifully with the tonno al ragu - tuna in tomato sauce - a great achievement when considering both fish and tomato can be tricky wine partners.
As the last red of the tasting, the Santa Cecilia DOC Noto 2009 enjoys a position of the ultimate benchmark from Dorilli. Rich on the nose with "plums, cranberry, citrus and carob", it was teamed with filetto al vino rosso – steak in red wine sauce.
The dessert wine was noted as being particularly outstanding – a Passito di Noto DOC, bursting with "apricot, apple, oats and pistachio" on the nose, along with "smoky and herbal qualities" in the mouth. Its earthy and fruity undertones were matched with a biscotti di pistacchi – pistachio biscotti.