| The great grape of Sicily is the most important indigenous variety of Italy. It is names after the small
city of Avola near Siracuse. It has been grown exclusively in Sicily for centuries, and now in
Cape May! Turdo Vineyards is the only grower of this variety in the country.
Nero D'Avola wines are intensely ruby red in color, with supple aromas of ripe black cherry and wild
blackberry. Followed by spicy notes of charcoal, vanilla and black pepper.
On the palate, bursting flavors of ripe fruit and exotic spices are balanced by pleasant acidity and
| Barbera is an ancient variety with its historical roots in Italy, where today it remains the second most
widely planted red variety, after Sangiovese. Althought normally indistinct in aroma, when cultivated in
temperate areas and cropped for quality, Barbera can exhibit an attractive ripe aroma of red fruit,
currants or blackberries that can be enhanced by vanilla, smokey or toasty notes added by barrel
aging. On the other hand, neutral aroma, high color and acidity are all good characteristics for
blending with other grapes and this is how Barbera is most frequently used.
| Cabernet Sauvignon makes the most dependable candidate for aging. More often improving into a
truly great wine than any other single varietals. With age, its distinctive black currant aroma can
develop bouquet nuances of cedar, violets, leather, or cigar box and its typically tannic edge may
soften and smooth considerably. Typically, Cabernet Sauvignon wines smell like black currants with a
degree of bell pepper or weediness, varying in intensity with climatic conditions, viticulture practices
and vinification techniques. In the mouth, Cabernet can have liveliness and even a degree of richness,
yet usually finishes with firm astringency.
| Medium bodied red with moderate acidity and low tannins. These thin-skinned grapes produce a
sweet and smoothly fruity palate of black currants and at its most opulent, will have hints of
chocolate. Merlot tends to be more herbaceous in both flavor and aroma than Cabernet Sauvignon,
while being lighter and warmer to the palette (due to its slightly higher levels of alcohol). Merlot is the
perfect accompaniment for either white meat (chicken or turkey) or "red meat fish" like salmon and
| Nebbiolo is considered one of the great wine varieties. Bigger, darker and more tannic, even more
bitter than most types, but consequently long-lived and prized by collectors. Jealously guarded in its
native Italian home and most famous appellation of Piedmont, very few Nebbiolo cuttins and clones
have been exported to other countries.
The name Nebbiolo has two probably origins. Ripe Nebbiolo grapes have a very prominent "bloom"
that gives them a "foggy" or "frosted" look, so the name could come from "nebbia", Italian for "fog".
Although there are dozens of Nebbiolo clones, Nebbiolo is prominent in and famous for producing
wines like Barolo, Barbaresco and Gattinara.
Wines made from Nebbiolo are typically dark, tart, tannic and alcoholic. The best smell of cherries,
violets and black licorice or truffles and have rich, chewy, deep and long-lasting flavors. Good
Nebbiolo can harmonize with the richest, strongest-flavored meats and stews, as well as dry, aged
cheeses that may be too strong or distinctive for other wines.
| Pinot Noir is one of the oldest grape varieties to be cultivated for the purpose of making wine. Great Pinot Noir creates a
lasting impression on the palate and in the memory. Its aroma is often one of the most complex of all varietals and can be
intense with a ripe-grape or black cherry aroma, frequently accented by a pronounced spiciness that suggests cinnamon,
sassafras, or mint. Ripe tomato, mushroom and barnyard are also common descriptors for identifying Pinot Noir. It is full-
bodies and rich but not heavy, high in alcohol, yet neither acidic nor tannic, with substantial flavor despite its delicacy. The
most appealing quality of Pinot Noir may be its soft, velvety texture. When right, it is like liquid silk, gently caressing the
palate. Pinot does not have the longevity in the bottle of the darker red wines and tends to reach its peak at five to eight
years past the vintage.
Althought Pinot Noir harmonizes well with a wide variety of foods, the best matches to show off the delicacy and texture of
Pinot Noir are roasted and braised preparations of lamb, pheasant and duck, as well as grilled meaty fish, such as salmon,
shark and swordfish. Best are foods that are simple and rich. Go easy on the spices, some of which may mask the delicate
flavors of Pinot Noir and generally tend to accentuate the hot taste of alcohol.
| Sanguis Jovis, the Latin origin for the varietals name, literally means "blood of Jove". It is indigenous
to Tuscany, whose most famous wine is Chianti Sangiovese. A wine that is rarely very dark in color.
These thin-skinned grapes yield wines with bright aromas and flavors of black cherries, red plums and
blueberries with nuances of violets and cinnamon. Over time, the aroma fades though the depth and
range of the taste on the palate will increase. The fruit is slow to mature and late ripening.
Sangiovese is fruity, with moderate to high natural acidity, a medium-body ranging from firm and
elegant to assertive and robust and a finish. The aroma, not as assertive and easily identifiable as
Cabernet Sauvignon for example, but can have a strawberry, blueberry, faintly floral, violet or plummy
A bottle of Chianti with a plate of spaghetti may be a well-recognized icon, but it does not quite
represent the best match-up, as the acidities of the wine and the tomato can often clash. More
traditionally, Sangiovese wines are best matched to red meats, wild game and vegetables that are
roasted or grilled with olive oil, herbs and garlic.
| The varietals identity of Sauvignon Blanc is typically similar to grass, bell-pepper or grapefruit in
Sauvignon Blanc is usually quite distinctive and one of the easier varietals wines to recognize by its
often sharp, aggressive smell. The most common (but not exclusive) smell and/or flavor elements
found in Sauvignon Blanc based wines include:
With naturally high acidity, Sauvignon Blanc is always tangy, tart, nervy, racy or zesty, and this
character pervades even sweet and dessert versions, keeping them from being cloying and sticky-
Dry-style Sauvignon or Fumé Blanc are very versatile in accompanying foods and can handle
components such as tomatoes, bell peppers, cilantro, raw garlic, smoked cheeses or other pungent
flavors that would clash with or overpower many Chardonnays and almost all other dry whites. In fact,
Sauvignon Blanc is probably the best dry white wine to accompany the greatest variety of foods
| Pinot Grigio is usually delicately fragrant and midely floral with lightly lemon-citrus flavors. Depending
upon ripeness at harvest and vinification technigque, Pinot Gris can be tangy and light, or quite rich,
round and full-bodied. Made in an appropriate style, it is on dry white wine that may even age well.
These thin-skinned grapes produce wines that are marked by their dryness, crispness and acidity.
This combination gives the grape tremendous mouth-watering appeal. On the nose the sensations are
of flowers and the palate is honey, pear and lemon. A perfect aperitivo, Pinot Grigio's crispness
primes the palate for food. It pairs well with all seafood, whether raw, lightly sauteed, grilled or lightly
sauced with cream or butter. It is best to avoid the acid clashes of citrus fruit and tomatoes.
| Dolcetto roughly translates from Italian as the "little sweet one". It is the principal grape grown in the
Piedmont region of Italy and is considered the lunchtime or everyday wine of Northern Italy. Dolcetto
is a wine that is bright reddish-purple in color that tends to fade over time to ruby red. These thin-
skinned grapes deliver a fruit driven wine with aromas of ripe blackberries. One of the few Italian red
wines that are drinkable upon release. Dolcetto can develop further with a year or two of cellaring but
it is best drunk immediately as is the case with Beaujolais Nouveau from Burgundy. While often
compared to Beaujolais Nouveau, Dolcetto tends to have a fuller body with more complex taste.
Dolcetto is the preferred mate to spaghetti with any red (tomato) sauce, grilled Portobello mushrooms
and tomato and mozzarella salads. It goes well with foods that are naturally high in acidity.
| A dessert wine, with low acidity and low tannins. Moscato wines are either a pale yellow or a light
gold color. The wine is almost always sweet. It is amazingly fragrant, with aromas of honey suckle,
almonds and orange blossoms. Moscato's fresh grapey character is easy to recognize, even when
distilled as grappa. The best examples combine creaminess, a bright, refreshing fruitiness and a crisp
lingering finish. Intense flavors of white peaches and apricots. Enjoy with fresh fruit, pistachios,
biscotti or light pastries that are not too sweet.
| Made from out estate grown Merlot grapes, this Rosé is a real treat! Unlike most Rosés which have a
lot of sweetness, our is dry like a fine red or white wine. It has the structure, balance and acidity that
are necessary to make it a great food wine. Fine and delicate aromas of rose petal, a light touch of
raspberry and pretty almond tones make this a generous wine with high appeal among Rosé
enthusiasts. The wine has crisp acidity and refined nuances in the mouth. Pair this wine with more
structured foods like over roasted chicken, potatoes au gratin or pasta with red sauce. It is floral and
fresh in the mouth, clean, informal and easy to drink.